Alkantara is an association based in Lisbon, dedicated to the development of the performing arts in Portugal and in an international context. Its work is motivated by a worldview mindful of difference and a less Eurocentric vision of contemporary artistic creation.
Known until 2005 as Danças na Cidade (‘Dances in the City’), the association focused its efforts on the promotion of contemporary dance and the work of young Portuguese choreographers. Highlights from this period include the collaborative projects Dançar o que é Nosso (‘Dancing What is Ours’, begun in 1998) and the Danças na Cidade festival (1993-2004), an internationally relevant platform for the distribution of dance, recognized for its focus on new creators and spirit of artistic and cultural dialogue.
In 2005, the association changed its name to alkantara. The alkantara festival, an intense program of performing arts held in Lisbon, had its first edition in 2006.
A wide range of initiatives — including international meetings, a residency program, national and international co-productions, and research and publishing projects — allow alkantara to reinforce its position as a key player in the local cultural scene and pursue its objectives of promoting and distributing international contemporary art.
Because the value of transversality is at the association’s core, alkantara also leads various training and outreach programs, designed to bring diverse audiences into closer contact with contemporary art.
Since being ceded to alkantara by the Lisbon Municipality in 2008, espaço alkantara, a building located in Lisbon’s historic Santos neighborhood, has become the center of the association’s activities and a welcome challenge to its artistic project.
With continued support from the Directorate General of the Arts/Ministry of Culture, alkantara collaborates regularly with other national and international cultural organizations in order to improve the conditions of production, presentation and visibility of the performing arts.
Alkantara is also a member of several networks and exchange platforms (DBM Mediterranean Dance Network, On the Move, Anna Lindh Foundation, REDE Association of Portuguese Contemporary Dance Organizations, among others) and a partner in various international cooperation and co-production programs (Next Step–promotion of European artistic creation and Départs–practices for the integrated development of contemporary European dance).