I-DANCE exists to bring US-based dance teachers and choreographers to Latin American countries in order to share a greater appreciation and awareness of our choreographic similarities and differences.
The dance artists in the countries of Latin America desperately need exposure to the expertise that they lack, and in return they have incredible energy to share with their North American counterparts. I-DANCE will send teaching and performing artists from the USA to Latin American countries in order to promote a kind of "inspiration exchange" based on a Johnny Appleseed model- sowing the seeds of dance-cooperation between the nations of North, South and Central America.
I-Dance = Essential Support
The role of the arts in a healthy society is well documented and certainly accepted in the so-called "1st world" - I-Dance considers that support for the arts is just as important in cultures that are less financially well-off. The creative impulse behind artistic expression through dance is remarkably similar the world over - but the crucial ingredient for the creation of meaningful and innovative dance often only arises through direct contact with people doing the same thing with a different emphasis, a different perspective. This is the gap that I-DANCE will fill. As I-DANCE develops, dance centers in Latin America will be able to petition the organization for a visit from a North American dance professional based on a demonstrated ability to host the event and a commitment to providing these classes at little or no cost to deserving dancers in their home communities. An expanding group of associated US-based choreographic artists will be matched to the communities' needs as much as possible. Participation in the choreographic workshop will provide local dancers exposure to techniques and styles unknown to them and will be seen as providing incredible support to the dance community in general. The North American dance artists will be paid a nominal fee for the time they invest in the project, but the real payoff for them is the chance to have a profound effect on dancers from the generally poorer countries of Latin America that want and need to have more contact with artists of international stature. As dance is an art form that is practiced predominantly in person and in a social (i.e. group) setting, the interaction promoted by I-DANCE ensures that the flow of inspiration expands exponentially as choreographers and dancers share their experiences in an ever-widening network in their home countries. Everyone gains from the increased contact facilitated by this project as knowledge, experience and inspiration are exchanged through the formal classes and performances but also through the personal bonds that are quickly formed between dancers regardless of nationality, background or training.
Bringing American Dance Artists Together
There are dancers, dance teachers and even small dance companies in Latin America that have been virtually cut off from all contact with North American dance for many years and for many reasons. Nevertheless, this dance community is working incredibly hard against the odds, hungry for more contact with the global dance community and in need of exposure to the trends and developments that have occurred over the years of isolation. Like a band of travelers that has survived many hardships, these dancers lack the resources that will bring them back to a more robust health and vitality - namely interaction with artists and companies that are vibrant examples of the art form in the 21st Century. But these dance artists also have incredible stories and a unique spirit to share with their North American counterparts. When I-DANCE sends a choreographer, or teacher from the USA to one of these Latin American countries, something incredible happens. As dance is best taught through direct exposure and interaction, opportunities for groundbreaking innovation are created. Students learn techniques and acquire knowledge they would never know about otherwise, and teachers/choreographers come away having experienced a completely different dance environment.
Each visit by a teacher or choreographer from the US includes extensive classes in one or more techniques and a repertory workshop designed to give students/dancers the chance to learn choreography that is new and challenging to them. Ideally, the experience also includes one or more performances featuring the choreographer's work. The experience also gives the teachers/choreographers important opportunities to interact with dance artists hungry for the chance to light some creative sparks of their own, creating unforgettable moments in which to deepen their own understanding of their art.