Dance Basel

Overview

 Dance Basel – a new dance festival in Basel during the Art Basel week, produced by the Braswell Arts Association.

Art Basel week is an inspiring time here in Basel. The city is full of new faces and buzzing with energy. We want to add to this energy and bring dance to the city—during the world’s most known art festival—and in a fresh, modern way.

We hope to create a new high-quality platform for talented choreographers to create and present their artwork. Dance is such an expressive and visual art form—what better time to showcase high-quality dance creations, than the Art Basel week. We also want to reach out to the Art Basel Team and ask if they would be interested in a collaboration—in whichever way possible. We feel this can be an exciting and fresh addition for the Basel public.

We are starting this festival based on the information, feedback and experience we have acquired since founding the Braswell Arts Center in 2017. Since we have already hosted successful dance performances in the space on numerous occasions, we know what worked well and what needed to be changed. We also have an interested, supportive and established network of dance enthusiasts in the Basel community. We feel we are in a good position to start, but also need financial support to take this experience and bring it to the next level by way of the Dance Basel festival.

Goals

A dance performance festival, focused on creation. The Braswell Arts Association focuses on supporting the new work of selected talented choreographers. Providing a platform during the world’s top art festival, for quality artists to create their next great work, network and collaborate.

Art Basel week is an inspiring time here in Basel. The city is full of new faces and buzzing with energy. We want to add to this energy and bring dance to the city — during the world’s most known art festival — and in a fresh, modern way.

We hope to create a new high-quality platform for talented choreographers to create and present their artwork. Dance is such an expressive and visual art form — what better time to showcase high-quality dance creations, than the Art Basel week.

 

Target group

The people of Basel and the surrounding regions will of course be our direct target. Our indirect target will be on the international scale. Since the festival takes place during the international Art Basel fair and there are very few platforms in the world for choreographers at such a high level, we hope to attract an audience on the local as well as international scale.

We have a concrete plan to reach our target group. Together with our network through Braswell Arts Center and my time at Theater Basel, we already have a very good and large network of dance lovers and supporters in Basel. I am also very connected in the international dance scene due to my international dance education, career, and networking through various platforms. With support, we plan to intensify our current online advertising plan and supplement that with a poster campaign in the city. We also have an international magazine supporter called “Dance For You Magazine” who will support us by publishing advertisements and articles about our festival.

Implementation

The Festival will be three days long. Each day focusing on a different choreographer and live interview. Presenting choreographers from different stages in their career, we are not only looking for established choreographers, or young choreographers. We are also looking for choreographers who show potential.

Three short dance evenings on a successfully tested platform.

Choreographers are researched and selected by the Braswell Arts Association team. Chosen choreographers are given an evening to present their newest creation or excerpt with up to 4 dancers. Directly after the performance, there will be a live interview with the choreographer and the artists and an apéro afterwards to give the audience the opportunity to mingle and discuss the evening.

A new dance and choreography festival, during the Art Basel week, focused on creation. The Braswell Arts Association focuses on supporting the new work of selected talented choreographers. Providing a platform during the world’s top art festival, for quality artists to create their next great work, network and collaborate.

  • 30-minute dance performance
  • 30-minute interview and talk with the artists
  • Apéro afterwards to mingle with other art enthusiasts

Public live interview: In collaboration with Interview En L’air online arts magazine, Armando Braswell invites the guest artists to participate in a LIVE interview open to the public and broadcast live on the internet and public television.

In preparation for our dream dance festival, we have already hosted numerous quality dance performances at the Braswell Arts Center through our “Artist-In-Residence” program. In our experience, a 30-minute dance piece partnered with a 30-minute open talk between the artists and the audience creates a very interesting and intimate dance experience. For first-time dance viewers or seasoned dance lovers, the length is enough to engage the public as well as give them the opportunity to further dive-in and speak directly with the artists, but also allow them enough time for their other engagements.

The Braswell Arts Association – A non-profit organization

The Braswell Arts Association is a dance-inspired non-profit arts organization. Our team is dedicated to connecting the community to high quality art, supporting artists and encouraging artistic creation and collaboration.

Through the Braswell Arts Association, we hope to provide a comfortable and creative environment for our new festival. We hope to invite quality international artists to participate, perform, lecture and workshop in Basel. The Braswell Arts Association is comprised of donations and financial contributions from our supporters and, therefore, directly provides the means for the programs future. All donations given to the Braswell Arts Association in the name of Dance Basel, are completely dedicated to supporting the continuation of the Dance Basel Festival. Establishing this association makes a clear pledge to strive forward and take this program to great heights. All funds donated help the festival by directly covering important costs of the program (please see detailed budget below). The public invests in the future of this project through an entrance fee to the festival events.

By establishing the Braswell Arts Association, we create a direct path to future self-sustainability — essentially making these quality, creative events accessible to the public. Our plan is to be self-sustaining in 5 years. We plan to achieve this by using the first support to produce a high-quality festival that will propel us into the next phase in which we can attract a paying audience. We also plan to use this first support to help us gain valuable knowledge about the audience this festival creates and to use this information to plan strategic marketing campaigns to increase the audience year after year.

Project Benefits

This would be the first festival of it’s kind in Basel — with a focus on choreography of a high level, public involvement, and high-quality artistic innovation.

  • Create a new, younger arts public
  • Strengthening the public relationship with art
  • Creating opportunities for emerging and established artists
  • Exposing the community to high-quality art
  • Encouraging innovation in Basel and abroad
  • Creating quality experiences for young choreographers
  • Nurturing artistic talents on stage and off

Risks

With the many events that are happening during the Art Basel week, attracting an audience can be challenging, however since we have already created an established network and audience here in Basel through the Braswell Arts Center, we don’t anticipate a problem getting people interested in coming to the festival. Since the festival is taking place during the Art Basel week, we do hope to attract a new audience as well. Our space can hold about 100 people comfortably. Not too big and not too small — an intimate experience for all those attending.

With an hour-long program in a central location, we don’t ask for too much time, so we are confident we can attract an audience (especially since we already have a large audience and network in Basel). Since we have already hosted successful dance performances through a similar platform in preparation for this festival, we are confident in our unique format and feel that with enough funding, we can acquire today’s top artists and produce a show of the highest quality.

I would say there is no festival that purely supports choreographers on a high, international level (like that of Art Basel). There are other dance festivals in Switzerland, such as the “STEPS Festival” and “Zurich TANZT,” however, neither of those festivals purely support choreography. In Basel-Stadt, there is the “Dance Lab” program at Theater Basel, but this is only open to choreographers within the Ballett Basel company.

The Space – The Braswell Arts Center

Our large and bright studio located at Austrasse 19 in Basel is centrally located and directly in front of the “Holbeinstrasse” station on the #6 tram line. Via a short and direct tram ride you can be taken directly from the Messe to the studio. Our space is fully transformable and we have already hosted numerous quality dance performances at the Braswell Arts Center. Through the Braswell Arts Association, we have offered these performances on a suggested-donation basis. We are ready for such an event, but with support and a few improvements, we are confident we can bring these performances to the next level.

 Budget and Finance plan

Our budget is based on the basic needs to make this festival happen. Travel, room costs, daily food money, performance fee for the dancers. From a practical side, we of course will need at least two professional technicians, a small staff, and marketing.

  • Performance Fee
  • Travel Costs
  • Room Costs
  • Per Diem
  • Choreo Artistic Stipend
  • Day Space Rental
  • Festival Staff
  • Marketing/Printing

Qualifications

Armando Braswell is a professional dancer and teacher from New York City. After receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance from The Juilliard School in 2006, Armando danced with Ballett Theater Munich, Gauthier Dance Stuttgart and just recently completed his final season as a soloist with Ballett Theater Basel.

Aside from his dancing career, Armando has established himself as a guest teacher in high demand, teaching amateurs and professionals worldwide including at the Prix De Lausanne and the Juilliard School. Armando has also choreographed for many dance and opera stages as well as television.

In addition to his artistic activities, Armando is also active in the journalistic and social media fields. His popular arts blog, “Interview En L’air”, has become widely known in the international dance scene and earned him a place at “Dance For You Magazine” as a permanent correspondent and his media company “Creative Promotional Media” has earned him opportunities to work with clients such as Fondation Beyeler, Basellandschaftliche Kantonal Bank and Theater Basel in Switzerland.

In 2015, Armando began to build an arts community in Basel where dancers of all levels and all body types could train in a supportive and professional environment. This idea has since expanded and in 2017, he and his wife Lisa founded the “Braswell Arts Center” – a space for innovation and collaboration in all art forms located in Basel, Switzerland – and in 2019, they officially founded the “Braswell Arts Association,” a non-profit arts organization dedicated to support emerging and established artists. Through arts education and exchange, Armando hopes to encourage collaboration and the creation of new works of art and to promote networking and entrepreneurship within the local and international arts community. 

 

Lisa Braswell is an ex-dancer from New York City. After graduating from LaGuardia High School Dance Department, Lisa attended Purchase University and Hunter College in New York. She carried her love of dance to her position as Office Manager of one of the most successful instructional dance video companies in the United States. Lisa has administrative experience on an international scale, working for companies in New York, Germany and Basel and in 2015, she successfully completed the Business Course for Female Founders at the Crescenda Founding Center located in Basel, Switzerland. Together with her husband Armando, the couple founded the popular Basel arts space called the “Braswell Arts Center“ in 2017. This idea has since expanded to include the “Braswell Arts Association“ in 2019–a not-for-profit arts association created to bridge the gap between the arts, artists and the community as well as provide opportunities for artistic development and education.

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