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Dance

Degree Zero

It was 1999 when dance was introduced into the disciplines of the Venice Biennale under the guidance of President Paolo Baratta. Today Biennale Danza celebrates its 10th anniversary. Carolyn Carlson, Frédéric Flamand, Karole Armitage, Ismael Ivo, all internationally renowned artists, have succeeded one another at the head of the new Section, helping to make Venice and the Biennale a point of reference for dance.
Ten years later, in renewing Ismael Ivo’s appointment as director, President Paolo Baratta and the Board of Directors of the Biennale have felt the need take stock in order to start anew and reflect on the future of dance. The result is an ample and ambitious project summarized in the title Degree Zero.

The Degree Zero project –which will take place over the three-year period 2009, 2010, and 2011 under the direction of Afro-Brazilian choreographer and dancer Ismael Ivo– opens a new chapter for the Dance section of the Venice Biennale.

To speak of dance starting with the foundations of the discipline, its grammar and its principles; to create a place for critical thought and discussion; to bring new ideas into circulation; to respond to the need for renovation: these are just some of the ideas that inspired Degree Zero.

The core of the project is in fact the creation of a national center dedicated to contemporary dance training – the Arsenale della Danza (March 30 > June 30) – which will unite the importance of conveying knowledge through contact with the Masters and the ability to inspire the creative energies of the new generations who will shape the dance of tomorrow. The educational program will be completed by an exchange program with the major institutions and academies also dedicated to contemporary dance training, the Masters' Choreographies for Tomorrow's Performers (June 20 > 28).

The International Contemporary Dance Colloquium (June 26>27) brings together scholars, artists and experts to address some of the vital issues in dance today, to raise questions about its future development.

Just slightly ahead of the Colloquium, on June 25 and 26, at the Teatro delle Tese, the new creation by the Michael Clark Company, from one of the most provocative, brilliant and acclaimed of British choreographers, the author of pure dance to music of the most raucous hard rock, will makes its world debut at the Venice Biennale in the Teatro alle Tese.

The initiatives of the 2009 Biennale Dance are the indispensable premise to the 7th International Festival of Contemporary Dance that will take place in 2010: an event conceived within a process of knowledge, planning and experimentation of which it is the natural outcome.