The First Festival Set in Urban Landscapes in Italy since 1997

Danza Urbana – International Festival of Dance in urban landscapes was first created in 1997 thanks to the desire of a group of students of the DAMS faculty at the Bologna University, to experiment on the relationship between choreography and architecture, dance and urban spaces, convinced that this art can inhabit any place and that its codes can arouse curiosity and interest among a wide audience of citizens, even those who are not used to attending theatre performances.

Through its journey of over 20 years, the Festival has involved more than 100 different locations in the city, both public and private spaces, disused industrial sites and green areas, squares and roads, museums and stations, underpasses and water channels.

Danza Urbana has therefore been transformed into a laboratory, a different way to experience public spaces, withdrawing them from their original functions to reaffirm the right to live the places beyond the constraints and modes imposed by the efficiency-based system of an “urban apparatus.”
This is a laboratory that analyses the choreographic paths that ensue from body-urban space relationships. This is where dance enters the public sphere, places of daily life and the social fabric.
In over 20 years of activity, the Festival has programmed more than 500 events, most of which were with free admission, with over 160,000 viewers, and an open perspective of the national and international scene of emerging artists.

The Festival is therefore a kaleidoscope of creative genres, styles, types, and formats. It offers artists the possibility to experiment with new show formats and different ways to interact with the citizens without the need to preset an idea of “urban dance,” nor a specific genre, style or mode.

The Festival explores the peripheries of a stage and investigates that “third landscape” where forms and processes are open and unstable. It develops an active relationship with the context where it operates: landscape, architecture, places, events, history, and people.

About Us

The Danza Urbana Cultural Association has been active for 20 years in the organisation of cultural initiatives, and promotion of contemporary dance and dance making. It has been organising the Festival of the same name for over 20 years now, promoting dance in urban landscapes in Italy, a dance framework that can stimulate a dialogue between dance and urban spaces, and the social and environmental context of a place, by exploring the paths this relationship can open up for choreographic research.

It curates and creates projects that support local and emerging choreographers at national and international level through initiatives in Italy and abroad.

The Association has always been active in creating and developing local, national and international networks in dance and has been coordinating a large number of dance-related projects.

Specifically, it has cofounded:

  • CQD/Dancing Cities, a network for the promotion of dance in urban landscapes;
  • Anticorpi – Network of Festivals, Showcases and creative Residencies in Emilia-Romagna, for the promotion and support of local choreographers and dance-makers;
  • h(abita)t – Network of spaces for dance, with a view to making available to local artists a series of locations that are suitable for creation and production;
  • Focus Young Mediterranean and Middle East Choreographers, a network to promote the creation of dialogue with the choreographers on the Southern shore of the Mediterranean.