Since 2015, Cie Neopost Foofwa has been setting up company projects which fuel, over several years, the way in which works are created and produced. First of all, the Utile/Inutile project from 2015 to 2018 featured four creations about the History of Dance in the 19th century. It was performed 30 times all over Switzerland, which enabled 24 young Swiss-trained dancers to be hired for a first long-term contract of 4 to 6 months with a very decent salary to create and tour with each of the shows. Then, in 2018, a second project developed new ways of creating and touring dance pieces: the GLocal project. GLocal revolves around the concept of the here and elsewhere, the local and the global on a planet and within our globalised societies because going elsewhere from our historically colonialist, white, patriarchal and wealthy Europe is no innocuous act. And the conventional way of touring a dance piece, i.e. sending a fact sheet, travelling, presenting a show that is no different whether it is performed in Geneva, New York or Bobo-Dioulasso and then leaving, no longer seems appropriate as we feel this approach is too closely linked to the commodification and patriarchal neo-colonialism of art. Hence, the aim of GLocal for our company is to go towards others with more awareness, more responsibility, more humility too, while developing production relationships and touring strategies focused on meeting, talking, sharing and collaborating. Thus, a “glocal” work of art is no longer designed like a post-industrial object to be reproduced and distributed, left, right and centre. It is designed like a living work that requires the inclusion of local characteristics to be complete and the collaboration of others on site to be carried out fairly and uniquely. Consequently, Neopost Foofwa’s dance pieces within the Glocal project include in their DNA, great adaptability and flexibility, with several options to define during a dialogue with our local production partners.The idea behind GLocal is also to proceed with inclusive circles from Foofwa’s work, with the inclusion of many collaborators and all sorts of audiences.
To embody and acknowledge these ideas, strong yet non-fixed, clear but modifiable artistic projects are consequently required. The Dancewalk, this travelling dance over several kilometres in cities and through landscapes, served as a model for a “glocal” dance piece, since we had started talking and working closely with venues to develop each project since 2017. Since 2018 and the launch of the Glocal project, the Dancewalks have become increasingly thematic and political as well as inclusive and social-minded. Practically, almost every Dancewalk included:
– Particular variations for the local context
– Workshops open to all and the participants’ possible participation in the performances
– Collaboration with local musicians and artists
– The appointment of local dancers alongside Neopost’s
The idea in 2018 was to proceed with the first adaptability and flexibility tests for dance pieces indoors. The show DANSONgS enabled us to test this permeability through 15 shows, in Switzerland and abroad, for an auditorium or any other indoor venue. Since 2019, DANSONgS, a project that was interesting and promising but that required more in-depth work, was cast aside to develop indoor Dancewalks in order to make the most of all the sensory, kinaesthetic, artistic, human, social and political richness of the outdoor Dancewalks within a theatre or an indoor venue, first of all with the dance piece Dancewalk – Retroperspectives, a production that certainly allows for less flexibility, but that is designed “glocally” and that can be adapted and translated when necessary. However, it is mainly Voyage, tried out in India in late 2019 and whose creation will take place in 2021, which will be the worthy heir of all these experiments. Voyage will become the new paradigm for dance pieces for indoor venues that include high porosity with the local context.
By offering hybrid artistic works at the crossroads of production, creation, touring and cultural outreach, as well as creative intercultural dialogues, Glocal challenges our modes of production and distribution. Of course, this new way of creating and touring requires much more temporal, artistic, physical, administrative and financial investment than a repertoire work that tours in a traditional way. However, we believe this investment is necessary in order to consider art within a new, more humane and ethical ecology of production.
Note: An ideal “Glocal” Dancewalk tour lasts several days: It features Dancewalk – Retroperspectives at the start, then the work in progress, Voyage in the middle, and finally the outdoor Dancewalkat the end. The film Dyade, which is also part of the GLocal Project, can be screened at the end of a performance or during meetings with the public. The rest of the time, we work on local adaptation, turning the dialogues we initiated remotely into reality, meeting others and collaborating with local dancers and finally, organising workshops that are open to all.
GLocal Project’s intentions presentation, May 2018