The Zadar Dance Ensemble was founded at the very beginning of the Croatian War of Independence, in the autumn of 1991. It is the oldest contemporary dance ensemble in Dalmatia. It was founded by Sanja Petrovski and Nives Šimatović Predovan, who was posthumously awarded the Coat of Arms of the City of Zadar. Putting on plays and performances in the most varied and most unusual places in the city is the peculiarity of this Ensemble.

We have long been participants of festivals Zadar Snova and Zadar Summer Theatre, Musical Evenings in St Donat, as well as guests at the Dance Week Festival in Zagreb, Plesokaz -Požega, International Children’s Festival in Šibenik, Ogulin Fairytale Festival, and Dani Matice hrvatske in Mostar organised by a Croatian cultural organisation. The dance ensemble and its directors have most notably collaborated with the Croatian National Theatre in Zadar and the Zadar Puppet Theatre, Museum of Ancient Glass, and National and Archaeological Museums in Zadar. We were the co-founders as well as a part of the Artikultura project. For years, the Zadar Dance Ensemble has been a participant in all major manifestations and events in the city – the openings of all major sporting competitions, exhibitions, cultural events, various festivals etc.

How it all started: The Zadar Dance Ensemble was formed by young dancers from the Department of Rhythmics and Dance of Blagoje Bersa Music School and Croatian Youth Centre dance studio Kiks-Miks who decided to remain in Zadar in the autumn of 1991. They all came together for the project Water for Culture Cabaret Shelter.

The Ensemble connects amateurs with professional dance artists, organises educational programmes for dancers of all ages. We have had over 90 dance productions with students of dance studios of the Ensemble, and we have produced about 50 professional dance shows.  Since 2009, we have been organising international contemporary dance festival Monoplay, whose focus on the solo form makes it the only dance festival of its kind in Croatia. We are also organisers of the encounter of the Zadar dance scene to mark the Day of the City of Zadar entitled Dance Miniature Evening. For years we have been the organisers and active participants of celebrations marking the World Dance Day. Together with artistic organisation 21:21 from Zagreb we also founded STREAM Zadar, the educational platform which has become a place for encounters and exchange of ideas of dance artists from Croatia and abroad. We are active members of Nomad Dance Academy Croatia, which brings together dance organisations and independent artists working in the field of contemporary dance in Croatia. The Zadar Dance Ensemble aims to professionalise and decentralise the dance scene and develop the artistic, performative and educational potentials of contemporary dance in the broader social context in Croatia.

On the occasion of its 25th anniversary, the Zadar Dance Ensemble received a Special Award of Professional Contemporary Dance Organisations of the Republic of Croatia for season 2015/2016, for its extraordinary artistic contribution and systematic work on the decentralisation and professionalization of Croatian dance.