Léim Live

Marcel Bassachs: Module B Dan Dan Dance Educational Project- Mercat de les Flors (Barcelona)

Author: Marcel Bassachs

Dan Dan Dansa

The framework provided by Léim for Module A of the project was based on open discussion and seminars given to the group by a set of specialists from dance houses in Dublin, Bassano del Grappa and Düsseldorf. My specific training in the framework of Léim Module B was based on the participation of dance education projects and was led by Mercat de les Flors (Barcelona). It Included the Dan Dan Dance Project as well as a set of master classes given by choreographers Àngels Margarit, Toni Mira, Cesc Gelabert and Mercè Boronat, to school teachers. This course welcomed all levels of teacher in an educational /pedagogical program.

I found that in addition to offering a dance program, Mercat de les Flors had a commitment to research, creation and dissemination of dance at an educational level. The educational and training projects were significant to Mercat de les Flors and generated up-to-date actions in the area of dance ​​content research. From 2006 to 2008 the development of educational programs that took place in Mercat de les Flors were based on actions such as open presentations to schools, providing educational resources to the community in the form of performances and dialogue sessions with the artists by training and teaching among others. During the same period “The pedagogical Suitcase” (la Maleta pedagògica) was implemented. It is a primary resource for teachers and students to increase the use of pedagogical methodologies. From 2009 to 2011 consolidated educational projects focused on dance content and the community in which active participation from the agents was enhanced. The projects from 2012 to 2014 focused on the residences by the dance agents and the creation of social and community projects carried out in El Graner, a residency space that is directly linked to the strategic line of Mercat de les Flors.

Among the variety of actions taken place at the dance house in Barcelona, my involvement during my Léim placement focused on the workshop Shared Experiences: choreographers and teachers in a dialogue. The workshop aimed to accompany teachers and schools at all levels of education – kindergarten, primary and secondary education. A total of 20 hours was spread over seven sessions given by the invited choreographers.

Toni Jodar (explicadansa.com) gave the first session as an introduction and he explained the history of dance and its trends with touches of humor and anecdotes from his experience as a dancer. The educational work consisted of observing the evolution of the history of dance, from the beginning with classic ballet to contemporary dance, referring to the various genres and techniques that are linked to specific choreographers and teachers.

The second part of the course was planned as an exchange between professionals and teachers in order to share and discuss strategies, methodologies and thoughts about dance that might be implemented in a school curriculum. We had a very interesting talk with Olga Adoher, Head of Planning for Arts Education, and Silvia Borrell, responsible for the Service of Arts Education for the Government in Catalunya. They explained the objectives of the new dance programmes in Catalunya and they told us about the strategic plans of the Department of Education in Catalonia to meet key industry representatives. As such a first conference was held on 04 June 2013 were ways of communication of dance and the structure of the dance curricula that are currently in Catalonia were discussed.

The third session was divided into two sections; the first section entitled Knowing the Association of Professional Dance of Catalunya (APDC) was given by Gemma Calvet. The second part, Sharing art projects at school, was a practical course given to the teachers who are linked to the working group in collaboration with Mercat de les Flors.

During the session we exchanged experiences, strategies and material. In the following days I performed personal interviews with Gemma Calvet, president of APDC and Carles Salas, Director of the Institut del Teatre de Vic, leading a post-graduate course about community projects and arts education. I arranged to visit schools in the area of Barcelona to see how they are implementing dance as a part of the pedagogical curriculum, for example in the School of “Els Alocs” at Vilassar de Mar (Barcelona). I also went to talk to Pere Costa Vilanova, Head of Lifelong Learning and Education Services in Girona, who informed me about the strategies of the educational services for teachers.

The training also included watching some performances given by international choreographers including Origami by Àngels Margarit and Drumming by Rosas Dance Companyie. Finally, I had the chance to meet with my Léim colleagues Argyris Argyrou and Maria Kirchhoff to discuss the proposed projects for Module C.

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