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Join the action ‘Countdown’ for a more socially responsible dance centre (Zagreb, Croatia)

May 8, 2017

Long-term attempts of the Zagreb dance scene to organise a public dance centre which would be managed transparently and responsibly once again became relevant a year ago. That was the moment when Milan Bandić, the mayor of Zagreb, put the Zagreb Dance Centre under the management of the Zagreb Youth Theatre “behind the closed doors”, based on political eligibility. With this decision, the city government privatised the only spatial and production resource for dance in Zagreb for the second time (the first time being in 2009), this time allegedly because of expense rationalisation.

Owing to this decision, today the management, staffing, programming and financing of dance in the Zagreb Dance Centre is carried out by a single person – the director of the Zagreb Youth Theatre – who runs both functions based on Mayor’s politics.

This politics favours corruption, clientelism and nepotism instead of transparent and responsible division of public resources. Unfortunately, the Zagreb Dance Centre is one of many examples of how the public resources in Zagreb are used to employ the politically eligible instead of using those resources for wider social interests based on the principle of equal opportunities.

It is our artistic and civic duty to point at socially irresponsible processes of managing public goods. In other words, it is our right and duty to defend the field of dance and artistic labour from this kind of politics by advocating different and more righteous relationships and means of governance. The more we keep silent, close our eyes and censor ourselves before this harmful policy, the more we destroy the future of dance, this city and this country.

That is why we have decided to organise the action Countdown before the upcoming local elections. With this action we wish to point to failures in the city governance once more, and at the same time continue to advocate the autonomy of dance by establishing a public dance institution which will be governed in a transparent and socially responsible way.

The action Countdown will begin with Tjelovanje (eng. Bodying), a 24-hour long protest action in St. Mark’s Square and continue with a workshop for the dance community and everybody interested, while for the final event we will have a round table focusing on the topics of the Zagreb Dance Centre and managing public spaces in the city.

We invite yout to join us and actively participate in all these events.

The dance community and citizens boycotting the Zagreb Dance Centre




02/05/2017 @ 10AM – 03/05/2017 @ 10h St. Mark’s Square

Tjelovanje, 24-hour long action

You think you’re not a dancer? Don’t worry, everybody is welcome and everybody’s dance is equally important!

+++ directions +++

We invite all dancers and those who wish to participate in any way to sign up in the calendar. Signing up for shifts (the time you can spend on the square) enables us to have an overview of the 24-hour rotation, or rather, the attempt to perform a 24-hour long, uninterrupted protest dance at the St. Mark’s Square.

One day before the action takes place we will define the exact rotation (the proposal is to be in the rotation for 60 minutes). You can perform the rotation alone, in pair or in a group, or you can join someone spontaneously. Count on the possibility of others joining you too. Also, keep in mind that you can sign up to be on duty for those who are performing. This means you are keeping an eye on those who are performing  and you are ready to react in case reporters or the police show up. If you wish to document the action, please bring your own devices.

Before the action begins, we will address the reporters with a press release. In case the reporters ask for a statement during the action, those on duty will repeat the same press release.

09/05/2017 @ 5PM-8PM Ilica 10, courtyard of the Zagreb Dance Centre

What kind of dance centre do we want?

A workshop for the dance community and everybody interested.

11/05/2017 @ 11AM Tuškanac 1, Cinema Tuškanac

Round table with candidates for the mayor’s office and their representatives, moderated by Nataša Govedić and Zdravko Popović.


Press about the events (in Serbo-Croatian)

Prosvjedni ples ili plesni prosvjed na Markovom trgu:
24 sata plesa za javni plesni centar

Ništa bez repertoara: Umjetnost kazališta počinje od autorskog, a ne komercijalnog programa

Plesom protiv neodgovornog upravljanja javnim gradskim resursima

‘Oni koji danas upravljaju plesnim centrom ne odgovaraju nikome osim politici’

Za društveno odgovorniji centar

Počeo 24-satni prosvjed plesnih umjetnika na Gornjem gradu

Protestna akcija „Tjelovanje”

GORNJI GRAD Počeo 24-satni prosvjed plesnih umjetnika

Plesni prosvjed ispred Gradske skupštine

Tjelovanje – akcija za Zagrebački plesni centar

RTL Vijesti

Tjelovanje: Protiv neodgovornog upravljanja javnim gradskim resursima

Sustavno zanemarivanje plesa



HTV Vijesti iz kulture (2./3.5.) – snimka na linku

HTV1, Hrvatska uživo (2.5.) – snimka na linku

RTL vijesti (2.5.) – snimka na linku

Z1 televizija, Vijesti (5.5.) – snimka na linku (gledati od 3:57)

Jabuka TV, Serbus Zagreb (2.5.) – snimka na linku



Hrvatski radio 3, Na kraju tjedna s Anom Kreitmeyer, ZPC tema od 0:26:50, ali poslušajte sve, lijep je razgovor

Antena Zagreb, Antena 60 minuta (2.5.) – snimka na linku

Antena Zagreb, Zagrebačke vijesti (2.5.) – snimka na linku

Radio Sljeme, Zagrebački dnevnik (2.5.) – snimka na linku

Hrvatski radio, Dnevne novosti (2.5.) – snimka na linku

Prvi radio, Zg vijesti (2.5.) – snimka na linku

Enter Zagreb, Vijesti (2.5.) – snimka na linku

Radio Martin, Zagrebačke vijesti (2.5.) – snimka na linku

Radio Yammat, Selo moje mało (3.5.) – snimka na linku

Hrvatski radio 1, Katapultura (5.5.) – snimka na link


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  1. Autonomija plesu – UPUH


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