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Alarm in Amsterdam: Dance talent flees the country

Today, Amsterdam Dance City sent a fire letter to funds and policymakers. Because things are going hard in the wrong direction with talent development.

The precarious position of independent choreographers

Independent choreographers in particular lose out in the new subsidy plans. While those artists already have to survive in a harsh way. Their own economic situation is hopeless and there are no good independent facilities to make performances.

The worst thing now is that money for talent development disappears in the budgets of various companies and institutions. This is a death blow for independent choreographers. The climate of artistic production that Amsterdam made its name with is thus spoiled. Talent flees the country and training courses thus basically only provide quality abroad. Would that be the intention?

Awareness and money

Eva Villanueva, one of the authors of the alarm letter and coordinator of the Amsterdam dance platform BAU, wants policymakers to realise how twisted the situation is. She wants people to get around the table. As soon as possible preferably.

After all: on Budget Day, it emerged that some 24 million euros extra is coming for the cultural sector. Part of that should go to talent development in the region. That is fine, but for Amsterdam in itself not. Therefore, local policymakers in Amsterdam should look into the real issues arising in the Netherlands' biggest dance city.

Solutions have been thought of

The alarm letter was signed by everyone who matters in the Amsterdam dance world. The letter also lists solutions. One of them is a production house in a new model. Earlier, we wrote here that Amsterdam so badly wanted a Dance House. A central place with several dance institutions and a production house. The municipality put €300,000 (see explanation here) in and moments later the plans went up in smoke.

Dansmakers Amsterdam, one of the initiators of the Dance House, is now suffering as a result. They can no longer pay the rent on the building already developed for the Danshuis. Incidentally, the writers of the alarm letter don't care where that dance production house will be: as long as it gets there. But in a different model, with makers and stakeholders who can help think about Amsterdam's dance policy. Within that new construction, it is also necessary for a dance maker to receive a biennial grant, for example, to do research and produce.

As in fine art.

Read the letter:

alarm letter-talent-development

Ruben Brugman

writing ex-dancerView Author posts

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