AREAL | space for choreographic development takes an important step forward by being accepted into the European Dancehouse Network as a full member following a unanimous vote granted by the members of the network during the General Assembly held on the 3rd of June 2021. AREAL thus becomes the first dance structure in Romania to be affiliated to EDN, composed of 47 dance organisations from 28 European countries.

Cosmin Manolescu, initiator and co-founder of AREAL, said that “By being integrated into EDN, AREAL does nothing but follow the European journey we embarked upon in Romania more than 25 years ago. The constant presence of a new generation of Romanian choreographers in different European festivals and spaces over the past twenty years, as well as the projects involving choreographic collaborations that we implemented through the Gabriela Tudor Foundation in partnership with different dance structures from Austria, Cyprus, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, France, Great Britain or Portugal between the 2001-2018 helped shape a solid platform consecrated to the development and the advancement of contemporary dance in Romania. I wholeheartedly hope that the acceptance of the newly created AREAL collective into EDN will help increase the visibility of Romanian dance on the European stage and will offer Romanian artists wider perspectives for development and collaboration.”

In his letter of welcome addressed to AREAL, Laurent Meheust, President of European Dancehouse Network, highlighted AREAL’s “key role as cultural structure in the city as well as in the country,” while also expressing EDN’s appreciation for AREAL’s “expertise and collaboration capacity.” Laurent Meheust is expecting that AREAL contributes, by its inclusion into the European Dancehouse Network, to “securing a sustainable future for the dance sector.”

European Dancehouse Network is a network for trust and cooperation between European dance houses seeking to encourage collaboration and exchange between its various members in view of artistic, socio-cultural, and management skills and experiences. Between 2017-2021, the network is being funded by the European Union through the Creative Europe programme. EDN has recently published its first series of research papers in 2021, titled Dance and well-being, review of evidence and policy perspectives. Focused on solidarity and cohesion in dance, the present edition seeks to explore “how dance organizations have an impact and develop artistic practice increasing individual and relational well-being.”

In 2021, EDN has also become part of an international consortium whose aim is to develop, over a period of 18 months, the European project Perform Europe co-financed by the European Union. The said project seeks to support the dissemination of performing arts productions across Europe. Following an international call, AREAL has been selected to participate in the second round of the programme, following which a series of partnerships will be initiated in order to advance several mutual choreographic and performative distribution projects. The overall budget directed towards financing the development of European partnerships comprises 1.5 million euros, while funding schemes offered to the participants range from 10.000 to 100.000 euros, with the due date for the final selection set for October 2021.

AREAL’s acceptance as a full member of European Dancehouse Network is seen as a great opportunity to take part in the development of the European choreographic sector and thus multiply its international collaboration perspectives.

AREAL | space for choreographic development is a 2020 initative of a collective including Delazero Association, Gabriela Tudor Foundation, Indie Box, Association for Theatre and Books, respectively of artists Alexandra Bălășoiu, Andreea Belu, Denis Bolborea, Simona Dabija, Mariana Gavrinciuc, Smaranda Găbudeanu, Cristina Lilienfeld, Cosmin Manolescu, Camelia Neagoe.

In March 2021, the AREAL space opened in Bucharest on 2 Anastasie Simu St. The space offers direct support to projects initiated by its founders and aims at increasing the cohesion within the choreographic field, to develop and attract new audience categories to contemporary dance. The activity of the AREAL space is coordinated starting from 2021 by an artistic collective composed of choreographers Alexandra Bălășoiu, Cristina Lilienfeld, Cosmin Manolescu și Valentina De Piante. Through its multiple artistic projects and the socially centred programmes of development that it initiates, AREAL seeks to exert a positive impact within the dance world but also within the local communities in which dance can act as fuel for social change on both an individual and collective level.