Aerowaves :: Europe

Aerowaves is a hub for dance discovery in Europe. We identify twenty promising new works by emerging dance artists and then promote them through cross-border performances. Our network of partners in 33 countries enables these younger choreographers to bring brand new dance to brand new audiences.

Aerowaves is currently celebrating 25 years of continuous activity and prides itself on its unique role as a connector between choreographers, dance programmers and dance enthusiasts across Europe.

Spring Forward is our weekend festival that travels to a different country every year. It provides a platform for the Aerowaves Twenty as we invite key programmers from across the world to discover the latest dance from Europe. 

Aerowaves also contributes to the development of quality writing and dance criticism through Springback Academy. Its graduates fuel the writing core of Springback Magazine, an independent influencer that casts a discursive eye on Aerowaves, dance and the culture it inhabits. 

Based in: Europe (partners in 33 countries) 

Website/FB: / @aerowaveseurope  

Director & founder: John Ashford, director  

Contact: Anna Arthur, administrative director –

PLI by Viktor Černický – Summer ReCollection festival in Ljubljana, June 2021. Photo by Andrej Lamut

Aerowaves on their response to lockdown…

How was 2020-2021 for artists in the UK? 

The worse for Brexit since they can no longer benefit from our funding. 

What was the specific effect on you? 

We had to cancel our festival Spring Forward last year in Rijeka (Croatia) and this year in Elefsina (Greece). We put last years festival online in the early stages of the first lockdown (April 2020) using the Zoom webinar function and streaming full length works of our chosen artists, live Q&As with those artists, a series of short films made in Rijeka featuring the venues we would have visited and a whole lot more – it became a 3 day dance marathon with foyer chats, quizzes and after parties. We don’t like to boast but we did do it first! 

What aid was there for you? 

We are lucky to be funded by a Platforms grant from Creative Europe and their support was constant throughout. 

How the pandemic stimulated creativity or dampened it? 

Probably a bit of both, we had to find new ways to get the money to artists so came up with a number of new initiatives including digital commissions and relaxing our rules around funding performances. 

How did you resolve the problems you faced in doing work during lockdown? 

Zoom, zoom and more zoom. Also lots of plans A, B, C etc 

How did you assess its connection with your audience? 

Our audience is mainly professional. So, when we devised Spring Forward online, apart from the 900 minutes on Zoom that consisted of “translating” the festival, we also organised an online Foyer for attendees to meet and mingle virtually. This had such a good response, that the Foyer still lives on in monthly sessions.  

Any general thoughts on the future? 

Well apparently Covid is here to stay, so we predict that we’ll continue to have lots of plans.  

Aerowaves online…

Best Moments of Spring Forward

Frameworks (the digital as a dance partner):

Info about Frameworks: 

Trailer of ‘rOOms’ by Joy Alpuerto Ritter and Lukas Steltner: