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PETITION FOR THE AUTONOMY OF ZAGREB DANCE CENTER (Zagreb, Croatia)

March 7, 2017

//EN

The Zagreb Dance Center is the only venue in Croatia designed and meant exclusively for contemporary dance. In it dance pieces are created and performed.  It hosts many workshops and residencies by Croatian and foreign choreographers. It is the place where children learn to dance and learn to love dance.  Last year alone it was home to one hundred and fifteen dance programs and it was visited by ten thousand people.

The renovation of Zagreb Dance Center was carefully planned, the Center was equipped and, in October 2009, it was ceremonially opened. The City of Zagreb invested thirty six million kuna from its budget, so it remains unclear why on April 6th 2016 the Mayor of Zagreb made a questionable decision and allocated the premises to the Zagreb Youth Theatre. Is another public investment in Zagreb taken so lightly?

Almost every art form in the City of Zagreb has its own institution. Dance has none.  Why the Mayor made this problematic decision and robbed the contemporary dance scene of its only work space is not clear. Since 2010 until today, projects realized in coproduction with the dance center have been hosted internationally three hundred and twelve times and visited forty different states and five different continents so why is the success of our dance scene not taken seriously?

In this precise moment, when the first generation of the newly founded Zagreb University Dance Studies program is about to graduate (the program educates 12 students of dance and dance pedagogy a year), it is a mystery why the Mayor insists on this controversial decision and thus denies dance artists the possibility of further professional development and work.

The annexation of Zagreb Dance Center to the Zagreb Youth Theatre means the loss of autonomy for contemporary dance. Despite the fact that the city officials claim that nothing will change for dancers, mechanisms that would make sure the original purpose of the space be respected and that would secure its financing are not mentioned anywhere and they are non-existent. There is no mention of the Centre’s future employees or the funding needed to keep the Zagreb Dance Centre programs and activities alive. We wonder whether the city officials think it possible to work under such circumstances. 

It is our opinion that Zagreb Dance Center must remain a venue primarily intended for contemporary dance and that it should be run by experts in the field of contemporary dance. It is the City’s duty to care for public goods and not serve the interests of individuals, commercialization and the privatization of public spaces.

By signing this petition you support our efforts to keep Zagreb Dance Center autonomous. Thank you!

KEEP DANCE AUTONOMOUS!

Sign here: https://www.change.org/p/grad-zagreb-autonomija-plesu-keep-dance-autonomous

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//SH

PETICIJA ZA AUTONOMIJU ZAGREBAČKOG PLESNOG CENTRA

Zagrebački plesni centar je jedini prostorni resurs u Republici Hrvatskoj namijenjen isključivo suvremenom plesu. U njemu se stvaraju i igraju plesne predstave. U njemu se održavaju radionice i istraživački projekti s domaćim i stranim koreografima. U njemu djeca uče plesati i voljeti ples. U njemu je prošle godine održano 115 plesnih programa koje je posjetilo 10.000 ljudi.

Prostor Zagrebačkog plesnog centra je planski obnovljen i opremljen, te svečano otvoren u listopadu 2009. godine. U njega je uloženo 36 milijuna kuna iz javnog proračuna Grada pa ostaje nejasno zašto gradonačelnik Grada Zagreba 6. travnja 2016. donosi odluku kojom prostor Zagrebačkog plesnog centra daje na korištenje Zagrebačkom kazalištu mladih. Zar se još jedna javna investicija u Gradu Zagrebu shvaća tako olako?

Gotovo sve grane umjetnosti imaju svoje ustanove u gradu Zagrebu. Plesna umjetnost svoju nema pa ostaje nejasno zašto gradonačelnik Grada Zagreba spornom odlukom suvremenom plesu oduzima i jedini prostorni resurs za rad. Zar se uspjesi domaće suvremene plesne scene u Gradu Zagrebu shvaćaju tako olako (od 2010. godine do danas kroz infrastrukturu Zagrebačkog plesnog centra ostvareno je 312 međunarodnih gostovanja u 40 različitih država na 5 kontinenata)?

U trenutku kad stasa prva generacija diplomanata novootvorenog sveučilišnog studija za suvremeni ples, s 12 diplomiranih plesača i pedagoga godišnje, ostaje nejasno zašto gradonačelnik Grada Zagreba spornom odlukom plesnim umjetnicima uskraćuje mogućnost za daljnje usavršavanje i profesionalan rad.

Pripajanjem Zagrebačkog plesnog centra Zagrebačkom kazalištu mladih suvremeni ples gubi svoju autonomiju. Unatoč tome što u Gradu tvrde da se ništa neće promijeniti, ne spominju se mehanizmi zaštite niti financiranja kojima će se osigurati nastavak prvobitne namjene prostora. Ne spominju se niti zaposlenici niti programska sredstva potrebna za nastavak rada. Zar Grad misli da je moguće raditi u takvim uvjetima?

Smatramo da Zagrebački plesni centar treba ostati namijenjen prvenstveno suvremenom plesu, da njime trebaju upravljati stručne osobe iz područja suvremenog plesa te da je Grad dužan voditi brigu o javnom dobru ne podilazeći partikularnim interesima, komercijalizaciji i privatizaciji javnog prostora.

Potpisujući ovu peticiju podržavate naše napore da Zagrebački plesni centar zadrži svoju autonomiju. Hvala Vam!

AUTONOMIJA PLESU!

https://www.change.org/p/grad-zagreb-autonomija-plesu-keep-dance-autonomous

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Members of the Dance Association of Croatia gathered at the convocation held on 22 January 2017 have decided with majority of votes to start a symbolic boycott of the Zagreb Dance Centre, that is, to collectively boycott the call for applying for reruns of performances, as well as the boycott of the announced call for residential programs of the Zagreb Dance Centre and are inviting other members of the Association to join them.

Members do not accept the lousy and unprofessional working conditions which the Zagreb Dance Centre is currently offering dance artists and collaborators, and because of, as stated many times before, the non-transparency of the decision-making process that regulated the current management of the space.

The announced boycott will begin on Monday, 30 January 2017 and will last 90 days during which we as artistic and professional community will continue to demand the establishment of an independent institution for dance in public-civil partnership, ask for equal participation of all stakeholders and independent professional bodies in decision-making about the ZPC as a common good and capital resource for our work and insist on improving the general, individual and collective working conditions.

 

Read more (in Croatian only):

http://www.plesnascena.hr/index.php?p=article&id=2010

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Keep Dance Autonomous

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