The NORDPLUS Explorations and Collaborations in the Arts / The ECA Network is dedicated to developing innovative cross / interdisciplinary course curricula between various university-level art education programs. This network, originally focused on the specific relationship between dance and music, was created by the founding partners in 2004. The history of “classical”, as well as modern / contemporary dance, has been shown to embrace other art forms. The important 20th Century modern dance artist and choreographer, the late José Limón, wrote that dance is “a matrix of the arts,” articulating his belief that dance is able to bring together many artistic disciplines in a collaborative atmosphere.
In 2010 we began to investigate other possible artistic directions which could benefit from the experiences we had established between dance and music. Since that time, we have had compelling and positive results in the inclusion of Film, or the specific genre called “Physical Cinema” in our network. Intensive courses have brought together choreographers and film directors who share a common language of narrative / non-narrative time and space. Storyboard writing, camera, and lighting technique, as well as other areas of filmmaking, have been explored by both the student dancers and filmmakers: again COMMUNICATION and MPT form the center of the collaborative relationship between the students. We will bring in the role of music and film scoring into this “Physical Cinema” area of pedagogical development. As we now are looking to further develop broader and more diverse possibilities that may be offered to our growing number of partner art institutions of higher education. We plan to engage other areas of the performing and the media arts.
Another important ECA Network direction concerns community arts. A recently completed project brought a group of Greenlandic, Estonian, and Finnish dance and music university students together in Nuuk, Greenland for a seven week residency focused upon the youth of Nuuk. Weekly workshops were offered for the young people, as well as the chance for these young people to follow a creative choreographic/music composition project, the results of which were performed by the ECA Network students at Katuaq the Greenlandic center for culture. . We plan to continue this project in Greenland and to engage our partners who have interest in developing pedagogical models that can be used in other community arts environment.
The ECA Network represents an enormous Scandinavian and Baltic geographical sweep and includes 17 university level arts institutions from Greenland, through Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, to Lithuania.
The ECA Network is coordinated by the Arts Academy, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Turku, Finland.
The ECA Network is supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Baltic Countries through
the Nordplus Higher Education Programme.