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Dance, a regional center at the Mediterranean Theater

The proposal

Mezzogiorno , 21 May 2020 – 17: 35

The choreographer Gennaro Cimmino, patron of Körper: the new subject should host a school and a company from Campania whose artistic director would have a three-year mandate

by Gennaro Cimmino

The next year the Körper Choreographic Center will turn 20 years and have passed away quickly these years. My return to Naples after a very long period of absence from the city for work reasons was above all to get back in touch with dance, my greatest passion, among all the artistic disciplines that I studied as a boy.

In the early months Naples represented for me the re-discovery of a new territory, what was left of the artistic reality of the years 80 that I knew? What were the dance companies and schools in the city and region? How far had professional dance training come since I left it?

My return to Naples was not a gradual approach, having found space with a friend, I moved in a couple of months. The investigation into the area began groping, in an artistic city environment that I had not known and had not frequented for years, but having restored and opened a new location, contacts began to arrive. There were about thirty historical dance schools distributed, both in the various districts of the city and in the province, which continued their activity with professionalism and dedication, very often churning out young professionals of a good level who mostly went to fill the ranks of great dance companies throughout Italy and worldwide. We at Körper began to invite international masters who came from all over the world for professional training stages, bringing new knowledge and new methods and techniques, so we began to produce our first shows, promoting above all the young choreographers of the Campania region. Within our center, the dance company and the school were born almost simultaneously. I began to find artist friends and to attend the amainstream »of the theater and dance of the city and gradually with our artistic choices and with the recognition of Mibact, we have become today, the largest contemporary dance company in the Campania Region, with shows that run theaters throughout Italy and various tours abroad.

When I arrived in Naples, there were only two dance bodies recognized by the ministry, one for promotion and one for production, but like us, other centers and companies began to take root in the regional territory and then they too were recognized from Mibact. Currently, given the great growth in the last few years of the dance sector of the Campania Region, there are five bodies and two dance shows recognized by Mibact.

In recent years 15 years, however, dance schools have multiplied. Since there is no directive regulating its openings, it almost seems to have become a social safety net for boys and girls who graduate from dance schools and do not immediately find a job. With eighteen-year-old young people who, having just completed the training of a dancer / dancer, having no other job outlet, helped by families open a school to solve their work needs in this way. As if professional training for the teaching of dance had never existed and therefore could be the prerogative of anyone, as if everyone could take on the responsibility of teaching very young students. When I was a boy it was used to go to internship with a good teacher or teacher and it took at least three years only for classical technique and the internship included the study of many subjects including: history of dance, repertoire, anatomy, etc. etc. After the diploma, mainly two professional addresses should open, among others: the career of a dancer / dancer or that of a teacher and make a minimum of 2/3 years of improvement before starting the real profession, which is not learned in 4/5 weekend. Instead, for many years now there has been an impetuous development, with hundreds of new dance schools that are born year after year throughout the Campania Region. Even in unhealthy and well-dressed environments. Premises that no ASL could have ever given permission to open, with micro changing rooms where dozens of students are piled up, not to mention the school rooms with marble floors or tiles covered with low quality linoleum.

There is a need in this moment of seriousness, professionalism and solidarity among us in the dance sector. All together, then, we should take on the responsibility of contracting the teachers by paying them the fees and contributions due, giving them working dignity because they are our colleagues, some only a little younger. We should all expect from the masters we invite for seminars, internships and end of academic year shows, tax receipt or invoice of the compensation received and we too, in turn, when they invite us to teach or dance in other spaces. It is under everyone's eyes what is happening in our world in this pandemic, with “invisible” teachers and workers, always paid illegally and therefore unable to be censored by the government for the aid provided, as for all the other workers training and entertainment.

And it is in these moments of reflection that I feel the lack of a Regional Choreographic Center in our area, which addresses and coordinates, also the activity of the dance schools, the improvement courses for dancers and teachers, and high education. A project that I have been talking to my colleagues about for years, because I believe that the attempt to decentralize the National Academy of Dance to the regional territories has now failed, I think that Regional Choreographic Centers should arise throughout Italy. The Campania Region and the Municipality of Naples should be among the main promoters of the Regional Choreographic Center, which should have a commission made up of professionals chosen through public tenders. He should examine requests to open schools, ascertaining who has the right to do so, check for young people who request their teaching qualification, and for adults certify the length of teaching and the results obtained.

The Choreographic Center should have a reference theater and house a Regional Dance Company whose artistic director would have a three-year mandate. It would become a natural working outlet for the many young professionals who train in dance schools throughout the Campania Region. One of the possible reference theaters could be the Mediterranean Theater inside the Overseas Exhibition, a majority-owned theater without a fixed theatrical season, neither of dance nor music, which is sometimes used for conferences or political meetings. The theater could have an annual season which should consist of dance performances and musical concerts in all their different style directions. To date, it is used for end-of-academic year performances by the region's dance schools, which could rightly continue to use it, being also their artistic home. Inside the building that includes the Mediterranean Theater there are large spaces and rooms for possible rehearsal rooms and offices of the nascent Choreographic Center of the Campania Region.

I think / I dream … that if we put aside the interests of the companies or associations that we represent, without thinking about the possible competition, for all of us, that could arise from the birth of a new choreographic center, we could succeed to carry on this project, respecting our expressive differences. United … for the new generations … because we should feel the duty to leave something.

21 May 2020 | 17: 35

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