History of CDAS

Since its very beginnings, the Association has been striving for a professionally justified cooperation with the competent Slovenian institutions in the process of adopting decisions regarding the contemporary dance field. It conceives and supports activities for the development of contemporary dance theory and critique, it organises public lectures, panel discussions, workshops and cooperates in various events in Slovenia and abroad. It supports activities for the establishment of suitable educational institutions and other institutional and human infrastructure and facilities for contemporary dance.

Active members of the CDAS have marked the last four decades of developments in Slovenian contemporary dance, more specifically, in production and post-production, the establishment of educational programmes – contemporary dance modules at the level of high-school education (already in place) and higher education (in preparation).

Between 1995 and 2004, when the CDAS was most active, it managed to extend its cooperation abroad, establishing connections with important institutions and networks in the dance field (CaDaCo, DanceWEB, ImpulsTanz, etc.), but afterwards the operation of CDAS stalled until 2010 when a new generation of dance professionals took over its management and relaunched its activity in practically all fields related to contemporary dance (strategic elaboration of cultural policies, networking, education, infrastructure, the status of self-employed dance professionals, advocacy, etc.). The Contemporary Dance Association Slovenia operates inclusively and strives for a dialogue between various generations of dance professionals.

As an equal partner, the CDAS has organised dance workshops by acknowledged foreign and Slovenian professionals in the field of contemporary dance, which were largely funded by the City of Ljubljana and former Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia (the current Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports).

The Contemporary Dance Association Slovenia actively cooperates with NGOs in the field of contemporary dance and performing arts in Slovenia (Dance Theatre Ljubljana, Exodos, Flota, Bunker, En-Knap, Celinka, Fičo balet, Ops!, Maska and others).

The CDAS also cooperated in the conception and foundation of the Centre of Contemporary Dance Arts, which was founded in July 2011 by the Ministry of Culture, and in the same year abolished.

The Association is also an active partner in the production and post-production of events and performances by many of its members, among them: Goran Bogdanovski, Mateja Bučar, Maja Delak, Tina Dobaj, Matjaž Farič, Rosana Hribar, Tina Janežič, Leja Jurišič, Dominika Kacin-Lemajič, Gregor Kamnikar, Mojca Kasjak, Jasna Knez, Neja Kos, Iztok Kovač, Jana Kovač-Valdes, Gregor Luštek, Jana Menger, Nina Meško, Sinja Ožbolt, Petra Pikalo, Daliborka Podboj, Andreja Podrzavnik, Branko Potočan, Marinka Ribič, Tanja Skok, Gordana Stefanovič-Erjavec, Urša Štrukelj, Igor Sviderski, Dušan Teropšič, Uršula Teržan, Nataša Tovirac, Minka Veselič-Kološa.

The CDAS was one of the initiators and co-founders of the Gibanica (Moving Cake) Festival of Slovene Dance; it has been its partner and programme co-organiser since its first edition. Since 2010, it has also been the executive producer of the Gibanica Slovene Contemporary Dance Platform (Gibanica 2011, 2013, 2015), the 2012 Gibanica on Tour festival, which took place in four Slovenian towns (Novo mesto, Koper, Kranj and Nova Gorica), and Dance-Edge-Centre, an event that took place in September 2012 in Ljubljana.

The CDAS is a member of Asociacija, Association of Arts and Culture NGOs and Freelancers, in which it represents its members and prepares and proposes initiatives and solutions for the improvement of the status of contemporary dancers in Slovenia.

In 2012, the CDAS started the Ksenija Hribar Award for special achievements in the field of contemporary dance. The award honours professionals in the field of contemporary dance in Slovenia whose excellence and innovative work importantly contribute to the quality and development of contemporary dance in Slovenia. The award aims to encourage an overall development of the field of contemporary dance (the award is conferred on dancers, choreographers, dance pedagogues, critics, producers, lighting designers and sound designers in the field of contemporary dance), to motivate talented young professionals as well as honour the life’s work of individuals who have marked our space with their artistic, pedagogical or theoretical activity.
The first awards were conferred in February 2013, at the closing ceremony of the 2013 Gibanica Slovene Contemporary Dance Platform.

Contemporary Dance Network Slovenia, was CDAS project involving local and international dance professionals and endeavoring to increase the quality of professional work in the field of contemporary dance. The activities related to the development of NGO’s, were partly funded by the European Union from the European Social Fund. The operation was carried out as part of the Operational Programme for Human Resources Development 2007–2013, the Institutional and Administrative Capacity priority axis. It promotes the development of non-governmental organisations as well as the development of civil and social dialogue. The project took place between January 2012 and May 2014.

The Contemporary Dance Association Slovenia aims at:

  • an all-round development of the area of contemporary dance and the conditions for professional creative activities in Slovenia, which is also the fundamental goal of our project,
  • a clear division between amateur and professional NGOs and the provision of conditions for raising the quality of production,
  • raising awareness, building a tradition of contemporary dance in Slovenia, which our project implements by providing service support to the NGOs in this field.