CSC Bassano del Grappa

Focus on dancehouses: Centro per la Scena Contemporanea Bassano del Grappa

Comune di Bassano del Grappa, an administrative body in north-eastern Italy, has been devoting passion, energy and resources to its contemporary stage centre –Centro per la Scena Contemporanea (CSC)– since 2006 with the aim to develop contemporary dance culture in its territory and in the country at large.  As a pioneering dance house in Italy, it is vital for CSC to be connected to other European and international dance scenes, experiences and organizations. Comune di Bassano del Grappa became an affiliated member of the European Dancehouse Network (EDN) in June 2010 and it was invited to participate in modul-dance in May 2012. The project was already under way at that time and its impact and influence on the artistic development of many European choreographers and dancers could be clearly seen. CSC’s artistic directors and the local governance spheres saw the invitation and the project as a unique and very special opportunity of further development.  Consequently, it was agreed to join forces with the 18 dance houses already involved in this exciting 5-year programme.

From the beginning modul-dance has helped Centro per la Scena Contemporanea to advance in new directions, to face new challenges and to learn new things. It helps CSC to become an integral part of a broader context of performing arts and cultural development in Europe and gives it the chance to develop ideas and visions of European scope.

What’s more, modul-dance enabled CSC to propose a talented dance-maker, Alessandro Sciarroni, for the project’s modular system and allowed him to grow artistically and to research, produce and present new pieces across Europe.  The project’s structure is open to initiatives that have enriched our residency, our artists, our audience development programmes and our festival, bringing new artists and their works to Italy and connecting Italian choreographers to European organizations and dance scenes. Some modul-dance artists and companies (Itamar Serussi, loscorderos, La Veronal, Emma Martin and The Loose Collective) have been presented in our residency programme and festival and many young career artists will be moving across borders with the Carte Blanche initiatives.

The possibility of investing time, resources and knowledge on a broader scale to connect, exchange and confront different experiences and to support mobility, research, productions and presentations is something quite rare at present. With modul-dance, however, CSC is able to develop and improve its cultural offerings. Since 2012 we have implemented some think tanks on topics connected with dance, transnational strategies for artistic development of choreographers, and studies on the relationship between dance and health. These initiatives are proving to be highly productive, involving artists and people from many other areas of our community in very interesting cultural discussions and experiences. The transnational dimension of these initiatives helps to bolster the feeling of belonging to broader international communities, to enrich dialogues and exchanges and to contextualize dance in expanding geographical territories. Likewise, modul-dance has strengthened our cooperation with other dance houses and it is helping to assure the future sustainability of the project and the development of new ideas.

The opportunities to produce dance pieces on an ambitious scale in Italy are growing rarer for the new generations of dance-makers. Rarer still are the possibilities of researching or participating in transnational artistic development experiences despite the efforts of many non-institutional organizations in the dance field. The contemporary dance culture is still in its youth in our country. It has developed in diverse fragmented ways in our various regions due to a lack of national cultural programmes and, in some cases, a lack of knowledge about cultural governance.

In all these ways, modul-dance offers us hope and real opportunities to develop our contemporary dance scene.

By Roberto Casarotto.

This entry was posted on Monday, May 06, 2013