This research network wants to provide a vital stimulus for the expansion and anchoring of dance studies in Flanders and Europe. Even though Flanders is internationally known as an important hub for dance, this domain has still not acquired the same institutional embedding and visibility within the Flemish academic context. Research on dance is currently highly fragmented and mainly takes place within university departments that do not focus specifically on dance, but rather on other branches within the humanities, such as (art) history, cultural studies, theater and film studies, philosophy, sociology, or media studies. This interdisciplinary connection with other research domains is characteristic of dance scholarship, but the actual potential of this interdisciplinarity can only be fully exploited through a common network that enables dance scholars to bring their different methodological approaches into dialogue with each other.
The national and international research units that are members of "CoDa | Cultures of Dance" bring together at least three fundamental pillars that are still too often treated separately in contemporary dance studies: (i) dance as an aesthetic practice (micro-perspective); (ii) dance as a sociocultural phenomenon (macro-perspective); (iii) dance and embodied knowledge (intra-perspective). Combining these perspectives enables the development of new interdisciplinary methodologies that increase both the scope and depth of dance studies. In addition, the research network allows to bring together the expertise of both national and international partners and to immerse future dance scholars in a top-level research environment through training activities, Spring Schools, or networking opportunities. With these and other initiatives, CoDa will make a significant contribution to expanding both the visibility and existing expertise in dance research at Flemish and other European universities within the international field of dance studies.