To gather people, to allow the exchange of experiences, to promote conections, to stimulate diversity, to make it possible for more people to go on stage and to watch dance, as well as to celebrate dance: for these reasons VIVADANÇA International Festival was created in 2007. The event, initially called Mês da Dança no Vila in order to celebrate the International Dance Day, has already consolidated in the city's cultural schedule of events. Nowadays, six years after its creation, it is possible to realize how much the festival has grown, matured and reinvented itself, taking as guide only the certainty that it is always necessary to be open to what's new and aware of the expectations of each new panorama.
In 2012, dance artists and professionals from 18 different countries will be in Salvador to participate in a wide program which includes performances, workshops, discussions, video exhibitions and exhibitions in four of the city's cultural venues – Teatro Vila Velha, Teatro Molière (Alliance Française), Teatro Goethe-Institut (ICBA) and Cine-Teatro Solar Boa Vista.
And, for the first time in the story of the festival, part of its program will be taken to different cities: Belo Horizonte and Brasília.
Amongst the festival's actions, the show Casa Aberta keeps its breath, opening its doors for both amateurs and professionals from various styles, while the Hip Hop program keeps on gathering DJs, graffitti artists, rappers and breakdancers. As for VIVADANÇA Award, in its third edition, it promotes the creation of a new dance performance in Bahia.
These are actions that have contributed to define the profile of the festival – but which also reveal a long and bold way of learning. It was in 2008, for example, that the Casa Aberta was created, making access to performing on stage more democratic and counting 40 enrolled artists. The show has taken a leap: this year, 50 different projects were selected, amongst almost 100 groups who had applied. Also in 2008, an audience of 100 prisoners watched the festival's opening performance, Aroeira - Com Quanto Nós se Faz uma Árvore, by Company Viladança, together with authorities and the press. The festival also hosted, on the same year, international groups, such as Science Friction, from Canada, and Asier Zabaleta, from Spain.
The following year, VIVADANÇA innovated once more, taking street art to stages with a Hip Hop program and a Breakdance Competition. In order to celebrate the Year of France in Brazil, the festival exhibited French documentaries and brought to Salvador the company Toufik OI. At the same time, it reaffirmed the presence of Spain on its schedule, with the group Lanònima Imperial and the solo artists Daniel Abreu.
On 2010 the Award VIVADANÇA was created, aiming at stimulating young choreographers from Bahia. The first awarded performance was Odete, Traga Meus Mortos, by the choreographer Edu O. On the same edition, there was the idea of honouring great masters of dance. The first one to receive a reverence was one of the pioneers of teaching dance in Bahia: Mestre King. The next to receive a tribute would be Antônio Nóbrega, Luis Arrieta and Tadashi Endo, the next year.
The year 2011 was the one when VIVADANÇA widened its horizons: it surpassed the walls of Teatro Vila Velha, taking its program to other venues in Salvador; it has multiplied its work of taking children and new publics to the theater; reaffirmed partners with other festivals; and solidified its interest for other languages in its relation with Dance, such as video (through the Video Exhibitions) and visual arts (with interventions by Coletivo Visio., at Passeio Público, and the exhibition of Carybé's works at Teatro Vila Velha). Another new aspect was the meeting of several cultural managers from Latin America to discuss the challenges and potentional of the region.
The story of VIVADANÇA International Festival reveals the soul of the festival itself, which stimulates the fruition, creation, diffusion and reflection on Dance, without limits or prejudice. The festival gives way to dialogue and exchange of experiences between artists and public, amateurs and professionals, classic and popular, center and periphery. It is the moving diversity.