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INVITATION to the launch of  The Young Dance Network – a global network for exchange & CALL FOR PAPERS for ASSITEJ WORLD CONGRESS DAY
Dance Theatre for Young Audiences (24 May 2017)

ASSITEJ is interested in supporting the multiple languages of dance and physicality, and their potential to cross the narrow linguistic borders that can separate us. We are interested in promoting dance as both a permanent form of cultural expression which embodies particular traditions, histories and contexts, and as a contemporary tool with which people are able to connect with one another from whatever position they may occupy in the world. We are interested to support and to engage in the significant artistic development within contemporary dance for children and young audiences which has blossomed across Europe and in other parts of the world. We feel that even in places where the contemporary dance scene is vibrant, artistic work for young audiences specifically, has not yet received appropriate attention.


The Young Dance Network aspires to create a space for long-term networking and development which in time would provide choreographers, dancers and dramaturges working across the field with a strong platform from which they can work, develop and energize the field of contemporary dance for young audiences. It will hope to develop strong bonds between artists, recruiting new interested parties, finding through exploration of common points of interest, new inspirations and possible collaborative projects and exchanges.

An aim of the network will be to enhance methods for sharing competencies regarding dance for young audiences. The art of dancing is passed on from person to person. Through a process of learning from each other, each person acquires experiences that enable them to develop specific skills and competences. In order to learn more and to share these specificities, environments are needed in which to expose practices and ideas.

By means of organizing short individual or group residencies/meetings at ASSITEJ events (or where possible, within independently set up workshops), the network members aim to provide environments where dance practitioners will have time to reflect and practice side by side. This may also be a space where artists working for adults may learn about dance for young audiences and have the opportunity to explore creating work for these important audiences.

This network will encourage artists to reach beyond their specific geo-political identities and to strive for mutual exchange of experience within creative processes, inspiring each other through exploring similarities and differences. Cultural diversity will be approached as a resource for learning from each other.

It is intended that the network will associate with ASSITEJ as a full member, thus benefitting from the international networking which already exists, and using ASSITEJ events and projects as platforms for exchange. As a network it may independently generate projects and activities, in its own right, as is the case with Small Size (Network for Early Years Theatre), ITYARN and other network members of ASSITEJ.

The official launch of the network will take place on the 24th of May 2017, Cape Town as part of a day focusing on Dance Theatre for Young Audiences. You can contact Gabi dan Droste to express your interest in taking part.

If it will not be possible for you to come to Cape Town, you can still become a member of the network. Please contact Gabi dan Droste to register as a member. At this time, until the network is formally constituted, and the members decide on a constitution and format for the network, membership of the network will be free.

2. CALL FOR PAPERS for Dance Theatre for Young Audiences (24 May)

Aside from the ITYARN Conference, the 19th ASSITEJ World Congress and Festival (Cradle of Creativity) in Cape Town, South Africa also includes focus-days to focus on the central theme of the event: “Cradle of Creativity: Examining intercultural exchange and diversity in theatre for young audiences in Africa and the world”.

This will be explored through seminars, symposia, workshops, screenings, pecha kucha and other events. We invite proposals that are related specifically to the identified focus. Theatre pieces relating to these foci will also be available as part of the broader festival of theatre for young audiences.

The 24th of May is set aside for Dance Theatre for Young Audiences, and those wishing to present papers or workshops related to their work should consider in particular, the following:

Theme 6: Interdisciplinary and integrated arts for children and youth
The spectrum of the creative, performing arts shows that there are no limits to creative intermingling of performance forms. In many parts of the world – including Africa – there are no separate words for theatre, dance and music; all are seen as one telling of a story. There have also been some compelling examples of classical performance forms being reinvented for child audiences. How does this relate to storytelling practices, to theatre for young audiences, music theatre and dance theatre for young audiences? How does this relate to inclusive and immersive theatre practices?


There are also other opportunities within the call for papers which could be related to dance. For the full text, please see:

Deadline for proposals: 15th September 2016