Migrant Bodies is a two-year research project created through a partnership between The Dance Centre (Vancouver), Circuit-Est centre chorégraphique (Montreal), Comune di Bassano del Grappa (Italy), The Croatian Institute for Movement and Dance (Croatia), and La Briqueterie - Centre de développement chorégraphique du Val-de-Marne (France). Migrant Bodies aims to use artistic and cultural tools to open up a civil reflection on migration in European and Canadian societies.

Each organization will select three artists: a dance artist, a writer, and a filmmaker. The dance artists, under the guidance of renowned Canadian artist Ginelle Chagnon, will travel to each host city to undertake residencies, take part in workshops and develop their research in collaboration with writers, filmmakers and migrant communities. The writers will manage a blog hosted on the project’s website, and filmmakers will make short films inspired by the theme of migrations in relation to each local context. The project will finish in Italy in July 2015 with an international symposium at the Opera Estate Festival Veneto. The Vancouver dance artist is Su-Feh Lee, Co-Artistic Director of battery opera performance (pictured: photo by Yvonne Chew).

The world of today is traversed, physically, by a population almost as big in numbers as a continent: the population of migrants. Migrants due to hunger, war, persecution, or by choice, all of them carry their own territory in their bodies – often their only ‘belonging’ and their core identity. Migration resonates differently and has different impacts in each of the involved cities, influencing the demographic, social, cultural, artistic, economic and political scenes. Migrants are increasingly seen as a core element of our self-perception, and the key to understanding ourselves and others. They contribute to a new sense of multicultural citizenship and transform our sense of belonging. In turn this calls for constructive dialogue on cultural differences, to reinforce social inclusion and fight against discrimination and prejudices, creating a sense of mutual understanding and a space of dialogue and tolerance upon which we build new worlds. Migrant Bodies seeks to create a European/Canadian laboratory, in which mainstream images in relation to migration are examined through the universal language of the arts. The body of the artist is seen as the ideal medium to portray new identities that come to be as a result of migration across territories and continents.

Residencies schedule

July 1 - 10: Bassano del Grappa (Italy)
July 12 - 20: Zagreb (Croatia)
October 6 - 24: Montreal (Quebec)
November 17 - 26: Vancouver (British Colombia)
December 8 - 18: Vitry-sur-Seine (France)

February 9 - 19: Vancouver (British Colombia)
March 11 - 21: Vitry-sur-Seine (France)
June 11 - 14: Zagreb (Croatia), part of 32nd Dance Week Festival
June 29 - July 4: Bassano del Grappa (Italy)

Project partners:

Comune de Bassano del Grappa www.operaestate.it
La Briqueterie – Centre de Dévelopment Chorégraphique du Val-de-Marne www.alabriqueterie.com
Croatian Institute for Movement and Dance www.danceincroatia.com
Circuit-Est Centre Chorégraphique www.circuit-est.qc.ca
The Dance Centre www.thedancecentre.ca

Follow the project on Facebook.

An interview with project participants, published in Canadian magazine The Dance Current:

Supported by the Culture Programme of the European Union.