About the Festival

 Karlovac Dance Festival (KDF) offers a forum to collaborate and share dance knowledge in order to foster the development of contemporary dance in Karlovac. Karlovac Dance Festival project aims to support and enrich social, cultural, creative and educational values with the aim of inspiring people in different ways through dance. The goal of KDF is to create and maintain an internationally collaborative dance project. The launch and maintenance of this festival is intended to stimulate the development of new collaborations, production platform and partnerships, multicultural and artistic cooperation’s, artist residencies, research labs and open dialogues. Initiated in 2011.

 Centre for dance and performing arts F.R.E.E. D.A.N.C.E. Karlovac is an association founded in 2004. Primary activities are: dance education, organising, collaborating on and producing dance and performance projects as well as developing dance art. Long term goals: promoting cultural, educational and dance goals; creating a positive environment for the development of contemporary dance art. Strategy of the project: creativity & performance research; dance development programmes.

More about the Festival:


International Performances │ Production platform and Partnerships │ Research labs │ Commissions, Collaborations and dialogues │

Producer:                           Centre for dance and

performance art F.R.E.E. D.A.N.C.E.

Festival director:             Melita Spahić Bezjak

The Karlovac Dance Festival project aims to support and enrich social, cultural and educational values. Special attention will be paid to knowledge and identity of Karlovac, and also the Croatian dance scene.

The goal of this project is to create and maintain an internationally collaborative dance project, and to follow trends in contemporary dance (for viewers and the public as much as for the participants of the festival).

Characteristics of this culture event are:

Non-formal education of children, youth and adults in the field of contemporary dance-art, non-formal education of the audience, and availability of information and education
International cultural exchange and cooperation, and making contacts for all dance artists in Karlovac
Flow of information and communication with other dance artists in Karlovac during the programme of the festival
Education of participants of the seminars and workshops and a wider audience, and creating new choreographic works based on workshops and festival production
Writing about dance

Thereby, the project and the festival are in accordance with the following strategies:

Dance-art development
Cultural tourism
Healthy and fair living, and the right to education
European strategy for culture

"Culture and creativity are a very important part of citizens’ everyday life. They are important triggers of personal development, social cohesion and economic growth. But, they are also much more: they are the central elements of a European project based on values of shared heritage that both acknowledges and respects diversity", EC Jose Manuel Barroso.

Initiating and organizing the festival is an effort that will support the development of the dance scene in Karlovac County and Croatia.

Mission & Aims:

Increasing the siye of the contemporary dance audience.

Dance education that should help build a personal and cultural identity for the city of Karlovac, and with that also its promotion and affirmation in Croatia and abroad. Along with its former accomplishments, this project will try adding to the Karlovac dance strategy, and raising the question of the future of dance, its professionalization and international affirmation.
Availability of information and materials concerning contemporary dance thru exhibitions, and projections which would enable availability of those materials (CDs, DVDs, books, posters, videos, films).
Starting an initiative for communication and connection. Openness and access to information for the public.


1. Basic goals of the festival:

Multicultural production and artistic cooperation that will emphasize active participation and cooperation between various artists and art organizations
Gaining professional experience in producing and organizing a high-quality festival programme, and producing a transnational multicultural dance project
The idea and leitmotiv of the festival is an international and national exchange of experience

2. Presentation of dance shows by Croatian creators

3. Presentation of dance shows by foreign creators, and educational and creative contents regarding dance art

One of the goals is to ensure that Karlovac becomes a centre for dance culture in the long term. This would contribute to its promotion in this segment of artistic creation.

The goal of the project is to organize an international dance project within dance residences of artists that would be held in Karlovac in various locations. The final dance performances would be performed in the future in the partner countries (Croatia, England, Greece, Basque Country and Italy).



Creating and maintaining an international dance gathering
Gathering of contemporary dance artists that work in the area of Karlovac County and the city of Karlovac

Dance performances

Programme of the 2011 Festival of Dance:

Dance performances by domestic and foreign authors
Lectures, workshops, exhibitions and video projections
Artistic cooperation
Participants working together in creating the final show of the festival
Documenting and evaluation of the project

Open Doors! Project is an initiative for development of the Karlovac dance scene. Promotion, affirmation, and development of young and talented local dancers is the goal of the project. Also, attention will we paid to local, regional and international cooperation through networking, artist-exchanges and production of different programmes and projects.


Most of the programmes and events of the festival will take place in locations in the open throughout Karlovac when the weather and technical conditions allow this scenario: on the streets, town squares, parks, rivers and culture locations. The rest of the programme will be held in cultural establishments and theatres.

Specific locations: The old star-shaped town of Karlovac and its streets, parks, the river of Korana, the old town of Dubovac, Korzo.


The Visual identity of the festival is two siren-dancers and the symbol of the Karlovac star-shaped old town.


Foreign partners:

'veedha' artistic theatre organization, director Rowan Thorpe, Athens, Greece
Avatara Ayuso Dance Company
Improvisamente, artistic organization, Sardinia, Italy, director Carla Onni
Melita Spahic Dance, UK, London
Atxarte Lopez de Munain, Basque Country

Partners in Croatia:

Studio 23, Karlovac, Promenada Klub, Orpheus


With contacts made abroad and interested partner organizations in Greece, England, Basque Country and Karlovac, festival project has the opportunity to reach European dance standards with its quality and offer.

Why Karlovac?

Karlovac is very successful in gathering youth and citizens in associations and dance art organizations.

The situation of Karlovac is a geographically ideal location for a meeting of dancers and a gathering of Croatian and international guest artists.

Characteristics and criteria:

Professionalism, experience, expertise of programmed performers
High general level of quality and professionalism
The importance of the programme for the revival of the cultural and art scene in Karlovac and Croatia
Following contemporary trends and innovations in dance-art
Innovativeness, creativity, and originality of concepts and programmes which raise the quality of cultural on offer
Multidisciplinary programmes 
Expertise in performing, implementing, and working within certain categories
Planned promotion of the programme with the goal to popularise the content of the programme
A cultural and educational dimension to the programme
Appreciation of (and contribution to) Karlovac’s local identity
Short-term, mid-term and long-term importance of the project
Feasibility and integrity of the project
Achievable social, cultural, educational and creative values