EU National Institutes for Culture - EUNIC


Dance Fusion
26 dancers selected in an open call to join the Dance Fusion project 2021.

Dance Fusion, project initiated by EUNIC Rabat and Casablanca, fostered creative and professional skills of Moroccan dancers and strenghtened the resilience of the local performing arts scene by supporting the development of local cultural infrastructure and professional networks. The project also aimed to boost collaborations between Moroccan hip-hop and contemporary dancers and European artists.

The EUNIC clusters in Rabat and Casablanca have for the first time joined forces to improve and promote cultural diversity and understanding between European societies and to strengthen international dialogue and cultural cooperation with Dance Fusion, project co-financed through the EUNIC Cluster Fund Call 2020. The project focused on providing support to local cultural scenes affected by the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.


The project had several major activities: a kick-off event and an open call, 9 masterclasses with Moroccan & European mentors for 26 selected urban & contemporary semi/professional dancers held in Casablanca & Rabat. Additionally the project had a showcasing public dance event “Street vs Stage”, including 7 additional “FUSION OFF” masterclasses for (youth) dancers. Furthermore, the project initiated a FUSION Alumni Network.

Through regular work within a heterogenic group of dancers (aged 18-33, 18 men & 8 women, urban & contemporary dancers) and the monthly masterclasses, the group improved and shared dance techniques and acquired new skills. The project developed into a “dance community” enhancing cross- fertilisation between urban and contemporary dancers, bridged gap between men and women active participation to the local dance scene, and initiated a mechanism of mutual support. An innovative mix between two very different dance techniques was developed and presented, and individuals’ commitment and engagement to challenge social/professional barriers was enhanced. Synergies between dancers emerged, hence strengthening professionalization and sense of (social) entrepreneurship.

The sustainable impact of FUSION's vision and outcomes is demonstrated by the continued exchange between beneficiaries beyond the project completion. The “FUSION dance community” empowered and demonstrates high potential to act as multiplicator for other Moroccan dancers. The public performance “Street vs Stage”, conceived as a platform to showcase dancers’ skills and challenge social barriers between dancers - local communities, enhanced project visibility and dancers’ sense of personal and professional growth. It positively impacted local (peer) communities as a pilot to continue addressing inclusion and equal participation of women in the dance scene, position dancers as professional cultural actors capable of achieving better employment, educated the audience, and activate a network of local and international partners to build an ecosystem of cultural initiatives.

The project was conceived to enable local dancers (beneficiaries) and their peer group to build relations at local and international level, thanks to the involvement of mentors. The regular exchange and intense working sessions, as well as the showcasing event become seeds for a mid/long-term exchange, offering possibilities to establish professional synergies and collaborations. 15 FUSION dancers benefited from an internal company training lead by the Moroccan dance company Col’jam, and presented collective and solos performances in the frame of the dance festival “Les Rencontres Chorégraphiques de Casablanca” (Oct. 2021). One FUSION dancer joined Col’jam and was invited to participate in the company training of the dance company “No Way Back” from Belgium.

Capitalising on the experience of the masterclass, the mentor Emmanuel Milan (Belgium) organised with the Délégation Général Wallonie-Bruxelles a one-week residency with FUSION dancers, whose outcome was presented to the public at “Les Rencontres Chorégraphiques de Casablanca”. FUSION benefited from high visibility within the dance & cultural scene, encouraging Moroccan cultural partners to support & join the project, opening possibilities to collaborate with EUNIC Members in the frame new cultural projects and FUSION 2022 (i.e. with British Council, Les Etoiles de Casablanca, Les Etoiles de Detroit/Tanger). As the first long-term cultural project implemented by EUNIC Clusters Rabat & Casablanca, FUSION was a successful pilot project positively testing intercultural relations between Moroccan and European cultural institutes, inspiring and motivating all partners and local EU Delegations to (continue) working in synergy and capitalising on the good practice of FUSION to reach a larger target group of young cultural actors & local partner organisation, building a sustainable Moroccan-European cultural ecosystem.

Challenges and Learnings

During the inception phase the project had succesful involvement of all Cluster Member who contributed specific expertise to deliver coherent project management, maintain quality despite Covid-restrictions, define & initiate a Network of Partners/Tutors, enhance project visibility & plan sustainability of the actions. The coordination between 5 institutions proved to be fruitful and mutually enriching. Once pandemic-related adjustments were discussed and set, the collaboration and implementation of agreed-upon work packages between all members was smooth, participated and constructive. Requested as a supporter & advisor, the EU Delegation was unfortunately not available to contribute to the project.

The project timeline was redefined during the inception phase to minimise travels between Moroccan cities and from Europe to comply with sanitary rules, limiting dancer’s participation to Casablanca & Rabat (location of Clusters). Travel authorizations had to be issued for each participant/masterclass. Responding to the closure of boarders, the European mentors were invited in the second half of the project; hence all masterclasses with international mentors (4) were hold between Sept - Nov ’21, March-July was implemented with Moroccan mentors only.

The Networking and further-education activity planned (visit to the “Biennale de la Danse en Afrique” in Marrakech) could not take place as the Biennale was postponed to a time after the project completion. To respond to the high interest in participating to FUSION, 7 additional “FUSION OFF” masterclasses with European mentors were implemented (Sep-Nov) for (youth) dancers in Salé, Fès & Casablanca. An Alumni of dancers and tutors developed, capitalising on the synergies among EUNIC Clusters, international and national networks of European institutes of cultures and benefited largely the “FUSION Community” as well as the broad public.


The project proved to be highly appreciated not only by the beneficiaries (urban and contemporary dancers from 5 cities across Morocco), as well as by the local peer group and larger dance community. Its methodology and timely response to the pandemic addressed the local needs and untacked potentials of the young dance scene in Morocco, it offered the tools to take action, professionalise and proactively creating opportunities to pursue a professional career in the dance field, boosted a sense of entrepreneurship and also contributed to building bridged between Europe and Morocco thanks to the positive exchange with European mentors.

FUSION is an excellent and successful project. I can feel the passion that is involved, this passion is at the heart of FUSION and creates a true connection to the participants. I am convinced that we can continue the project with EUNIC in 2022.

Marly Bos, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Morocco

  • Best practice
  • Dance
  • Gender
  • Contemporary
  • Residency

Co-funded by the European Union Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.