Aerowaves began in 1996 at The Place, London as a small group of European dance colleagues brought together by John Ashford, then Director of the theatre there. He wanted to draw on their international knowledge to help sort through a pile of video tapes he'd received from young dance companies from all over Europe, and then present the 10 most promising short pieces at The Place Theatre.
Sharing information and drawing on the insights of international colleagues is fundamental to how Aerowaves has worked from then on. Soon, these colleagues were offering performances in their own countries, whether the artists were amongst the 10 shown in London or not.
Aerowaves now has partners in 33 countries. The network brings together the professional knowledge, personal insight and love for dance of 45 members. Each year in October, these partners vote for the next group of Aerowaves Twenty artists. This takes place at an intensive meeting where hundreds of videos are watched and discussed.
Initially, about 100 emerging choreographers applied to become part of the Aerowaves Twenty. In 2014 this grew to more than 600. Many choreographers selected by Aerowaves have built successful international careers over the years - we are very proud of this legacy of talent spotting.
Since 1996, and particularly since 2009, Aerowaves Twenty artists have been invited to perform in more than 50 cities in 20 countries. Under the Creative Europe Platforms grant, which currently funds Aerowaves' activities, 24 Aerowaves partners will programme at least three Aerowaves Twenty artists each year until 2021.
Bold Steps Forward
Aerowaves took a bold step in 2011 to found Spring Forward. This festival provides a platform for at least 10 of the Aerowaves Twenty each year. Aerowaves invites key programmers from across the world to discover the latest dance from Europe.
Aerowaves continues to develop as a Platform. In 2015, for the first time, Aerowaves will support its partners to create innovative audience development projects for emerging dance artists.
Spring Forward is Live Streamed online, creating a unique chance to share this intimate festival with audiences around the world.
Aerowaves also contributes to the development of quality writing and dance criticism through the critical writing programme Springback Academy and Springback Magazine.
Aerowaves prides itself on its unique role as a connector between choreographers, dance programmers and dance enthusiasts across Europe.