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Personal profile


Gustavo Fijalkow received a multifaceted dance education at the Taller del Teatro San Martín (Argentina), the Folkwang Hoschschule (Germany) and the Rotterdamse Dansacademie (The Netherlands), where he obtained his diploma in stage dance. For over twenty years he performed in diverse companies and projects around the world, eventually shifting from pure dance to more experimental, performance-related or theatrical formats, both in purpose-built venues and in site-specific contexts. Between 2004 and 2014 he was the manager and creative producer of the Germany-based, mixed-abled dance company DIN A 13. In this position, he co-conceived and directed the implementation of international dance projects in various African, South American and Asian countries, as well as in Germany. Most of these projects were carried out in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut. He was for years’ advisor to the jury of the festival Tanzhautnah in Cologne. Further more, he co-established the Crossings Dance Festivals and KulturDifferenzTanz, pioneer German platforms and festivals for professional mixed-abled dance. As an artistic director, he curated them as multidisciplinary festivals aiming at challenging the pre-eminent binomial discourse around ability/disability. In the field of academia, he obtained 2009 his M.A. in International Arts Management with the thesis Bloodbath-Blood bond, that focused on constructions of German identities in Israel through the cultural work of the Goethe-Institut Tel Aviv. The symposium Heim.at tanz.t (2014), that explored the relation between dance and national identities was produced in his joint effort with the German Sport University Cologne, for which Gustavo signed responsible for the idea and co-curation. He is currently a doctoral candidate at the Centre for Dance Research, C-DaRE, Coventry University. His thesis delves into the phenomenon National Dance Platform, and its capability to generate or perpetuate national narratives through dance within a globalised world order.

PhD Project

National Dance Platforms. A comparative study of the cases in Germany, Israel, Sri Lanka and the UK.



Scapes  - National narratives  - Curation–  Globalisation – Nationalism - Showcasing


National Dance Platforms (NaDaPs) are festivals that showcase dance or choreographic practices and raise the claim of national representation. The genealogy of festivals established to show national achievements reaches a long way back: The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, the Biennale in Venice and the Olympic Games are only the most famous. All of them developed in the second half of the 19th century, in the golden era of the nation-state. Unsurprisingly, they place the exhibits within a national bracket and raise the claim of national representation. In this act, the exhibits convey ideas of how the nation perceives itself. Thus, they result in the suggestion of identity markers related to questions of national identities. Notably, NaDaPs appear as phenomenon that raises the claim of national representation in the 1990s, at a time, in which the world in fully globalised, not least due to the phenomena of migrations, digitalisation and neoliberalism.

Appadurai proposes a system of "scapes" to analyse flows in the global cultural economy: ideoscape, ethnoscape, financescape, technoscape and mediascape. The denomination scapes reflects the vastness of these fields, implying the impossibility to fully grasp them while acknowledging the researcher’s positionality. At the same time, the scapes allow to acknowledge the tension arising between the phenomenon’s globality and its local iterations. Utilising Appadurai’s methodology I analyse and contrast the Dance Platform Germany 2016, the International Exposure 2015, Shakti 2016 and the British Dance Edition 2016. While locating these NaDaPs’ genealogy in the global macro-context in which they emerge, I anchor their local historicity in the micro-frameworks in which they take place.


Following the cultural flows of ideas that nourish and permeate the phenomenon, NaDaPs the ideoscape frames the questioning of an international system of values that underpins the constitution of hierarchies in the global system of dance markets. It especially looks at notions of contemporaneity and national-ness as key ideologies underpinning the NaDaPs.  The ethnoscape provides the context to follow the dancers, choreographers and presenters or programmers and highlights the tension rising between the NaDaPs’ national claim and the internationality of their actors. In the financescape I follow the national and international money flows implicated in funding NaDaPs and the showcased choreographic works, focusing on the impact that national arts funding policies have on the art that is created in the respective contexts. Further, the mediascape and the technoscape provide insights respectively in the mediation of the idea of the Nation and the technologies that mediate these representations. Finally, my thesis questions if the phenomenon NaDaP is coherent with the current conditions that frame the international dance market. My work further aims at providing tools to understand the political dimensions of dance and choreographic practices when they are situated in a context that raises the claim of national representation within the globalised and West-dominated system of contemporary dance. 

Education/Academic qualification

MA, Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln

Degree, Codarts hogeschool voor de kunsten

Activities 2016 2018

  • 4 Oral presentation
  • 1 Participation in conference
  • 1 Invited talk

National Dance Platforms in a global(ised) dance world

Gustavo Fijalkow (Speaker)
11 Jul 2018

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

Trans-forming the Nation? National Dance Platforms in a globalised world

Gustavo Fijalkow (Speaker)
2 Jun 2018

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

National Dance Platforms. Festivals like any others?

Gustavo Fijalkow (Speaker)
18 Apr 2018

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

Interrarium Curators Symposium 2018. Retreat

Gustavo Fijalkow (Invited speaker)
3 Apr 20186 Apr 2018

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Dialogues and Encounters: Somatic Practices and Politics

Gustavo Fijalkow (Speaker)
17 Sep 2017

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation