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DANSATHON: the first international hackathon created by the BNP Paribas Foundation, with three partner theatres, that will gather 90 participants to imagine the future of dance in the digital age


WEBWIRE

The rise of new technologies has been intriguing everyone in the dance world including artists, the public and the different institutions. To make the most of the opportunities offered by these new technologies, the BNP Paribas Foundation has created the Dansathon – the first international dance hackathon, in partnership with Maison de la Danse, Sadler’s Wells theatre in London and the Théâtre de Liège.

The Dansathon is a new format aimed to co-create through collaboration and connectivity and explore the innovations which will shape the future of dance through the use of digital technology.  

From 28-30 September 2018, the Dansathon will bring together 90 participants from the worlds of dance, technology, design and communication and will take place simultaneously in 3 European cities: Lyon – as part of the International Dance Biennale –, Liege and London. Chosen from almost 400 entries, applicants will form multidisciplinary teams of 6 people and will work for 72 hours to develop prototypes of artistic forms or experiences that aim to envision new creation, production and distribution possibilities for the dance sector.

For the BNP Paribas Foundation, one of the main sponsors of creation in contemporary dance, the Dansathon represents the opportunity to experience a new method of discovering and supporting innovative projects in the field of dance:

Jean-Jacques Goron, Managing Director of the BNP Paribas Foundation, said: “Through its support to contemporary dance, the BNP Paribas Foundation aims to encourage creation and experimentation. By creating the Dansathon with our partners, we want to develop a new laboratory that offers creators the means to imagine the future of dance through the use of new technologies. The Dansathon is also a new way for us to consider philanthropy, enabling us to spot new talents and help them achieve their project.

“We are proud to participate in this project along with leading partners and made possible by BNP Paribas”, explained Dominique Hervieu, General Director of Maison de la Danse, in Lyon. “As an ultimate art of sensitivity, dance cannot be separated from new technologies that are ever-present in our lives. The Dansathon will allow us to innovate and get closer to public that are outside the theatres.”

“DANSATHON is an opportunity for us to understand what impact digital culture will have on the art form and explore new innovations in technology and dance that can benefit both worlds. It aims to use the tools of the digital age to create better understanding between people”, explains Alistair Spalding, Sadler’s Wells Artistic Director and Chief Executive.

“Decompartmentalisation is one of the main challenges we have to face. Disciplines, practices, professional sectors, institutions have to be more and more sensitive in order to favor innovation, stimulate creativity and develop audiences.”, adds Serge Rangoni, General and Artistic Director of Théâtre de Liège. “Dansathon is part of its dynamic by opening the ways to new models at the heart of which, we feel, everything is possible, even the impossible!”

A multidisciplinary jury

Using the same rationale as the event, each city has gathered a multidisciplinary jury to support the participants during the co-creation experience and to reward the best project in their city.

Each winning team will receive a development grant of €10,000 from the BNP Paribas Foundation to develop their project, and will benefit from the support of the participating theatres to pursue their work.

Supporting a digital and collaborative culture

The aim of the Dansathon is to provide creators with a platform on which to invent new forms combining dance and digital technology. As such, the Dansathon is built around an approach that fully subscribes to today’s digital culture and its new ways of working: 
a collaborative and iterative approach, multidisciplinary in nature, and conducive to risk-taking.

To encourage their creativity, each Dansathon team will benefit from collective working methods, dedicated spaces along with specialist tools and technologies including virtual reality masks, motion sensors, voice recognition equipment, Fab Labs provided with 3D printers, or sewing machines for electronic textiles.

The creators taking part in the event will also receive assistance from a team of expert mentors. Among those involved: Clément Thirion, stage director and choreographer; Ghislaine Boddington, artistic director in body tech and immersion; Gonçalo Lopes, neuroscientist; and Hermutt Loby, designer of the iPad’s Playground app.

A central theme

Fully committed to a common cause, the 3 cities will share the same methodology and one central theme: ‘connecting with the public and the local area’. The participants will thereby all be making a contribution to a joint initiative exploring the following questions:

  • Can we create new artistic forms where dance and digital collide? What new performances and what new experiences can we imagine?
  • How can we make dance go viral, and make it accessible to as many people as possible?
  • How can connected dance transcend social, physical and cultural frontiers?
  • How can theatres make a greater contribution to a rich and harmonious urban life?
  • How can we share more positive experiences together? What would a dancing digital society look like?


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