The Bachelor Dance programme has a rich tradition when it comes to inclusive artistic dance practice. During the bi-annual symposium, students meet dancers with diverse backgrounds and skills. They come together to dance and learn from each other, and explore the possibilities of diversity within Dance in all its facets.
New this year is that the Master of Dance students were also involved. Not an illogical decision, since the Master students work very intensively on 'artistic embodiment', a concept that has everything to do with movement without boundaries. A consequence of this is the research into 'Unravelling embodiment': Which bodies do we see on a stage today? Which ones don't we see? And why is that so? What is the added value of bodily diversity within the domain of Dance?
For the four-day symposium 'Embodying Diversity', the dance programme invited eight international artists, all with a background in inclusion in dance, education and the performing arts. With a common desire to embrace diversity and inclusive dance within institutional contexts, the artists shared their artistic practice and vision of embodiment and diversity with the 75 participants. They did so through workshops, lectures and debates, with the aim of implementing a sustainable, diverse and inclusive way of working within the entire dance department, from a micro and macro perspective as well as in their own practice.
Dance and diversity
One of the priorities of the Antwerp Royal Conservatoire is the place of the artist in society. Each programme has the responsibility to prepare students for their own active and creative role within a wide variety of working fields. This symposium, which has been organised within the dance department since 2014, is a determining factor in this: by introducing students to diversity in dance, they learn about new developments in the performing arts and come into contact with new voices in the international dance field. Their profile as dancers becomes more layered and they get a taste of the various roles they can fulfil within a broad and varied working field: as dancers, teachers, choreographers, but also as researchers, actors, mentors, animators, entrepreneurs, you name it. For our students, this symposium is the beginning of so much more: new possibilities are explored, new collaborations forged. Together, we spread the word of dance and diversity and share our knowledge and experience with an ever-growing audience.
Photo: Boris Bruegel