New European project [DNA] Departures and Arrivals

From October 2014 onwards, PARTS engages in a new long-term collaboration project with 12 partners, supported by the European Commission under its Creative Europe programme.

[DNA]  DEPARTURES AND ARRIVALS is the runner-up to the 4 DEPARTS projects which took place between 2001 and 2014, developing on its strong points and introducing new partners and methodologies. 

[DNA]  DEPARTURES AND ARRIVALS aims to contribute to the development of contemporary dance in Europe, building bridges between artistic education and the professional world. [DNA] starts from the artistic and pedagogical project of PARTS in Brussels, which is not part of the regular education system and has always been international and democratic. [DNA] offers training, research, creation and presentation opportunities to a large group of young European dancers and choreographers, from all regional and social backgrounds.


The main tasks of [DNA]:
1. To study at PARTS must be affordable for any talented youngster, wherever they come from. [DNA] recruits young dancers internationally and sets up a scholarship system for the selected talents.
2. To offer the pedagogical and artistic experience of PARTS to dancers and choreographers who are/have been educated elsewhere. [DNA] sets up a two-year Research Studios program in PARTS that is open to young graduated artists. [DNA] organises an annual Summer School sharing the pedagogical model of PARTS with a large group of young dancers. [DNA] shares its studios during the Summer Studios.
3. To help young artists enter the field of professional work. [DNA] supports alumni of PARTS and other schools, and young choreographers from different parts of Europe where the educational programs are less developed through residencies, coaching, presentation and co-production opportunities in institutions across Europe. It also offers sustained support to a small Focus Group of 7-8 people over a period of 2 to 4 years.

The target groups of [DNA]:
1. Talented young dancers and choreographers from all over Europe who want to follow an advanced artistic education
2. Young professional choreographers coming out of PARTS or other central or peripheral schools who want to start their professional career (Panorama Group)
3. Young choreographers who will received sustainable support over 2-4 years (Focus Group)

The partners in the project are Alkantara (Lisbon, Portugal), Centre de Développement Chorégraphique (Toulouse, France), Hellenic Festival (Athens, Greece), Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin, Germany), Kunstencentrum Vooruit (Gent, Belgium), MDT (Stockholm, Sweden), New Theatre Institute of Latvia (Riga, Latvia), PACT Zollverein Choreographisches Zentrum NRW (Essen, Germany), Spring Utrecht (Utrecht, The Netherlands), Station Service for Contemporary Dance (Belgrade, Serbia), Trafo House of Contemporary Arts (Budapest, Hungary), and Zodiak Center for New Dance (Helsinki, Finland).

The project started in october 2014 ands run until the end of September 2018. The dedicated website documents and promotes the activities.

Contact: Jeroen Bral



DÉPARTS - Practices for an integrated development of European contemporary dance - 2009-2014

Labeled as Success Story by the European Commission

UPDATE November 2015:

The Directorate-General for Education and Culture of the European Commission has selected the project as a ‘Success story’, as a finalised project that has ‘distinguished itself by its impact, contribution to policy-making, innovative results and/or creative approach’, which can be a source of inspiration for others. PARTS and the partners in Départs, most of whom are still collaborating in its successor project [DNA] Departures and Arrivals, are proud of this nomination, and grateful for the support of the European Commission to the professional development of young dance artists.

The DÉPARTS network aimed to invest in the future of European contemporary dance, taking the project of PARTS as its starting point. The name DÉPARTS stands for ‘start’ in the plural. Two starting points are essential to the career of every young artist: having access to high-quality training facilities and getting support to take the step into the professional art world. To reach these objectives, several European partners are collaborating in a network that is funded by the partners and the European Commission (Programme Culture 2000). A first working period ran from September 2001 until February 2004. A second one-year program ran from April 2004 until March 2005.

The 4th program ran from 2009 until 2014. Partners in the network were PARTS (Brussels, Belgium), Alkantara (Lisbon, Portugal), Bimeras (Istanbul, Turkey), CDC Toulouse (Toulouse, France), Forum Dança (Lisbon, Portugal), Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin, Germany),  PACT Zollverein/ Choreographisches Zentrum NRW (Essen, Germany), Springdance (Utrecht, The Netherlands), Trafo (Budapest, Hungary) Zodiak Center for New Dance (Helsinki, Finland) and MDT (Stockholm, Sweden), Kunstencentrum Vooruit (Ghent, Belgium) in association with Kunstencentrum Buda (Kortrijk, BE). Archauz (Arhus, DK) was an active member bewteen 2009 and 2011.

The network was supported by the European Commission, under its Culture programme.

The project was finished in April 2014. Over a period of 5 years, the network supported:

- workshops in 10 cities, in which 400 artists worked with more than 4500 young dancers and choreographers

- coaching projects in 5 cities, providing experienced mentors for 196 young artists

- residency facilities in 12 cities for 330 projects

- 68 preselections and 6 final auditions for PARTS and Forum Dança, with more than 2700 participants

- 700.000 euro in scholarships (1-4 years) for 107 individual students of PARTS, Forum Danàa and CDC/Extensions

- the co-production of 73 new choreographies by 43 artists

- 492 presentations of 143 works by 86 choreographers, for an audiecne of more than 40.000 spectators in 10 countries

- 73 presentations of students of PARTS, CDC, Forum Dança and participants of other workshops

 DÉPARTS has established a triple program:
DÉPARTS #1: Advanced training programs bridging education to professional practices
DÉPARTS creates advanced training and coaching projects for young dancers and choreographers coming from Europe and abroad. The projects connect the participants with active artists as teachers and coaches, and take place outside the regular education systems.
DÉPARTS makes professional dance infrastructure available to young dancers and choreographers who do not have the resources to rent them. The network also provides daily dance training facilities, artistic feedback and a presentation possibility to the selected projects.
DÉPARTS #2: Democratic access to a high-level professional training for talented youngsters
DÉPARTS wants to to remove the international barriers facing talented young European dancers and choreographers who have the talent to participate in the training programs of PARTS and DÉPARTS. In a first phase of the selection process, DÉPARTS goes to the local dance communities to attract candidates.
DÉPARTS sets up a student grant system, removing the financial barriers for talented youngsters to participate in the training programs of PARTS and DÉPARTS.
DÉPARTS #3: Support for young choreographers
DÉPARTS co-produces works of choreographers who have participated in the training projects of PARTS and DÉPARTS, enabling them to develop their work in professional circumstances and establish themselves in the professional field.
DÉPARTS presents the work of young choreographers in professional circumstances, giving them the opportunity to reach wide and international audiences and building working relationships in the professional dance world.
In order to build the bridge between the DÉPARTS training programs and the professional artistic world, DÉPARTS provides presentation facilities for the current participants of the training programs. This will enable the work they create in the frame of the program to go beyond the status of studio presentations.


For more information about the network, visit the website

Contact: Steven De Belder, coordinator of the network