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Wieke Eringa joins judging panel at Certamen Coreográfico de Madrid

Thu 13 December 2018
Begoña Quiñones and Verónica Garzón © Jesús Vallinas

I had the joy of joining the judging panel for the 32nd edition of the Certamen Coreografico in Madrid, 28 Nov – 2nd Dec.

The Certamen, literally ‘competition’ is Spain’s longest running choreographic competition, set up decades ago by visionary Laura Kumin from Paso a 2 in Madrid. It is clear from the amount of love from dance artists for Laura and her small team, that this is a holistic approach to competing which has been an engine for dance development in Spain for decades.

This is achieved by many of the prizes, including not just cash but much more hands-on support packages for artists from partners all over Europe, including invitations to studio residencies and festivals. Laura achieves this by tirelessly building partnerships internationally and giving a lot of personal support to artists. There are over 30 such prizes, many of which, when combined, can have a really fundamental impact on the careers of artists.

You can imagine how honoured I felt to be asked to be on the jury alongside four other international judges*. 12 companies were shortlisted from 50 applications and they each performed their allocated 15 minutes over two evenings with selected companies invited to perform on the last day.

It was hugely enjoyable to flex our ‘critical dialogue’ muscles over 4 days and it was riveting for me to share such a focussed time with other respected professionals from different contexts such as Jodee Nimerichter (American Dance Festival), Lucas Condro (independent dancer, choreographer and teacher), Marc Streit (Tanzhaus Zurich), and Isla Oyarzun (Conde Duque). Together we deepened our understanding of dance dramaturgy, whilst trying to articulate our response to the choreographic ideas in such a way that was, hopefully, useful to the artists. It was a hugely valuable chance to reflect on my own ability to observe and articulate a response: great professional development!

It was interesting to see how the choreographers in Spain were grappling with many of the same issues are those in Yorkshire and the UK in terms of choreography as well as the challenges of living as an independent maker. It was really exciting to meet some incredibly talented and focused artists, some of whom I have no doubt we will see a lot of in future, such as Arnau Perez de la Fuente (with Young Blood) and Ravid Abarnanel. I was also very chuffed with the winning duet Pact by the very smart Begona Quinones and Veronica Garzon which will no doubt grow from its new investment.


*Jodee Nimerichter (American Dance Festival), Lucas Condro (independent dancer, choreographer and teacher), Marc Streit (Tanzhaus Zurich), and Miguel Oyarzun (Conde Duque).

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