Dancing a treasure

Step Into the dance: Revolutionizing Spanish dance appreciation through video gaming

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Dream: The National Ballet of Spain (BNE) envisioned a novel approach to captivate new audiences by merging the art of Spanish dance with the engaging world of video gaming. The dream was to create an interactive experience that would introduce the richness of Spanish dance to a global audience, transcending traditional boundaries of art appreciation.

Idea: Inspired by a patron's desire to support the Spanish Ballet and the realization of the potential video games have in attracting youth, the idea of developing a video game about Spanish dance was born. This innovative project aimed to use digital technology as a bridge to connect younger generations with Spain's cultural heritage, making it accessible and appealing.

Realization: The project materialized in Madrid, with significant contributions from Ann Krace's patronage, the collaboration of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Acción Cultural España, the University of Berkeley in Valencia, and the company Gamelearner. Together, they developed a video game that allowed players to explore the world of Spanish dance through interactive learning and immersive storytelling.

Challenges and solutions: Bridging the gap between the traditional art of ballet and the modern digital world presented unique challenges. The project required external expertise in video game development, leading to collaborations with universities and companies specializing in educational gaming. Funding was another significant challenge, overcome by securing 95% of the project's costs through patronage and collaborative efforts.

Innovation: The video game emerged as a pioneering tool in the world of arts education, being the first of its kind to promote dance through an educational video game platform. This unique approach not only introduced Spanish dance to a wider audience but also demonstrated the potential of video games as a medium for cultural education.

Effect: Since its inception, the video game has successfully attracted new audiences to Spanish dance, evidenced by an increase in attendance among children and young people at national ballet shows. The project's success highlights the effectiveness of innovative digital tools in engaging with the public and expanding the reach of traditional arts.

Target audience: Designed to appeal to dancers, artists, families, and the general public, the video game caters to a broad audience. Its educational and entertaining format makes Spanish dance accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds.

Sustainability: The project's sustainability is ensured by its adaptability and ongoing collaboration with educational institutions. Each year, new students have the opportunity to update the video game as part of their final degree project, ensuring its relevance and appeal continue to evolve.

Digital tools: The development of the video game involved sophisticated digital tools, including motion capture technology, and required collaboration with experts in video game creation. This collaborative approach enabled the BNE to overcome the lack of in-house expertise in digital game development.

Funding: The project's innovative funding model relied heavily on patronage and collaboration, with 95% of its budget provided by sponsors and partners. This strategy allowed the development of the video game with a budget under €60,000, showcasing the project's cost-effectiveness.

Future: The ongoing collaboration with educational institutions ensures the video game's continual evolution. By involving students in updating the game as part of their coursework, the project remains a living, evolving tool for promoting Spanish dance, promising to inspire future generations for years to come.

Responsible institution: Ballet Nacional de España

Contact person on good practice: Belén Moreno, Head of the Patronage and Educational Activities Department, belen.moreno@inaem.cultura.gob.es
Contact person on BNE: Belén Moreno, Head of the Patronage and Educational Activities Department, belen.moreno@inaem.cultura.gob.es