Photo by Johanna Knefelkamp: Laboratory dance dialogue with students of ArtEZ and students of the Institut del Teatre in Barcelona

The new year 2018 began with lots of exciting plans and new projects. With the contweedancecollective we started a new residency for our creation Puntos Juntos, a piece for & with children. I started to teach contemporary classes twice a week outside of Barcelona. Together with my partner Johanna we started to teach the professional training at nunArt Guinardó– an amazing space for creation and contemporary dance. AND we were still preparing our big project Barcelona meet & study 2018…
Lots of plans and things to do. I really wanted to put my energy in all of them. I was happy to have so many projects to work on and to challenge myself in different ways: organizing, creating, teaching, coaching and dancing…

Barcelona meet & study 2018

This morning I woke up and felt kind of worn out…exhausted and satisfied at the same time. Empty by shooting out my energy and passion during the past months for the preparation of the project. Empty by sharing the result of it with everybody around me during the past week. But my mind was full…full of inspiration, impressions and great experiences. Filled with lots of beautiful memories. It was my first free day after the intense week with the 20 students of ArtEZ Bachelor Docent Dans during our project Barcelona meet & study 2018. Since October Johanna and I were busy with the organization: 5 days of international exchange & work field orientation for teachers and students. 5 days of a dance- program full to the brim, to explore the culture, the artists and the dance scene here in Barcelona.
…professional classes…observing rehearsals…staying with local hosts…workshops…performances…networking…culture clash…questions…ideas…exploring…sharing…experiences…dancing…absorbing…energy…sweat…curiosity…and lots of responsibility…
The time was really flying like hell: In one moment we were surrounded by all the girls from the 2nd and 3rd year of BDD, picking them up at the bus stop to bring them to our welcome-breakfast. And already in the next moment (4 days later) we were sitting in a circle, talking about the week and their experiences and rounding up our final workshop with a group picture. What an intense week…

Photos by Lena van Bebber: Sharing dances during our final workshop, Barcelona meet & study 2018 at Varium Espai de moviment.


With Barcelona meet and study we had the chance to realize a concept which contains our picture of exchanging and sharing dance between young people from different countries. That makes me really proud and I feel totally fulfilled after these days. Even if there were lots of questions, frustrations or even nightmares the weeks before it started, it shows me literally that we have a strong vision with the collective and as a team we can reach that goal in any kind of situation: connecting people through dance.
The organization was an interesting challenge, with lots of official meetings, writing emails and getting to know new faces. Again, lots of computer work, scheduling and planning like in the beginning of our time in Barcelona. But I did it with curiosity and it was nice to have a concrete aim, to know that all the effort will be ‚payed back’ with one week full of dance from the bottom to the top.
We got in contact with different art institutions, centers of dance/ creation and artists living in Barcelona. The Argentinian choreographer Malena Albaraccin or the girls of Iniciativa Sexual Feminin were one of the collaborators who opened their rehearsal processes for students to join them. Dansart BCN (a platform for and with young dancers in Barcelona) supported our project with great interest in advance and also during the past week. It was nice to include all these other people, involving each one in his own way. And without really noticing it we were slowly building a team around the two of us. And who knows…maybe we will collaborate more often with some of them in the future!?

‚mas tranquilo‘?

Don’t think that it’s easy to reach all these people or to make appointments with them, to talk about the project or to win them for the project. We may not forget that we are in Spain: things go differently…maybe slower or call it ‚mas tranquilo‘? Maybe one needs to be more patient or call it flexible? Appointments or agreements get canceled spontaneously…maybe you don’t even get a answer? Or the answer comes half a year later (by the way: that was a hilarious moment when we were checking our mailbox and got an answer to an email for a job we wrote in September :D). That’s a great example how it is to work in Spain…

Anyhow: What I wanted to say is, that I learned again how important it is to have good communication…in all directions. Good communication and clear frames are the core of a project like this. This means lots of extra work, to keep on checking if the important information reached the respective people or if the information got lost somewhere on the way via via via…direct communication is the easiest and most transparent way. And probably also the fastest way to get the information you need. But this is not always possible…and sometimes frustrating.

Photo: Beginning of the process, residency Puntos Juntos.

It’s the 18th of February- we did it! Early in the morning the students were flying back to Arnhem and left us ‚alone‘. One day to enjoy the beauty of Barcelona, walk along the beach and letting the impressions sink down in my body and my mind. Tomorrow we continue rehearsing for Puntos Juntos, our new creation for children. And probably we will be thinking of the humorous and creative ideas some of the students worked out during our open rehearsal past Friday. We still have some weeks left until the first official try out. And there is an exciting period coming up for us with lots of traveling between Spain, Germany and the Netherlands…Juhuuuu, more adventures!

But as I noticed again this week: Time flies when you’re having fun 😉

contweedancecollective will teach a workshop floorCONTACT on the 3rd of March 14.00-16.00 in the studios of ArtEZ Arnhem.
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