Dancing from Burnout towards Equity Conference, part of the larger D.A.N.CE ™ event and Power Station of Timișoara European Capital of Culture in 2023, jointly co-organised by AREAL, Culture of Projects Timișoara and European Dancehouse Network, is a hybrid-quest networking marathon event in which  artists, producers and cultural experts from Romania and several European countries are invited to join us, to share stories and experiences, ask questions or simply think about how we can make the dance environment more sustainable.

“Mental health, well-being, burnout and equity are very important subjects for the European contemporary dance scene, especially after the pandemic time and the recent war in Ukraine. For us, they will be triggers for larger conversations about how we envision the future and how we can imagine new models of collaboration and exchange, able to improve our dance ecosystem. We invite you to a lively reflection on our specific ways of inhabiting our body, creating and entering into dialogue. Beyond time and space, beyond the everyday fight for survival, there is a space of infinity, where borders are meaningless, struggles for power transform into smiles and contradictions cooperate. We will hold space for us to experience different perspectives, embodied practices and tools for working towards a better and (more) sustainable dance environment. 

We invited several producers and artists – Rarita Zbranca from Cluj-Napoca (who worked directly for the Culture for Health Report  – the last document with culture’s contribution to health and well-being for Europe), Paulina Maloy from Wroclaw (a practitioner who likes to spend time between developing new formats of residencies and gardening), Laurent Meheust  (the current co-president of EDN who will share with us connections between the EDNext project and the topics of the conference), Andreea Novac, Irina Marinescu and Alina Ușurelu (a collective of female artists who developed last year a research project about burnout), choreographer Simone Sandroni (who left after 7 years an established German dance company to freelance again), Paula Dunker (a physical queer activist, actress and singer), Ema Alexandrescu (a specialist in therapeutic photography interested in the relation between movement and inner stories) and our colleague Valentina de Piante (for which dance is a powerful cognitive, social and political tool), to be our guides in this exploration. 

We also invited several recent dance productions – the Lucky Dust collaboration project between Vera Mantero, Mădălina Dan and Ștefania Ferchedău, where history becomes movement, A matter of time,  the very recent premiere of Timișoara’s emerging choreographer Alexandra Gîrbea or BLOT – Body Line of Thought, the joint collaboration between Romanian dance maker Simona Deaconescu and Vanessa Goodman from Canada in a special performance about bacterias, just to name some of the highlights.  

We hope that you’ll have plenty of opportunities for networking and discovering the rich and dense cultural programme offered by the city of light – Timișoara, the European Capital of Culture in 2023. We thank you all for coming to Timișoara for our conference to celebrate and together think and re-imagine the future of dance! 

(Alexandra Bălășoiu & Cosmin Manolescu, curators of Dancing from Burnout towards Equity Conference)

The European Capital of Culture is a continuous process, giving us a new set of reasons to showcase collaborations between European and local artists or performers. The cultural year is marked by festive events and peaks of celebration. Through the innovative cultural program prepared for the year 2023, the transformative journey is mapped around three main territories: People – the essence of the community, from their daily habits and forgotten dreams, to their collective joys and challenges; Places – Reclaiming people’s right to the city, engaging residents in more balanced and just urban development; Connections – People of Timișoara, Romania and Europe – all together and allowing the city to share and evolve. 

At the core of this programming architecture stands The Power Station platform, which  becomes a central point for the capacity building of the local ecosystem, acting as the main drive for the development of the cultural programme and a legacy structure of the European Capital of Culture. Partnering with the European Dancehouse Network and AREAL on this important topic of how culture is an integral part in our well-being and health, contributes to the efforts of the awareness raising and continuous dialogue on this topic, anchoring the debate in the local context of the city of Timișoara and bringing in international and national experts’ views. 

(Raluca Iacob, Power Station Coordinator) 

If you want to participate to the conference please register here.



09.30  |  Burning through desire – artist trip with Alexandra Balășoiu

check in and departure from Hotel Perla | address: 9, Protop George Dragomir street

Alexandra Bălășoiu proposes an experiential journey, accompanied by her artistic practices and performative fragments from her solo creations. We look, we discuss, we ask, we try. We listen to what is already there, we discover what arises, and we illuminate our present. We question the boundaries, differentiation and labeling of the individual in the system.

between me and the other there is an infinite space that I forget to inhabit with non-action. 

i – you – he – she – we – you – they. we may all  be equally irrelevant and extremely important. by delving honestly into the depths of our own being, we become capable of validating the depth of the eye that looks at us.

Corneliu Mikloși Public Transport Museum

11.00 |  Conference – Dancing from Burnout towards Well-being (I) 

Introduced and moderated by Cosmin Manolescu, AREAL (RO)

Art & well-being 

by Rarița Zbranca, Cluj Cultural Center (RO) 

Rarița Zbranca has extensive experience in arts management, curating, cultural research and advocacy. She is the Programme Director of the Cluj Cultural Centre, where she initiated, among others, the Inner Space programme, an international cross-sector initiative on arts and well-being, including an annual conference, pilot interventions, research projects and policy proposals on the topics of art, health and well-being. She contributed to the CultureForHealth report and coordinated the development of the cultural strategy of the city of Cluj (2006-2012, 2013-2020, 2020-2030). She is a co-founder of the AltArt Foundation, an organization dedicated to experimental approaches in art, technology and society and a co-founder of the Paintbrush Factory/Fabrica de Pensule, a collective space for contemporary arts operating in Cluj between 2008 and 2020.

Burn out? How responsible are cultural organizations and what can we do in our daily work? 

by Paulina Maloy, Wroclaw Institute of Culture (PL)

Paulina Maloy – graduated from international relations at Nicolas Copernicus University in Torun (PL). After studies lived and worked for international organizations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, later in Berlin. Since 2008 was a program director at Edith Stein House in Wrocław – Center for Intercultural Dialogue; since 2015 involved in preparation and implementation of European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016. She coordinated international projects for artists and cultural operators, mainly mobility grants and AIR WRO residency program (initiated 2014). Since 2022 AIR WRO has been a partner of Magic Carpets European Platform. She likes gardens, gardening and train journeys.

Why, how and when burnout arrives in our dance field

by Laurent Meheust, Le Gymnase (FR) 

A philosopher by training, Laurent Meheust got involved very early in the world of culture and specialized in supporting artists for the theater and contemporary music at first, before devoting himself fully to dance. In 2008, he took part in the project of KLAP Maison pour la danse (Marseille / France), working to establish its status in local, national and international professional networks; He developed the artistic residencies and the programme of the annual festivals. He joined the Board of directors of EDN / European Dancehouse Network in 2018, was the President in charge between 2019 and 2022, and became Co-President in 2022. The same year he was appointed director of Le Gymnase CDCN (Roubaix / France), and developed an international project connecting to the residencies program and the 2 annual festivals – Forever Young and Le Grand Bain – in different cities and theaters in les Hauts-de-France.

12.00 Coffee break 

12:30 – 13.30 | Several points of view, some laughter and then rest 

workshop & discussion about burnout in dance with performative actions 

led by Andreea NovacAlina Ușurelu, Irina Marinescu, Developing Art Association (RO) 

2022 marked the year when the three artists from Developing Art decided they wanted to do an artistic research on a thing that seemed to never really go away: burnout. Alina Ușurelu, Irina Marinescu și Andreea Novac each did a specific research, the findings of which they will share with you on this occasion. The three artists will guide you through a mix of theoretical and performing techniques that make use of dialogue, physicality and effort, energy and humor. The highlights of this experience stem from personal experiences and collective reflections.

14.00 – 15.00 Lunch provided by the conference 

15.00 – 16.00 | Moving Inner Stories

photo-movement workshop experience by Ema Alexandrescu & LUMENESC (RO)

Moving Inner Stories is an interweaving of creative therapeutic practices (conscious movement and photography), designed to guide us in a deep understanding of the inner mosaic we contain and how it shapes the reality we experience. We take a journey through movement, presence and feeling to explore the complexities of our stories. By building a bridge of communication between the seen and unseen worlds, we discover gentle and conscious movements that support self-knowledge without self-judgment. 

16.00 – 17.00 |  Check out – final discussion and reflection on dance, burnout and well-being



20.00 | Lucky Dust 

by Vera ManteroMădălina DanȘtefania Ferchedău

coproduction The Institute of the Present & O Rumo do Fumo 
event including live performance and film, approx. 90’

We can only observe the past. In each and every moment the present we are inhabiting becomes the past for somebody else. How is history becoming movement, how is a theme or an interest becoming movement, what can be uttered through movement and what procedures to use are the issues at the core of the “Lucky Dust” piece.“Lucky Dust” is triggered by a selection of writings and performances of the Portuguese choreographer Vera Mantero, dating mainly from the late 1980s and the 1990s, together with recent texts written during the working process in 2022 and 2023. 

Based on an idea, practices, and writings by: Vera Mantero / Concept & direction: Ștefania Ferchedău / Choreography & performance: Mădălina Dan and Vera Mantero / Set design elements: Andrei Dinu / Producer: The Institute of the Present / Co-producer: O Rumo do Fumo / Funders: The project is part of the national cultural programme “Timișoara—European Capital of Culture in the year 2023” and is funded by the City of Timișoara through the Center for Projects. Cultural project co-funded by the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. 

Corneliu Mikloși Public Transport Museum

22.00 | Connecting Pleasures, 55’

Connecting Pleasures began as a subjective investigation of pleasure-as perceived by each individual. Interviewing different people, I collected ideas that I juggled throughout the process, rather letting the bodies take in and process the information. The performance is a personal viewpoint of the performers and should be assimilated as such.

with: Oana Antonovici, Elizabeth Cron, Raul Lăzărescu, Beatrice Tudor 

music: Ovidiu Zimcea

video: Cristian Văduva

costume: Maria Dombrov 

performance by Unfold Motion Timișoara

cultural project co-funded by the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. 



10.00 |  Waves of potentiality – Check in & warm up with Valentina De Piante (RO/IT)

Valentina de Piante is an adaptive trainer, as Barba would say, somebody in between the Orient and Occident, a person who studies the body through different technologies alongside with the mind and whom observes which effects produces this process on creativity, language, intuitions, new forms of thinking and art. In her warm-up Valentina proposes to create wellness. Through the Feldenkrais method she loves to guide  people to expand the potential of the mind by paying attention to their bodies and to become fearless. She believes that learning develops through quantum leap, exactly as the children learn. She loves to generate a sense of power and freedom working with sounds, with the tongue and then speaking about the experience 48 hours later.

11.00 | Dancing from Burnout towards Equity (II) – conversation about equity in the european dance scene moderated by Alexandra Bălășoiu 

Quantum mind 

by Valentina De Piante, choreographer & co-director, AREAL

Valentina De Piante’s latest research dimensions are the link between neuroscience and corporeality and the connection between imaginative methods and performance. Through shows, workshops, interdisciplinary projects in schools and embodied lectures, she explores the field. All her projects are part of an ample discourse about consciousness, seen through manifold fields. Her Ph.D. thesis, S.O.M.A and artistic creations, aims to achieve the redefinition of cognition, creativity and human potential, especially by drawing attention towards the moving body and its connection to the corporal, familial and public space. To further amplify her research activity, she also hosts conferences that bring guests from all types of backgrounds, calling into question the body-education and the art-science-performative language connection.  In 2016 she was selected to be one of the [8:tension] choreographers. In 2020 she received the CNDB prize as an independent artist. In  2021 she published her first book: Body of Knowledge. She is a lecturer and professor at the National University of Theatre and Film I.L.Caragiale, in Bucharest, practitioner of the Feldenkrais method®.  (RO/IT)

Art as a solution. From centrifugal to centripetal 

by Simone Sandroni, choreographer (DE)

Born in Italy he was a founding member of the Ultima Vez group in Brussels in 1987 and worked with Wim Vandekeybus’ company until the end of 1992 before founding his own group, Ernesto, in Brussels in 1993, and choreographing his first works.  Three years later he called the Déjà Donné company to life in Prague, with whom he enjoyed international success – their productions were seen in more than 30 countries winning awards including »Best Production« at the Na Hranici Festival, Best Dance Mise-en-scene of the Year Award in Prague and the Total Theatre Award in Edinburgh. In 2007 he started working regularly with the Bayerische Staatsballett and Bayerische Youth Ballet in Munich. From 2015 till 2022 was the head of the dance department at the Stadttheater Bielefeld in Germany. 

This is a lot, but there’s more & more is more 

artistic intervention by Paula Dunker, physical queer activist, actress, writer (RO)

Paul Paula Dunker promises that her (artistic) work is based on the analysis of the systems of representation, production and creation. She mostly works with the body. Romanian contemporary dance’s daughter, sister of the local political theater, mother in the Bucharest queer clubbing scene, she is (together with Alex Bălă) the initiator of the techno-faggothique music genre. Confronting existing patterns, she helps build up possible new worlds and heal this one.

Corneliu Mikloși Public Transport Museum

12.00 – 18.00  | Agency of Touch 

one to one tactile choreography by Mădălina Dan – 40’ each session

The Agency of Touch – one on one tactile choreography is a social intervention based on touch, bodily/ sensorial awareness and connectivity as a vehicle for communication and research within different social, cultural, economic, medical contexts.  The work consists in one – on – one tactile sessions happening on the body of the receiver.  “The Agency of Touch” is a sensorial/tactile work. In this approach the participant becomes the spectator of their own sensations. 

As a procedure, the participant is invited in a quiet and intimate space, in the decor of the Agency of Touch – a scenography created especially for the work, in a pleasant atmosphere, lies down on a massage table and keeps the eyes closed during the session. Touching is done with the hands and is accompanied by a sound background. The work then proposes a path of conscious integration, in which, after the tactile experience, the participant does an exercise of remembering and transposing the touch into drawing, color, shape, words and verbal guidance. All the drawings and maps are then collected one by one on a wall in the space where the installation takes place. A reflective notebook is also available for participants to write down impressions and thoughts. 

This long-term research aims to be materialized and framed as a symbolic Agency, the Agency of Touch, a space that will run as a public agency and/or will be temporarily installed in different institutions, social centers that are already providing social services (migration centers, integration and refugee centers, old people’s homes etc, working environments). The Agency stands for its soft, sensorial, sensible implicit politics. This practice brings empowerment to a non-sexualized, non-fetishized female touch precisely from its feminine representational place.

Available only by registration, only 8 slots available

12.30 – 13.00 | Check out and final discussion about equity 

moderated by Alexandra Bălășoiu and Cosmin Manolescu

13.00 – 14.00  Lunch provided by the conference at Miklosi Museum

14.00  | EDN Encounter (only for EDN Encounters and Romanian artists and producers)

Networking and informal exchange with representatives of dance development organizations

EDN Encounter is a visitors programme for representatives of dance development organizations to meet, share and network, embracing a model of intercultural dialogue and collaboration beyond EDN membership. In this session, EDN invites all representatives of dance development organizations to get to know EDN and some of its members better and to have casual space and time to network and exchange.

16.00 – 17.30 | Equity in the Romanian dance scene 

Romanian dance networking event co-organised with the National Dance Center in Bucharest

only for Romanian participants, Romanian language

How can we make sense of a discussion about equity in contemporary dance in Romania, a country where the field is struggling for survival, where most artists have the dual role of creator – producer, and spaces dedicated to contemporary dance are mainly supported by the constant efforts of the artists?

What are the actions that we can take at the national community level to create effective systems of support, practice sharing and cross-promotion? What can we learn from international organizations and their operating systems, through a gaze that looks beyond the major incongruities between their position in national systems radically different in terms of development compared to those in Romania? How can we professionally place ourselves in an organic network that supports the individuals and organizations that build up the ecosystem of this artistic sector?

How can we move beyond competition and organic alliances, into a uniform and integrative logic of cooperation that can give a boost to the contemporary dance scene beyond the limit of survival and beyond the threshold of invisibility in mainstream environments? How can we translate to a national level the initiatives of education and cultural intervention, which we carry out punctually as organizations, within the various initiated projects that address vulnerable groups, disadvantaged areas, hospitals, schools, etc.?

These are the key questions proposed by Alexandra Bălășoiu which, along with the recent experiences of the National Dance Center of Bucharest in their attempts to coagulate the contemporary dance sector, will guide a collaborative experiential format of meeting and dialogue between artists, producers and professionals active in the Romanian contemporary dance scene.



18:30  |  A Matter of Time

multimedia performance by Alexandra Gîrbea & Uțu Pascu

𝐀 𝐌𝐀𝐓𝐓𝐄𝐑 𝐎𝐅 𝐓𝐈𝐌𝐄 is a performance about the encounter between matter and time, through music and dance, aiming to explore various notions of time through an experimental approach of generative and tactile music. Created live, in the presence of the audience, and through partially improvised compositions, the music will be translated into visuals through video projections.

Synchronisations, dynamics, tempo, rhythm, meter, cadence, accents, deceleration, acceleration, dilution, vibration, resonance, echo, repetition, distortion, tranquility, suspension – these are all common terms in music and dance that evoke thoughts of temporality and perception. Based on these concepts, the show challenges you to question How music and dance modify the perception of the space we occupy. What is the time of the other? What is the time of our bodies?  –

music: Uțu Pascu 

dance: Alexandra Gîrbea 

lights: Cristian Popescu

The show is brought in Timisoara at the initiative of choreographer Alexandra Gîrbea and is part of 𝐂𝐀𝐃𝐑𝐄 &𝐅𝐎𝐑𝐌𝐄 – a complex dance program developed by Noi Re-Creăm and Unfold Motion associations, included in the Cultural Programme Timisoara – “European Capital of Culture” (Timisoara 2023) and funded by the Municipality of Timișoara through the Timișoara Project Centre.

Corneliu Miklosi Public Transport Museum

20:30 |  Sculpting Space

by Oana Mureșan & OM Choreographic Studio Cluj-Napoca 

I sought a synthesis between the arts of stillness and the arts of movement. We wanted to see her acting in the dancer’s body, the only one capable of uniting sculpture and rhythm. I also looked for an exercise in modeling and traversing space, shapes drawn by body movements and immobility as an act. Starting from these thoughts, the performance “Sculpting Space” was born, which poses the problem of the relationship between the body, matter, the space in which it takes place, and the audience; each of these components having a well-defined role in understanding the entire act. 

What does the public leave behind after visiting a space? What endures after a performer’s act? What kind of thoughts, emotions, movements are preserved?

concept and choreography Oana Mureșan

performers Varga Hunor-József, Oana Mureșan

scenography Gábor Zsófi

muzica Domokos Előd

curator Georgia Țidorescu

produced by OM Studio Choreographic Cluj Napoca 

co-financed by The Administration of the National Cultural Fund Romania 

22.00 |  BLOT – Body Line of Thought 

by Simona Deaconescu and Vanessa Goodman

42 minutes

BLOT explores movement in relation to the bacteria in our body. The show presents the body as an interconnected system, strong and fragile at the same time. Designed as a hybrid performance, a mix of conference and choreographic show, BLOT talks about similarities between humans and other animals, such as perspiration, smell, reproduction, physical exercise, and immunity. From micro to macro, the performance addresses how bacteria influence these processes and connect us with the planet.

concept and choreography: Simona Deaconescu, Vanessa Goodman

performers: Simona Dabija, Maria Luiza Dimulescu

artistic consultants Olivia Nițiș, Marta de Menezes

music Monocube

object design Ciprian Ciuclea, Paula Viitanen, Juan Carlos Aldazosa Bazua 

light design Marius Costache, Alexandros Raptis, James Proudfoot

assistant choreographer Georgeta Corca 

production Laura Trocan, Andreea Andrei

graphic design PRETTY/UGLY DESIGN

produced by TANGAJ COLLECTIVE, ACTION AT A DISTANCE, The National Center for Dance Bucharest | co-financed by THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE NATIONAL CULTURAL FUND ROMANIA, CANADA COUNCIL FOR THE ART | supported by Cultivamos Cultura, in the frame of Biofriction | presented by Left of Main, Plastic Orchid Factory 

23.00 | Closing party D.A.N.C.E TM with Kablat (music) & Andrei Cozlac (video) 

Dancing from Burnout towards Equity Conference is co-organised by AREAL | space for choreographic development and Centre for Projects Timișoara, in partnership with European Dancehouse Network, co-funded by the European Union,  part of a larger platform of performances, films, conferences and networking D.A.N.C.E™.

D.A.N.C.E™ | Dance.Artists.Network.Conference.Encounter is part of the program “Power Station” and is co-organised in the frame of the Programme “Timișoara – European Capital of Culture in 2023”, a project co-funded by the Municipality of Timișoara through the Center of Projects. 

D.A.N.C.E™ is a project co-funded by the Adminstration of the National Cultural Fund. Cultural project co-funded by the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. The project does not necessarily represent the standpoint of the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. AFCN cannot be held liable for the content of the project or the manner in which the outcomes of the project may be used. These shall devolve entirely on the beneficiary of the financing.