Shape It is an international project which supports artists to reimagine their existing work for young audiences. Through labs, residencies and touring, Shape It broadens the audience for contemporary dance across Europe.

Project EvaluationSHAPE IT

Why is it important?

As cultural education is increasingly sidelined across Europe, it is more important than ever to consider how we engage young audiences. Shape It provides opportunities for both artists and audiences alike, filling the gap in school provisions and creating meaningful dialogue with audiences of the future.

What's involved?

  • Labs: Over two days of talks, discussions and activities, Shape It artists explore the context for dance for young audiences with ten local artists.
  • Residency: Shape It artists are hosted for a week by one of the partners to consider how their performance can communicate most effectively with a young audience.
  • Touring: The shows will tour in each of the four countries to arts venues, schools & community centres.

The children and staff were enthralled. After months of looking at screens, it was a wonderful live experience.

Teacher Feedback


Comune di Bassano - Italy

Comune di Bassano is a public body in the North East of Italy. Its Centro per la Scena Contemporanea is a dynamic dance house dedicated to the development of contemporary dance and its Operaestate Festival involves 40 cities and presents multidisciplinary events in theatres, castles, parks, villas and museums of the territory. Comune di Bassano is devoted to artistic development, community projects, productions and the promotion of artistic mobility. It offers more than 24 residencies to Italian and international artists every year. It is committed to developing new and enhanced ways of engaging participants and audiences whilst continuing to focus strongly on building a sustainable future for dance as Italy’s leading supporter of dance artists. It is committed to transforming and enriching lives through dance, to shaping where dance is going next.


Tanec Praha - Czech Republic

Tanec Praha is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation founded in 1991 and currently has three main activities: the high-quality contemporary dance festivals TANEC PRAHA and Czech Dance Platform including additional events such as seminars, workshops, site-specifics etc. The dance venue PONEC for production and creation of new work in contemporary dance. The theatre presents over 150 various dance performances per year, a third of which are for kids and teens. Tanec Praha works with many partners both locally and internationally to foster quality in artistic work as well as develop community work, international cooperation and networking. Tanec Praha is a member of international networks like IETM, Aerowaves, EDN - European Dancehouse Network, ITI, as well as national organisations Vision for dance, Czech Association of Festivals amongst others.

Annantalo - Finland

Annantalo is a multidisciplinary arts centre for children, young people and families in the heart of Helsinki. Its main activities include: providing art education in all art forms for schools in Helsinki; providing evening art classes for children and young people in all art forms; producing extensive exhibition, performance, event and workshop programme for children, young people and their families and co-ordinating different projects around art education within Helsinki and Finland. Annantalo also maintains the Kultus.fi network service targeted at teachers and day care professionals. Annantalo’s aim is to create a fruitful context for children and young people to experience art and culture so that children and young people become competent operators within the city’s artistic and cultural life. Annantalo has around 80 000 visitors every year.

Shape ItShape It Lab 2021

Shape It Artists - Year 1

PLI - Viktor Černický

Czech Republic-based performance maker Viktor Černický has been invited to adapt his show PLI for an audience aged 3-5 years.

PLI is an unpredictable and playful show that brings together 22 conference chairs, obsessive rhythm and one devoted man. On a small platform, Viktor Černický dives resolutely into infinite construction, reconstruction and deconstruction of the universe. The outcome is a clever and playful solo, a physical metaphor for endless human dynamics, patience and striving that turns even the most ordinary objects into incredible pieces of architecture.

AlShe/Me - Linda Hayford

France-based performer and choreographer Linda Hayford has been invited to adapt her show AlShe/Me (pronounced “alchimie” in French) for an audience aged 12-15 years.

In this entrancing duet, a brother and sister explore the bond that both links and divides them from one another. Popping and shifting in unison and discord, the performers reveal the complexities of sibling relationships.

Shape ItPLI - Viktor Černický

Shape It Artists - Year 2


Czech Republic-based collective POCKETART, led by choreographers Johana Pocková and Sabina Bočková have been invited to adapt their performance ofThe Lion's Den for an audience aged 6-11 years.

The Lion’s Den delves into the world of media manipulation and social networks. In their unceasing duet, Sabina and Johana, together with the audience, fall into a symbolic lion’s den, where fun can quickly turn to darkness and back again. Performed to live music by Lukáš Palán, the performers oscillate between manipulating the audience and self-manipulation, forcing us to question who leads and who follows in our world as well as on stage.

Masako Matsushita & Orbe

Italy-based dance artist Masako Matsushita, along with French digital creators Orbe, have been invited to adapt their performance of Vibes #3 for an audience of 12-15 years.

Vibes#3 is a connected dance experience in which the audience become participants; Equipped with smartphones and headphones, the participants receive instructions through a VIBES App. Through their movements and behaviours, they activate the soundscape of the whole experience. Each movement begins a danced dialogue. Gradually one participant connects with another, in pairs, then 4, 8... As the groupings increase, so does the intensity of vibration from the Japanese drum - the Taiko. From the intimacy of individuality to common paths and collective belonging, the audience separate, find their way again, imbued with this common vibration.

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. Co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.