daCi - Dance and the Child
International Conference 2024

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Sunday 7 July to Friday 12 July, 2024

I for Imagination, Improvisation, Inclusion, Identity, Intelligence and Interdisciplinarity

Important Announcement

The deadline for registration and payment of the registration fee for active conference participants (with contributions) is 31 May 2024

Register Now

Read the February 2024 Newsletter with more information about the conference.

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Our aim is to bring together a broad international community of artists, scholars, professors, teachers, educators, young dancers, students and other academic citizens to exchange and develop new creative ideas, present scientific and artistic projects, share knowledge about new approaches and innovations in the fields of dance arts and education, and build collaborations.

Our Welcome

Aim of the Conference

  • promote creative dance;
  • focus on embodied learning and teaching;
  • promote the “6 Is”: Imagination, Improvisation, Inclusion, Identity, Intelligence and Interdisciplinarity in dance;
  • explore relationships between dance, movement and other disciplines;
  • explore links between dance and UNESCO's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
  • create partnerships and foster ongoing community conversations before, during and after the conference;
  • focus on the creativity of children and young people and give them ownership of the outcome;
  • share and discuss research on teaching, learning and the role of the body in learning and creative practices;
  • facilitate connections between dancers, choreographers, teachers and researchers.

The Programme

The programme for adults will consist of keynotes, paper sessions, panels, posters, workshops, twinning showcases and performances.

The programme for children and youth will consist of workshops, creative gatherings, twinning showcases and performances.

Important Dates

  • Abstract Submissions
    by 24 October 2023
  • Young Dancer Applications
    by 24 October 2023
  • Twinning, Outreach and Research project funding applications
    by 15 November 2023
  • Notification of acceptance
    by 31 December 2023 
  • Early Bird Registration
    by 14 February 2024
Registration

Ljubljana, Slovenia

The Venue

The conference will take place in Ljubljana, Slovenia. One of the Europe's smallest capitals has been awarded European Green Capital in 2016. It is appreciated by its visitors for being friendly, smart and easily managable on foot or by bicycle. Ljubljana is a capital of Slovenia, a green country full of pristine nature in the unique location where the Alps and Adriatic meet.

Organizing committee

Vesna Geršak (PhD) is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana, where she teaches creative movement and dance in early childhood, primary teacher education and special education. Her pedagogical and scientific work includes embodied approaches to learning and teaching, dance pedagogy and the integration of the arts in the learning process. She has published numerous scholarly articles and books in the field. She is currently developing a model for collaboration between students, teachers and artists in arts and cultural education projects and is leading a research project on incorporating the embodied approach into teaching STEM in higher education. She is chair-elect of Dance and the Child International Organisation.

Nina Meško has been working as an independent expert advisor for dance at the Public Fund for Cultural Activities of Republic of Slovenia (JSKD) since 1997, after gaining considerable recognition in the Slovenian dancing circles as a contemporary dancer and choreographer. In her work at the JSKD, Nina focuses mainly on boosting the interest in and the knowledge of dance art and on developing the pedagogy of creative dance. She provides expert assistance to all who dance, wish to dance, or teach dance. She is responsible for knowledge exchange between the domestic and international space; organises education programmes and other events related to contemporary dance and dance medicine; and drafts incentives aimed at improving the conditions for creating and staging performances. Nina has created a varied programme of festivals and educational events at JSKD, whose main goal is to foster dance creativity of children and young people and provide professional qualifications to their teachers across Slovenia.

Goran Pakozdi is a freelance executive producer gaining his experience collaborating with EN-KNAP Productions, Dance Theatre Ljubljana, Zavod NEST and many other local and international art individuals. Mainly focused on performing art but also active on other art fields through his Association Varbonj at Hvar, Croatia. The activity scope during the last 12 years ranges from executive production, marketing, PR, project developer / administrator, etc.

Helena Korošec, Ph.D, is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, where she teaches creative drama and puppetry in preschool, primary, and special education programmes. Her educational and research work includes the role of puppets and drama in learning and teaching and in child and adolescent development. She conducts puppetry and creative drama workshops for primary and preschool teachers in Slovenia and abroad. In recent years she has also been involved in the use of therapeutic sounds with individuals and in group work in different settings. She is a member of the international UNIMA commission "Puppets in Education and Therapy" and a member of IDEA -International Drama in Education Association.

Urša Rupnik is a freelance dance artist. As a dancer she has collaborated with most renowned Slovenian choreographers; for a last decade, she has been a workshop assistant to the prominent American pedagogue Joe Alegado. Urša’s work encompasses artistic creation, staging and performing, as well as teaching and mentoring; she is an artistic director of Ursus Dancers collective, gathering young dancers in semi-professional field. As a choreographer and dance pedagogue, she collaborates with several formal dance education institutions as well as non-formal dance schools, studios, and festivals in Slovenia and abroad. She is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana, focusing on the integration of contemporary dance principles into higher education.

Mojca Kasjak is a professional independent artist who specializes in dance, choreography, and dance pedagogy at the London Contemporary Dance School in the UK. Kasjak is also the executive producer and artistic director for the Platform of Contemporary Dance festival (Slovenia). She also finished her university studies graduating with a BA in Geography and Sociology. She is the author of numerous projects, dance performances, creative movement workshops, and professional seminars. In 2017, Kasjak founded a private Institute for contemporary dance arts, creativity, and the art of being under the name, My Creation. She is currently completing her master’s degree in arts therapy at the University of Ljubljana. In 2020, Kasjak received a state plaque for her pedagogical work and artistic achievements, as well as for her indispensable contribution to the shaping of Slovenian dance culture. Kasjak is also a national dance selector at the Public Fund of the Republic of Slovenia for cultural activities. She currently works as a dance teacher at the Laško-Radeče School of Music in the department of contemporary dance.

Andreja Kopač, Ph.D, works as publicist, dramaturge, professor, mentor, and theoretician. She is holding an M.A. in the Linguistics of Speech and Theory of Social Communication at the ISH, Ljubljana Graduate School of the Humanities, and a PhD of Sociology of Culture at the Faculty of Art at University of Ljubljana. As a publicist, she works for Delo, Maska and Rast magazines. She has recently been engaged as a dramaturg and publicist; she has been participating in more than 100 performing arts productions since 2009, collaborating in several local and international projects. Since 2013 her focus is Art and Education in the field of Contemporary Performing Arts and implementing new models of collaboration between dance, education, and participation.

Urška Česnik is a psychologist and a career counsellor. She has long-standing experience as a youth worker and non-formal learning trainer, both nationally and internationally. Being a youth leader of educational programs for the TiPovej! Institute, she conducts workshops and educational programs on the topics of professional and personal development through Personal Business Model YOU, mastering the learning to learn competence, competences of 21st century as well as creation of learning, civic and career pathways of the future. Additionally, Urška is a part of program «School for life - Be brave. Creative. Entrepreneur» and the Ljubljana «City incubator program - From idea to realization». For the past 2 years, she coordinates the Ljubljana city of learning platform and mentors both young people who use it as well as educators and educational organizations who create with it.

© University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education  ·  Republic of Slovenia, Public Fund for Cultural Activities, Department of Dance