The aim of the Lisa Ullmann Travelling Fund 2013 was to acquire a deeper understanding of what the freelance dance scene is in Japan (Tokyo specifically); a country where high technology, art and tradition blend in unexpected ways. The results of my stay in Tokyo could not have been more astonishing. I even managed to collaborate with local artists to create a short dance film Tokyo Tokyo without speaking each other’s language, just enjoying the beautiful creative journey that brought us together.
The entire experience certainly broadened my view on how another culture deals with its own performing arts sector, exposing achievements but also – and mainly – deficiencies and difficulties. To engage in dialogue, exchange knowledge and pursue collaborations with creative minds from other cultures is one of the greatest privileges any artist can have.
Since then I have established other cultural/dance relationships with artists and sectors from many other countries: from Burkina Faso and Senegal to Chile, and Nunavut (the Canadian Arctic), amongst other countries. My dance company AVA DANCE COMPANY has defined better its purposes, one of them being to overcome Eurocentrism by promoting cultural exchanges among artists from different cultures and backgrounds.
All of these exchanges have made me aware of how important it is to have a society where we all have a voice, where we all are heard and valued. This has taken me to found my brand new charity AWA DANCE (Advancing Women’s Aspirations with Dance), dedicated to the leadership development of women and girls, using the transformative power of dance as the tool to empower our voices! I cannot be more proud and humble to see where life has and is taking me. I hope LUTSF keeps on supporting and inspiring more artists: we are the bridges that the society needs, we are change-makers!