Dancing can change lives.
We have seen it happen.
We have seen the eyes of young dance students lighten up. We have seen their smiles. We have heard their laughs. We have listened to the life stories of dancers. We have met artists and social entrepreneurs, whose purpose is to use dancing as a catalyst to help others shape a brighter future or use as a therapy to heal wounds. We have sat together with Jesper, a war veteran who spoke for the first time about his trauma on stage of a dance production.
Somehow, in our world, what cannot be measured stays unnoticed. Could there be a “21 grams experiment” for dancing, as there was one to hypothesize the physical weight of the soul?
How can we value what dancing can do?
Dancing is everywhere. It takes many different shapes and colours. It is a call to the Gods and a bond between people. It is both new and ancient. Dance has such beneficial effects on the brain that it is used to treat people with Parkinson’s disease. A study conducted by the University of California shows that both observing and practicing dance trigger the same learning-related changes in the brain – this means both dance and watch dance have a positive impact on the brain!
The What Dance Can Do Project was born from the desire to celebrate how powerful dancing can be. We meet dancers, choreographers and social activists all over the world and tell their stories through text and photography. We give a voice to dancers who share their world-view and grow a network of artists who believe in what dancing can do.
We hope to make a difference for organizations that use dance as a leverage for social inclusion and youth development. Dancing can be life-changing for children and young adults. The organizations we aim to support work for the physical, mental and emotional well being of disadvantaged youths. They also encourage, empower, educate and nurture aspiring artists from disadvantaged backgrounds and promote ballet among financially disadvantaged audiences. We identify and select such programs world-wide and support them start, sustain and grow their action. Our first focus was South Africa, where we have formed a great partnership with a Cape Town based organisation.
We are honored to be supported by some of the world’s most famous dancers and choreographers. Listen to the stories of people whose lives were impacted by dancing!
The WDCD Project has two main objectives:
- Support social entrepreneurs : we raise funds for social inclusion dance projects for children and young adults. Our first project is to build a dance studio for the children of a dance program in Gugulethu, a neighborhood of Cape Town. About 80% of our action will be carried by local organizations. We also want to implement our own initiatives, in partnership with institutions like the Necker hospital in Paris.
- Advocate dance as a spark for change and share the stories of dancers, how their lives were impacted by dance and what they hope their art brings to their audience.
The Project intends to show how dance is being used as an agent of change to heal, to lift up, to bridge gaps, and to give means of expression and a voice to those who might not otherwise have one.
The What Dance Can Do Project is…
- A philanthropic and artistic start up : we hope to trigger the interest and generosity of partners to fund our first projects. First initiative supported : build a dance studio in the township of Gugulethu (South Africa) for the young students of the iKapa dance program. Longer term, we want to help organizations that use dance as a leverage for social inclusion and youth development. Dancing can be life-changing for children and young adults. The organizations we aim to support work for the physical, mental and emotional well being of disadvantaged youths. They also encourage, empower, educate and nurture aspiring artists from disadvantaged backgrounds and promote ballet among financially disadvantaged audiences. We will identify and select such programs world-wide and support them start, sustain and grow their action.
- A book (to be published in 2019);
- A production on “what dance can do” in partnership with the Royal Danish Ballet: panel discussion, photo projection and dance performances – (Royal Danish Theater, Copenhagen, 19/05 and 05/06/2018);
- An exhibition in collaboration with the Royal Danish Theater and Magasin du Nord with a focus on the Royal Danish Ballet Company (Copenhagen, from 12/05/2018 to 09/06/2018);
- We are preparing for further events in Europe.