– Many who work with dance feel quite lonely and therefore we need to meet to gather inspiration and exchange experiences. The Institute of Dance in School has, in close collaboration with Luleå University of Technology, organized the biennial six times and it consolidates the university's role as the leading university in dance and learning, says Cecilia Björklund Dahlgren, Professor of Dance Education at the University and Head of Operations at the Institute of Dance at the School.
North leads the way
Cecilia Björklund Dahlgren is pleased that it is the northern part of the country that has taken the leadership of the work for more dance at school.
– It is extremely fun that it is not only the big cities that are showing the way, but it is Norrbotten and Västerbotten who have the overall knowledge and experience in the area. We have seen a breakthrough for dance in school also in the rest of Sweden, but we are the pioneers. The hope is now that the government will give us an even bigger mission and that we will become a national platform for dance in school.
Everybody can dance
During the three days of the conference, teachers, researchers, cultural creators, and municipalities and businesses from all over the country gathered. The biennial was organized for the sixth time and is organized by the Institute Dance in school in collaboration with Luleå University of Technology, Piteå Municipality and Skellefteå Municipality. The biennial also receives support from the National Cultural Council and Sparbanken Nord.
The program included everything from workshops and seminars to dance performances. One of the highlights was the dance performance "a meeting in dance" where indigenous peoples, new arrivals and majority society met in dance.
– In the performance, width and elite meet, and that is exactly what the message is. We need each other to strengthen the art and show the desire to dance. Our basic philosophy is that everyone can dance, everyone has dance inside of them, says Cecilia Björklund Dahlgren.
Taking steps forward
A new feature of this year's biennal was a Nordic research conference on dance organized on the third and last day in Piteå.
– As the dance has been so sparsely researched, it's almost impossible to organize a research conference without inviting our Nordic neighbors. Now researchers from all over the Nordic countries participated, and I feel that we are taking steps forward to develop the area, says Cecilia Björklund Dahlgren.