ODN in Prague
In November 2013 Paul and Lieke paid on behalf of the Omscholing Dansers Nederland a visit to Prague. ODN was invited to take part in a project called ‘thematic networks for the employability of artists in the performing arts’. This project, supported by the E.U. was initiated by a number of (dance) organizations in the Czech Republic that are committed to create career options for performing artists.
A peculiar problem in most former Eastern European Countries is that a most of the support structure for dancers disappeared when the Wall fell. During the communist regime especially ballet dancers could count on early retirement, but nowadays that doesn’t exist anymore.
The goal of the project is to collect as much experience and knowledge as possible from other European Organizations. Sharing best practices is considered crucial. This knowledge should in the end lead to the establishment of a career transition program in the Czech Republic itself.
The Netherlands is already for a number of years considered as a guiding country in this matter. Therefore the Omscholingsregeling is keen on sharing its experience and knowledge and notices that a growing number of countries want to create solutions for the career transitions issues of dancers. De Omscholingsregeling is also already for a number of years the Chair of the IOTPD (www.iotpd.org), the organization that wants to encourage countries to do something for their dancers.
Apart from sharing knowledge about transition in the Netherlands the visit to Prague offered a wonderful opportunity to catch up with other European Organizations such as the United Kingdom (Dance Career Development), Germany (Stiftung Tanz), Sweden (Svensk Scenkonst), Belgium (PEARLE and Inter.mezzo) en Spain (Andalucia Emprende).
The visit to Prague also made Lieke and Paul realize how unique the Omscholingsregeling is, particularly the good collaboration with and the support of the government and the dance companies.
The Czech project team will visit the Netherlands in the beginning of 2014 to learn more in detail how the Omscholingsregeling works in practice.