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Dance Contest 2009 to Baku, Azerbaijan

02 February 2009 at 18:37 CET

The 135-minute show will be broadcast live across Europe via the Eurovision Network at 21:00 CET. Nearly 8,000 spectators are expected to attend the show in Baku's largest concert arena.

The event is organised by the EBU and will be hosted by its Azerbaijani Member, Ictimai Television. The concept of an international dance competition was initiated by the International Dance Sport Federation (IDSF) and transformed into a TV show by two UK production companies, Splash Media and Sunset+Vine. The EBU finally included the show in its family of Eurovision events.

The first two editions of the show were hosted successfully by the BBC in 2007 and 2008. Azerbaijan's public service broadcaster, Ictimai Television, then won the EBU tender to serve as host broadcaster for the 2009 edition.

"The EBU is very pleased with the level of commitment, professionalism and high spirit expressed by Ictimai, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Azerbaijani DanceSport Federation in the negotiations following Ictimai's bid to become host broadcaster," says Bjørn Erichsen, Director of Eurovision TV. "We truly look forward to this production by one of the EBU's newest Members."

The Eurovision Dance Contest is the newest addition to the family of Eurovision events. Fifty four years after the launch of the Eurovision Song Contest and the creation of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest a few years ago, this new show brings together the glitz and glamour of ballroom dancing and the Song Contest's live and unpredictable drama, with a scoreboard, foreign hosts, and of course - the "douze points".

Participating EBU broadcasters will each be represented by a couple dancing a freestyle choreography inspired by the country they represent. In addition to being judged by a panel of experts in the arena, the European audience at home will cast their vote by televoting and text voting to determine this year's winner of the Grand Prix Dancing title.