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NO BORDER DANCE NIGHT Intercultural Dance for women in Witzenhausen, 14th November 2015as Pilot-project after the workshop „Finding your inner clown and other intercultural aspects“ by Maria Fiedler NO BORDER DANCE NIGHT Intercultural Party for women On 14th November 2015 we organized in Witzenhausen (Germany) an international party for women. It was planned by people from AK-Asyl, which is a group of students, citizens of Witzenhausen and refugees from the refugee-houses around. Every 2 weeks we meet for coffee and tea in the local Transition Town house. After some time for individual conversation and coming in contact we have a „plenum“ to discuss important actions, refugees can ask for certain help, there is informations about the situations about refugees and anti-rasiscm-actions... The integration of refugees is one of many aspects of Ak-Asyl. In our local sudent club we more and more meet refugee people. But what is very much to be recognized is the absence of women. As we know, in most of the destination-countries the women come from, it is not liked or even forbidden for women to dance in public. Their religious background does not allow it as well as man who tell what is there to do and what not. I strongly remember an music-event we've organized in a refugee-camp. There was loud music and lots of joyfull dancing- only men. From the less women who have been there out of their rooms they were , if at all, clapping hands. Also after trying to make them dance it was not possible. We could even observe a old man telling his daughter not to dance otherwise: he was making a gesture to show how he would cut her head off. After this very different experience of cultural habits we were asking whether women can have the opportunity to dance somewhere in our town. Soonly we decided to set up a party for women only. The University greatfully offered a room and the poster printing, some stores donated snacks and juice. The Ak-Asyl sponsored the equipment for the music. The posters have been translated by refugees in different languages. We invited all women in the town, students, international students and of course the refugee ladies. Since some of the houses are quite far we organized transfer. The „No border dance night“ was non-alcoholic, there was a DIY-buffet, no entry was asked and everyone could bring music. We have been women from more than 6 different countries. Therefore not only the music but also the dancing was very various. While the Syrian women were dancing with holding each others hands, turning in a circle while moving their legs in -for everybodyelse- undoable ways, the Eritrean women put their hands on their hips with feet stamoing on the ground and moving their shoulders in-again- undoable way! A young serbian girl was quite firm in belly-dance kind of moving. The colourful

clothes of somalian women have been moved beautifully by shaking the whole body to their traditional music. Everybody danced to every countries music. Even german electronic music was appreciated by scarf-waering older women. There was so much joy and enjoying! We hope to offer this kind of evening soon again. How is this connected to the workshop „Finding your inner clown and other humor strategies“? On part of the workshop dealed with Intercultural aspects behalfed by CRN. There have been games presenting different child songs from the countries (Bulgaria, Hungaria, Italy, Poland, Germany), trying to make a concept during an interactiv play for a growing city with different „nations“ to be included, telling our last intercultural surprises, we questions the word „culture“. An other aspect of the workshop has been the Movement and improvisation activites behalfed by CRN. While trying different kinds of moving, of self experiencing, of trusting, distance and closeness with and without music the focus on expression of oneself became more obvious. During my work with refugees who often speak very poor English or German it becomes more obvious that language is just around 2o per cent of human communication.When talking is soon finished there are many other ways to come together. Sharing time dancing is a very easy way to enjoy and benefit from each other. There is obviously quite a different understanding of dancing and especially women dancing in public in Germany/ Western countries and for example Moslem countries. As we are used to open clubs for men and women, we had to realize not everywhere in the world this seems to be „normal“. From first recognizing, to undertanding and then finding a way to creat a space for women to dance it needs a sensitivity for such cultural aspects. Also within the event „No Border dance night“ many differences could be seenin clothing, in moving, in dancing, in behaviour- but also many similarities. In full respect everybody danced in what ever way, we tried to immitate the other countries dances. The exercised view during the workshop on observing somebody while dancing, the sensitivity for other peoples borders, the contact made by eyes and body moving helps a lot to understand not only these women. But of course any person who seems to be quite different. In fact it is much more the will to come together than any fact of languages or nation. As this evening offered a save and kind of privat room I ask for understanding that I decided to not put any photos for public. Some women ask to not take photos and I want to respect this wish as they look for trust and safety in a place where enough privacy has to be given up.

Copyright Recipients are free to use all or parts of this document for personal use however are requested to inform the author. Recipients are requested to acknowledge The artist within – Applied eMOTION consortium and the author in any reference to the content of this document. In the event of any further queries please consult the author. Acknowledgements This project was possible with the financial support from the Erasmus+ program. The methodological resources and inspiration came from the The artist within – Applied

eMOTION long-term adult education project ( The generosity from the fund and these organisations is much appreciated.

local activity humour intercultural competences  
local activity humour intercultural competences  

local activity on behalf of Theater Vision e.V. in the frame of the european strategic partnership "The Artist Within - Applied Emotion" on...