Institutional basis

In terms of institutional development, the founding of the Contemporary Dance Association in 1996 by young professional dancers, choreographers and students of the Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (VŠMU) was, besides various partial associations and projects, one of the most important steps for Slovak contemporary dance. Miroslava Kovarova became its first chair. In 2000 the Association underwent organisational changes, as a result of different opinions regarding its future. The activities connected with the Bratislava in Movement Festival became part of the competence of the newly-founded Bratislava in movement Association, and Miroslava Kovarova became its chair. In 2001 Petra Fornayova became the chair of the Contemporary Dance Association. The association’s activities are divided into several areas – (i) co-productions of domestic work – to date more than 20 original Slovak works; (ii) educational activities – such as twelve years of the Summer Dance School, organising of various workshops; (iii) promotion of contemporary dance – e.g. through the publication of the bulletin Tanec na dosah (‘Dance within Reach’); and (iv) international co-operation with institutions and specific artists in creating productions for Slovak dancers – such as the works of US choreographers Alyson Green (V mene, ‘In the Name Of’) and Matthew Hawkins (Láska v dvojjazyčnom pohybe, ‘Love in Bilingual Motion’). The association has organised several regular systematic presentations of original works (The Contemporary Dance Scene 1997-2002, Dance in Arena 2001-2002, Danstheatrium 2003). In 2003 the CDA, together with the civic associations Atrakt Art – Association for Contemporary Art and Culture, burundi and the Contemporary Opera Association founded the A4 Union of Associations for Contemporary Culture, which created the dramaturgy for the theatre-club space for contemporary art A4 – zero space. The A4 – Centre for Contemporary Art has undergone several changes (neither the CDA nor burundi are its members any more) but they still cooperate on productions of contemporary dance performances.

Today the main activity of the Bratislava in Movement Association is the afore-mentioned Bratislava in Movement Festival. It also presents Slovak dance abroad and contributes to the development of dance education amongst young people. It creates the conditions for the creation of new work and initiates direct international artistic co-operation. In 2004 an interdisciplinary art project of Austrian and Slovak artists and theoreticians entitled Hranice/Borders took place as a result of the long-term co-operation between the TanzQuartier, Vienna and ABP with the goal of creating a common platform for mutually-opened artistic dialogue between creators. In 2006 Laban pre 21. storočie (‘Laban for the 21st Century’)/Laban a divadelné umenia (‘Laban and Theatre Art’) took place as part of the 10th year of the festival. It was one of the few events that acknowledged the work of an outstanding personality and his (at least) geographical connection with Slovak space. The event was accompanied by workshops, a conference and performances. In 2007 Tanec pod pyramídou (‘Dance Under the Pyramid’) presented original Slovak works in cooperation with Slovak Radio and creative residences were awarded. The Bratislava in Movement Association is a member of the Informal European Theatre Meeting (IETM) network.

The L.A.B Civic Association was established in 2003. Besides the fact that it represents the production background for the work of Marta Polakova’s group Dajv, it is also the organiser of several events: the LAB1 summer dance school LAB1, Laban’s Bratislava Studio cycle of workshops, an open studio for the dissemination and creative development of the well-proven values of the heritage of exceptional significance – the motion theories of Rudolf Laban.

In 2015 after several parallel efforts to institutionalise the contemporary, the Platform for Contemporary Dance was founded. Its members are civic associations and artists working in the field. The aim is effective communication with competent state and municipal authorities in promoting the common interests of choreographers and dancers of contemporary dance.