A conversation with Chiara and Dagmar about Tilburg in Motion

On 2,3 and 4 May, the LocHal library will become the backdrop of Tilburg in Motion; a brand new dance festival, organized by students of the Fontys Dance Academy. Tilburg In Motion aims to bring dance to the people, and to show the joy of dance and movement. Also, it is a way for an ambitious group of young dancers to shape their own future working field. We spoke with Chiara and Dagmar - part of the organizing team - about Tilburg, the art of dance and creating your own opportunities.

Chiara: “There are some opportunities for dancers in the city, but most of our classmates move to other places after graduation, because there are more things happening there.  Dagmar continues: “Because we are graduating this year, we started thinking about our own future and the working field that we are stepping into. For us, organizing Tilburg in Motion is about shaping our own working field and creating opportunities for ourselves, as soon-to-be professional dancers in Tilburg. There is so much talent in Tilburg, because of all the dance students studying at the academy for example. That’s why we wanted to create more spaces for dancers in the city.” 

When the group of students first teamed up for a brainstorm about creating dance-opportunities in Tilburg, the ideas were as diverse as they come: “Some people wanted to do a performance evening, others wanted to organize a dance battle or a panel discussion,” Dagmar explains. “That’s when we decided not to choose between those ideas, but to organize a festival instead, so everything could come together.”

Taking over public spaces

When looking for a location for their new festival, a number of more obvious locations for dancers were considered. However, the final decision landed on the LocHal. Dagmar: “Everyone is welcome in the LocHal and the library attracts a very broad crowd. With Tilburg in Motion, we really wanted to bring dance to the people. We call it a ‘dance festival for everyone’ and we really want to make the art of dance as accessible as possible for anyone. And also, we wanted to appeal to a different audience, that you would maybe not see as often in a theatre. To bring dance to one of the most public spaces in the city, it fits perfectly with the whole concept.” 

The students feel like the art of dance is often seen as an artform that people don’t understand or don’t feel accessible to. Dagmar: “Often, people think about dance as a high art; it can be so serious. But it doesn’t have to be, dancing is also just really fun.” Chiara: “To see contemporary dance performances, you mostly have to go to theatres, and then it only reaches a specific audience. Dance performances are not something that you just walk into during life.” Dagmar adds: “We really want to show that movement is for everyone, and that within dance, there is something to like for everyone!”

Dance for everyone 

So, what exactly will be happening at Tilburg in Motion? Chiara: We have a whole program! There will be performances happening all over LocHal, but also workshops and panel discussions.” Dagmar adds: “We’re actually just going to take over the whole LocHal with dance!” All the students on the organizing team can also be seen performing themselves during Tilburg in Motion. “All eleven of us are also performing at the festival. In total however, there will be 28 dance performances happening, by dancers from all over the world.” Dagmar explains. “We held an open call and anyone could apply. So besides from students from Fontys, there will be professional dancers from other countries coming to Tilburg as well to perform.” 

What they are looking forward to at Tilburg in Motion? Chiara: “I’m just really excited to see how people will react to it. If there are people enjoying and engaging with dance, then I will be super happy.” Dagmar: “I would be really happy if people are just randomly joining the battle or a workshop. Or even if they just are moving. That means our job is done. In the end, I hope that the people who walk into the LocHal on one of those days can enjoy whatever they experience. And maybe take some inspiration from it!”

Tilburg in Motion will take place in the LocHal in Tilburg on 2, 3 and 4 May 2024. All performances and activities are free to visit, but make sure to reserve a spot when you want to secure a place for a specific workshop! All information on the program can be found on https://www.tilburginmotion.com/ or stay up to date via instagram.

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