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EBA | Europe Beyond Access 2024 - 2027

Jul 31 2024

Europe Beyond Access is the biggest trans-national project in the world supporting disabled and Deaf artists to break the glass ceilings of contemporary dance and theatre.

The project started in 2018, and in 2024 the second generation has been co-funded once again by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union and will run for another 4 years, to 2027.

The new programme will:

  • commission and present dozens of new dance and theatre works created by artists with disabilities. 3 major international co-productions will sit alongside 19 other new commissioned works, and 20 presentations of existing touring works – presented across 10 countries

  • support artists with disabilities to internationalise their innovative artistic practices, and reduce the geographic and artistic isolation uniquely experienced by artists with disabilities. Hundreds of artists from across Europe will participate in Residences, Workshops and multi-national Artistic Laboratories

  • develop tools and understanding in the wider performing arts market – sharing our belief that the European cultural sector must urgently reduce barriers experienced by artists with disabilities

A note

We acknowledge that we are not specialist Arts & Disability organisations. We have a lot to learn if we are to become truly accessible cultural institutions.

During the four years of EBA we will learn from experts and from each other – improving our own practices and sharing what we learn with the wider cultural sector.

What we do know already is that artistically we are energised by the current generation of Deaf and disabled performing artists who are making innovative and excellent works. Through EBA we will support these artists, and bring their works to national and international prominence.



Europe Beyond Access is run by 10 high-profile European cultural organisations, which made up the EBA Consortium: Skånes Dansteater (Sweden), Holland Dance Festival (Netherlands), Onassis Stegi (Grece), Oriente Occidente (Italy), Kampnagel - Internationales Zentrum für schönere Künste (Germany), CODA Oslo International Dance Festival (Norway), Centrum Kultury ZAMEK (Poland), Project Arts Centre (Ireland), Mercat de les Flors (Spain), Culturgest - Fundação CGD (Portugal).

Europe Beyond Access is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. The project is joined by Associate Partner British Council (UK), who initiated and led the first Europe Beyond Access programme from 2018-2023. British Council now joins us to share news of the project across Europe and across the world. The British Council also supports the participation of UK artists within the EBA project.

The project is also joined by the consortium of Big Pulse Dance Alliance – a large group of contemporary dance festivals strengthening and expanding the reach of contemporary dance.

Finally, the project is joined by seven key European cultural networks and institutions – all committed to extending access in the cultural sector for disabled artists and audiences: IETM - International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts; European Dance Development Network; European Festival Association; On the Move – the International Cultural Mobility network; ELIA - European Network of Higher Arts Education; Flanders Arts Institute / Kunstenpunt; and UnLabel Performing Arts Company and Policy Exchange specialist.

Rete Italiana Europe Beyond Access 2021/2023

The Italian Network Europe Beyond Access 2021/2023 is committed to the creation of a network of allies aimed at questioning and discussing issues of accessibility and inclusion in the performing arts in order to generate awareness, disseminate knowledge and experiences of good practices, to encourage greater participation and leadership of artists and cultural operators with disabilities.

The network is committed to encouraging stakeholders to develop strategies and action plans to enable and support the participation of people with disabilities in the performing arts. During this process, the network ensures continuous consultation of people with disabilities and their representative organisations.

Lead Partner:

Oriente Occidente


Accademia Nazionale di Danza – Roma
AMA Accademia Mediterranea dell’Attore – Lecce
Associazione Culturale Fuori Contesto – Roma
Associazione Culturale Teatro Menzatì co-gestore del Tex_Teatro dell’ExFadda – San Vito dei Normanni
Ater Fondazione – Circuito Teatri Emilia Romagna
BIG Bari International Gender Festival
Balletto Civile – La Spezia
BASE – Milano
C-FARA – Matera
Centro Nazionale Di Produzione | Virgilio Sieni - Firenze
CSC Cento Servizi Culturali Santa Chiara – Trento
Compagnia Menhir – Ruvo di Puglia
Compagnia teatrale L’Albero – Melfi e Matera
Compagnia Xe/Julie Ann Anzilotti, San Casciano Val di Pesa (FI)
Comune di San Vito dei Normanni
Danae Festival – Milano
Dancehaus più - Centro di produzione nazionale – Milano
ERT Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione
Factory Compagnia Transatlantica – Lecce
Fattoria Vittadini – Milano
FDE Festival Danza Estate – Bergamo
Festival Le Danzatrici en plein air – Ruvo di Puglia
Festival Tanz Bozen / Bolzano Danza
Fondazione Armunia - Castoglioncello
Fondazione Arturo Toscanini - Parma
Fondazione Campania dei Festival
Fondazione Haydn di Trento e Bolzano
Fondazione I Teatri – Reggio Emilia
Fondazione Matera-Basilicata 2019
Fondazione Nazionale Della Danza/Aterballetto – Reggio Emilia
Fondazione Piemonte dal Vivo
Fondazione del Teatro Stabile di Torino
Fondazione Teatro Grande di Brescia
Fuorinorma – Brescia
IAC Centro Arti Integrate – Matera
La Luna nel Pozzo – Ostuni
Lenz Fondazione – Parma
MILANoLTRE Festival – Milano
MUVet – Bologna
Orbita | Centro nazionale di produzione della Danza di As. Spellbound – Roma
Orlando Festival – Bergamo
Pergine Festival – Pergine
Piccolo Teatro di Milano – Teatro d’Europa
Short Theatre – Roma
Teatro Carcano - Centro d’Arte Contemporanea Teatro Carcano s.r.l.
Teatro delle Moire Danae Festival – Milano
Teatro La Ribalta – Bolzano
Teatro Pubblico Pugliese - Consorzio Regionale per le Arti e la Cultura
Teatro Stabile di Bolzano
Teatro Telaio - Brescia
Triennale Milano Teatro
Versiliadanza - Firenze

Protocol agreement

Mixed doubles is an evening of four dance duets with dancers with disabilities that we commissioned together with three other partners of Europe Beyond Access: Holland Dance Festival, Skånes Dansteater and Onassis STEGI.

The duets are part of the productions promoted and supported by Europe Beyond Access and bring together disabled and non-disabled artists from Sweden, Greece, Italy and the Netherlands.

Some of the key questions behind the project include: what brings us closer and what do we want to celebrate in each other? How can we deconstruct outdated notions of perfection and beauty? How can dance express the different encounters we have in life, from energizing dialogues to moments of tenderness and care?

The duets, choreographed by Venetsiana Kalampaliki, Faizah Grootens, Diego Tortelli and Roser López Espinosa, are featured on tour as scheduled below:

  • February 6, 7, 8, 2020, Holland Dance Festival, The Hague (NL).

  • July 16, 2021, Kalamata Festival, Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens (GR)

  • September 12, 2021, Oriente Occidente Festival, Rovereto (I)

  • November 17 - 18, 2021, Skånes Dansteater, Malmö (SE)

Feeling Good | ph Vassilis Goumas

Another production developed as part of Europe Beyond Access is Mody Dick, a co-production between Oriente Occidente and Dansnät Sverige. The choreography is created by Chiara Bersani for four able-bodied and disabled dancers of Danskompaniet Spinn.

The piece, developed during different artistic residencies, two of which were held in Rovereto in our spaces of Oriente Occidente Studio, reflects on the difficulty of living with disability during the pandemic. Starting from the nineteenth-century novel by Herman Melville, Moby Dick is a work about waiting and bewilderment, that bewilderment that produces the fog that suddenly rises from the sea.

Moby Dick was premiered during Oriente Occidente Dance Festival 2021 in Rovereto.

Moby Dick | ph Federico Gazza
Artistic residences

Among the actions supported by Europe Beyond Access there are also the artistic residencies.

Over the years, within the project, we have hosted in our spaces of Oriente Occidente Studio different artistic researches at more or less advanced stages:

Lab. EBA | Highlighting the grey zones

In September 2021, during the 41st edition of Oriente Occidente Dance Festival, is held in Rovereto the international laboratory Highlighting the grey zones. Research on the dramaturgy of movement transitions. The workshop, part of the actions included in the project Europe Beyond Access, is led by the Dramaturg Gaia Clotilde Chernetich with Giuseppe Dagostino and is aimed at performers with disabilities or otherwise interested in an exchange and a research more open and outside the norm.

Highlighting the grey zones explores approaches that artists can use to record, document and consider their own movement vocabularies. The goal is to support self-observation, self-documentation, and individual capacity to compose movement dramaturgies with a focus on transitions.

The aim of the workshop is to question and develop transitions, intended as structural components of a performative score, through the observation and the design of a dramaturgy and actual dance work. The workshop welcomes, promotes and intertwines open and shared reflections, performative practice and theoretical knowledge. Diversity will be a common starting ground and the objective is to develop one’s own practice through individual and collective work.

Regardless of the form that one's ability takes on day by day, the principle that moves this exploration starts from the idea that the body moves between elements that can redesign a possible perimeter of presence. The search for points of reference and answers never takes on a definitive character, but photographs the present and renews it by relaunching its instances in the near future, that time that faces the body as a welcoming space in which it is possible to explore.

Lab Europe Beyond Access, Rovereto | ph Simone Cargnoni
Lab. EBA | Highlighting the grey zones

In April 2022 Oriente Occidente, thanks to the support of Ministero della Cultura and Regione Lombardia and with the collaboration of Al.Di.Qua Artists an association of artists with disabilities, organises and curates PRESENTI ACCESSIBILI the first event in Italy dedicated to accessibility in performing arts.

The programme includes two days of workshops and laboratories for operators in the cultural sector, an evening at the Teatro Carcano with the show TRIPLE BILL to involve the general audience and a conference, a moment of confrontation between the leading figures of the institutions, policy makers, funders and artists with disabilities to put the issue of accessibility of culture on the political agenda.

Find out more on the landing page dedicated to the event here.

Lab Europe Beyond Access, Rovereto | ph Simone Cargnoni