The Situation

It has become evident in the last few months that the performing arts will be facing budget cuts from 30%-50% on both national and local levels. These cuts will be phased in during the next few years (beginning in 2012). The potential destructive impact of these cuts on the Dutch dance world is a real threat to it's visibility and its viability.

Independent dance-related artists have a significant role in our dance culture. But within the cultural political debate about the arts policy and the distribution of financial means, there is a lack of representation of independent dance-related artists.

March 30, 2011, 4:17 p.m. - Eric Schrijver

It is possible to add comments to this text.

A Petition

It is therefore urgent that we articulate our position and main interests to the Board of Culture (The Raad voor Cultuur), the highest advice board to the national ministry concerning the arts (The OC&W). By adding your name to this petition your voice will be sent directly to The Secretary of Culture, Halbe Zijlstra.

April 1, 2011, 8:42 a.m. - riemer knoop

Not quite correct. The Raad voor Cultuur is no mailbox to get messages to the Ministry.

April 5, 2011, 6:03 p.m. - Network crew

Thank you for your notice, Riemer. To clarify our pocedure a bit more: The Raad voor Cultuur receives this week a description of the Network. By the end of the month The Secretary of Culture will receive himself an even more developed plan....with more input created by a series of work sessions.

This is an open invitation to join our new process of defining the independent dance production climate for the future. Your support and/or interest in furthering our collective mission will be exercised by signing the petition below.

The purpose of this petition is to collect your support for a Network for Choreography & Related Art. Help us build a new model for the production of independent dance projects that responds to current developments, opportunities and challenges. We ask you to read our motivations, the aims drawn from our preliminary brainstorms and the concept being created for concrete practical solutions. This is merely a beginning of a process in collecting the interests and talents of the freelance dance field. By creating a Network for Choreography & Related Art worthy of substantial support from national and local governmental partners, we embark on a self defining process dedicated to the freelance production of choreography and related arts.


Under the motto “never miss a good crisis” a group of freelance dance artists have made an initial proposal for a Network for Choreography & Related Art. We've based our proposal on dialogues within the field and discussions with representatives from other disciplines. We are stimulated by the new possibilities of technological social exchange, a new economic climate and changes in the attitudes of political institutions. But, we are particularly motivated by our individual needs to innovate and rethink our production modes and interaction with culture. There is a developing cultural trend towards more open, flexible, self-organizing network structures that create their own conditions and reach their own public.

By devising new forms of organization within the freelance dance field, we are responding to and questioning the generally accepted assumptions about closed systems and hierarchical organizations. The new structures, articulated by the open source proposal Network for Choreography & Related Art, minimize bureaucracy, overhead costs, rules and regulations. They maximize creativity, ownership, responsibility and innovation.

What is the Aim?

In this time of drastic change, we see a potential in the artists re-contextualizing themselves and their role in creating a new independent dance ecology. The aim is to give independent dance-related artists a voice in the decision making process, without compromising our artistic freedom. We can seize the moment to redefine the cultural and institutional structures in which we want to function.

March 31, 2011, 11:35 p.m. - Judith Schoneveld

part of this new dance ecology (i do not particulary like the term. It suggests a closed system) should be researching and finding new relations with audiences: who and where are they, what can we offer them, how can we make them know it?

April 1, 2011, 8:47 a.m. - riemer knoop

There's two classical dillemas here: (1) to partake in decision making and yet not make compromises (2) shall the turkey decide what'll be on the menu?

This Network for Choreography & Related Art aims to create collective empowerment out of the fragmented independent dance scene. It does not promise a Utopian modernistic unitary solution. This Network is flexible, self generating and opens new possibilities for collaborative exchange between a large variety of interested parties.

The Proposal

The Network for Choreography & Related Art incorporates a plurality of voices. It celebrates differences and has a strong bridging function between artists, projects, facilities, governmental and private partners. The network encourages a variety of exchanges for mutual benefit.
The proposal is about building a new infrastructure with a diverse set of attributes and parameters that increase the capacity for makers and their production partners for new entrepreneurial initiatives based on mutual interest. Our proposal is about generating financial support, from a variety of sources- national and local government, audiences, producers, stages, the private sector and whomever can be attracted to the exchange potentials.

March 30, 2011, 6:24 p.m. - fransien

stages -> presenters

This is a proposal to the dance community in the broadest sense.

March 31, 2011, 3:06 p.m. - Pauline de Groot

well phrased! to the point that i feel part of the proposal from beginning to end - terrific! I am particularly grateful for this petition to be in a lucid English and that it speaks for the international community of dance artists (at long last!) that we represent. Yet from my own experience of struggling with phrasings in Dutch and the organizations we need to address, I suggest ..... that someone equally intelligent translates the text to Dutch. It may come in very useful. You've probably thought of that and perhaps you are that person? :-)

April 1, 2011, 9:11 a.m. - riemer knoop

Het Netwerk voor Choreographie En Zo is een huis van meerstemmigheid. Zijn kracht zit in diversiteit. Het wil bruggen slaan tussen makers, werk, infrastructuur en overheids- en private partners. Het netwerk wil partijen op zoek laten gaan naar verbindingen waar allen baat hebben. Dit voorstel gaat over een nieuwe infrastructuur met heel diverse onderdelen. Makers en hun productiepartners moeten daarin beter in staat zijn om creatieve ondernemingen op te zetten, gebaseerd op wederzijds belang. Het gaat dan om financiele ondersteuning uit een veelvoud van bronnen: landelijke en locale overheid, publiek, producenten, podia, de particuliere sector en wie verder nog zijn kansen in deze uitwisseling wil pakken.

A New Climate

The Network for Choreography & Related Art’s organizational form is built on the potency of (self-organizing) entrepreneurial artists to network and exchange from their own strategic interests. It has a transformative attitude by nature.

April 3, 2011, 3:52 p.m. - Amos Ben-Tal

Great initiative! all the ideas and the spirit of this "petition" feel right. the current system and management structure need reform to be flexible to adapt to new situations/realities etc. HOWEVER, despite all the good general ideas, the specifics and practicalities are not developed enough (in my opinion not ready to be delivered to the government). From reading this it is not clear to me what The Network itself should be on a practical level. Here are some initial questions the document raises for me: - To call it a Network is one thing, but how does it function in reality. Is it an organization? Is it a committee? How is it structured internally? - Does it have a management or is it completely run by artists (and if so, is that really desirable)? - Can anybody be part of the Network and enjoy what it has to offer (and contribute to it), or are there requirements for entry. if so, who decides? what are the implications either way? - Is The Network a completely new kind of a producing body, or is it only an advisory/lobbying/infrastructure body? - Is the Network intended to help/reform/support/enhance/improve current production models (production houses, companies etc) or is it intended to replace them? - Should the Network itself receive funds directly for maintaining the 'services' it provides (work spaces, personnel, website etc), and if so who decides how these funds and services are divided between the members of the Network? who decides who to hire for certain positions? These are just a few questions. It might be that these points have been discussed already and that I'm missing something, but seeing as this document is the main representative tool for the free-lance dance community, I am personally of the opinion that it needs more detail. Great work so far, lets continue! :)

April 7, 2011, 12:59 a.m. - heleen

I agree on Amos Ben-Tal's comment, it's a great initiative but (according to me) in need of more detail. As you already point out it's merely a beginning of a process in redefining the independent dance 'field' (to keep it an open structure), and yes, maybe you've already discussed/answered the questions that Amos (and others) brought up. If so, i would be very interested in reading more about these details and more practical orientated proposals/ideas/solutions. If not, i think this could be a next step in materialising the Network that you suggest. Curious to hear/read how this develops!

April 16, 2011, 6:17 p.m. - Tal

I agree with the questions being raised by Amos Ben-Tal. Am wondering the same while reading this. "feels good" but need more details.

The artist: The Network model demands a shift in the approach and the function of an independent artist toward more dynamic interrelations. Collectively, the Network for Choreography & Related Art will produce an ecology for research & development, new partnerships, distribution locations and forms for presenting their work. We want to design our own way of reaching interested parties, new stake holders and appropriate audiences for our work.

The relations: The Network’s structure stimulates community building. It connects mutual interests based on less dependence and more balanced relations. It functions by finding and collecting alliances within a large spectrum of partners from governmental to alternative to private. By maintaining close collaborative ties with policy makers and financial partners, the Network will representative body for the communities’ interests.

How: By providing directly linked access between a variety of parties who stand to benefit from the production of dance. The Network facilitates new production and marketing modes, elaborates on existing strategies, and stimulates the distribution of resources through a direct outreach approach toward new audiences and potential stake holders.

March 31, 2011, 5:56 p.m. - Thomas Körtvélyessy

Very interesting!

What do we want to offer practically:

March 31, 2011, 3:09 p.m. - Sonja Augart

A direct dialog between different partners in the field ( makers, programers, producers etc.) Strating a dialog which great content and context for the whole field.

April 11, 2011, 4:06 p.m. - info

Wie is je publiek? Wie zijn de geadresserden? Waarom moet de Nederlandse politiek hier in het Engels bedreven worden? Weird.


an initiative by danslab ». design by ».

Thanks to
IMI, Kunsten '92, Carla Hoekendijk, Thieu Besselink,Toine Minnaert, ICKamsterdam, Chris Keulemans

Writers of the first proposal
Bruno Listopad, Giulia Mureddu, Diane Elshout, Jack Gallagher & Jette Schneider