Brazilian choreographer Ivaldo Bertazzo auditions young people for dance projects. A number of years ago he established his own dance school in São Paulo that is funded by the local government and sponsors. "My objectives go beyond the purely artistic," says the famous choreographer who was awarded the Prince Claus Prize in 2004.
"In selecting the participants, what is important to me is motivation – the motivation to dance, and especially to learn. Willingness to be completely consumed by an artistic process is also extremely important. We look at motor skills and the intellectual and emotional development possibilities, in particular how movement can help to express identity. Gestures play an important part."
"We want six hours a day of dedicated training and the willingness to undergo what I call a reprogramming of body movement and motor skills. This training is supplemented by lessons in language, singing, percussion, physical therapy, the history of dance and origami, the last of which is intended to stimulate spatial insight. The training and lessons give the young people self respect, and they quickly learn to express their self-awareness. They find the right emotional balance for communicating a message to the audience."
"The hard work on motor skills brings better mental control. And that brings the various qualities needed for artistic effort within reach. Many of the participants are incredibly self-assured, making it possible for them to do almost anything. For many of the people I have worked with, dancing was a turning point in their lives."