Keðja presents: Stretch 2019 attracted 254 dance professionals from several countries to Turku, Finland, during four entire days in last October. The event offered an abundant programme with three keynote lectures, 17 workshops, five different morning classes, 11 dance performances by local companies and artists plus the New Performance Turku festival programme, dance films, parties and gatherings.
A selection of reports and notes and Ben Twist’s keynote about arts in the age of ecological crisis can be found here.
Stretch united dance people from Nordic & Baltic countries, Scotland, Slovenia, Belgium, Germany, France, UK and USA, who had come to Turku to network, to make new connections, increase their knowledge and get inspiration. They were choreographers, dancers, freelancers, producers, directors, dance critics, teachers, students, researchers, administrators and people working for different dance organizations.
See our photo gallery.
These Nordic-Baltic encounters for dance professionals have been organised since 2008. We were happy to see that lots of new friends found their way to Turku: for two thirds of participants this was the first Keðja event they attended.
The significance of the encounters for the international dance community is evident. It’s an exceptional opportunity to stop to think and reflect, share knowledge, and inspire each other.
“The amount of ‘humility’ and how people listened to each other was impressive. Also the mixture of perspectives was good,” commented one of the participants.
“You do not always have to think about problems or issues by yourself. Sharing is caring.”
“It gave me more hope for the future as being a dance artist,” answered one attendant when asked what the most important lesson learned from the Stretch event was.
The impact of Stretch has been important also locally. “After two years of Stretch-related partnership discussions, the Regional Dance Centre of Western Finland is now known locally as a solid collaboration partner and the dance field is more visible than ever,” says Sanna Meska, director of the Regional Dance Centre.
The next Stretch encounter will be organised in August 2020 in Gothenburg, Sweden, under the theme ‘Expanding movement’ – participation, community dance, audiences. Follow Stretch on Facebook or Instagram and be the first to get the programme and registration news.
Contact: Eyrun Thorhallsdottir, Kultur i Väst: eyrun.thorhallsdottir[at]kulturivast.se