The history of the project “45+”
Baiba Ozoliņa, project producer

It all began in the year 2016, when together with Olga Žitluhina we formulated an old idea of hers, about a project united with the older generation of foreign colleagues. The idea was to make a project in order to dance, to exchange experience and to continue life on the stage.

In the year 2016 we received a grant from the Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture – for the short-term project implementation of the dancers networking “Lifelong Dance Practice: Project 45+” (for three meetings of the participants per one year), but by the year 2017 we received long-term support. Then the funding was received for nine activities – meetings of participants – for the scope of three years. There are three partners in this project – association “PARTY” (Latvia), “Fine 5 Dance Theatre” (Estonia) and “Stellaris DansTeater” (Norway). In the year 2020 it was not possible to meet face to face, therefore we were forced to make two of our meetings via Zoom and to extend the project implementation time. The last meeting for the project take place in Jurmala (Latvia) from May 30th to June 5th, 2021.

The project “45+” in these years has grown to become a stable network of artists. There have been 10 face-to-face residencies in various cities – Riga, Pärnu, Hammerfest, Kuldiga and Jurmala. Each meeting consists of 10–12 dancers from different national background, there are workshops organised, participants as well as guest artists lead that.

 The following dance professionals have participated in the project meetings – Benno Voorham, Sybrig Dokter (Sweden), Arnis Siliņš, Agris Daņiļevičs (Latvia), Aira Naginevičiūte – Adomaitiene (Lithuania), Irina Pahn (Estonia), but a stable basic unit have become – Tiina Ollesk (Estonia), Renee Nõmmik (Estonia), Oleg Ostanin (Estonia/Finland), Solveig Leinan-Hermo (Norway), Nikolay Shchetnev (Norway/Russia), Virpi Juntti (Finland), Toby Gunn (Sweden/England), Fiona Millward (England), Goda Laurinavičiūtė (Lithuania), Olga Žitluhina, Ramona Galkina un Vilnis Bīriņš (Latvia). Workshops have been led by – Karl Saks (Estonia), Külli Roosna (Estonia) and Kenneth Flak (Norway), Sasha Pepeljajev (Russia/Estonia), Marika Blossfeldt (Estonia), Branko Potočan (Slovenia), Francesco Scavetta (Italy/Norway), Sally E. Dean (USA/UK), Anna Grete Eriksen (Norway), Marit Haeta Overli (Norway) etc.

The value of this idea has been acknowledged European Union and a support for the continuation of the project – “BET – Body. Experience. Time through 45+ Dancers” – has been given trough project contest “Creative Europe”. This project works with the same partners as the previous one. In this case, for the scope of three years, meetings will be held, by bringing together 12 dance professionals that have already been acquainted and there a plan of making a dance performance together. There is also a plan to perform in six European countries, wider cooperation with dance artists from different countries, exchange of experience in cooperation with other age groups.

Next project`s meeting – residency take place at the end of June, 2021 in Tampere, Finland in collaboration with “Dance Theatre MD” and Anniina Kumpuniemi personally.

Based on this experience, “PARTY” and Olga Žitluhina would like to expand this idea in Latvia by taking care of and uniting the older generation of Latvian dance artists, organizing master classes. Because life is not just about dance, it is also about learning.

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