PUSH+ LABS & FORMATS
PUSH+ organiseert drie artistieke research labs voor telkens 15 kunstenaars, 3 vanuit elke partner. Voor België kunnen dus telkens 3 kunstenaars aan een PUSH+ lab participeren. Hier volgt de eerste informatie. Bij belangstelling, kijk dan even onder de knop 'open call' want daar vind je alle info en de manier van je kandidaat stellen voor de labs.
HOME - Imaginate, Scotland (UK) - January 2019 - open call in October 2018
Imaginate will curate a programme of research around the idea of ‘home’ offering facilitated time with a Lead Artist, time spent with groups of children, input from non-arts experts, open time to play with ideas, seeing relevant work and films together and one-off workshops with visiting artists.
This Lab will bring together fifteen artists based in five different countries in Europe to explore ideas around HOME in theatre and dance for young audiences. Artists will work together from Wednesday 23 January to Friday 1 February 2019. Over 8 days, we will be looking at ideas around the topic of ‘home’, incorporating ideas from artist applications as well as the following questions:
- Does home have a different meaning for children? How are we impacting on children by portraying home in theatre and dance as a place of cosiness and safety where this is not their experience of life?
- How does our experience of place create identity and belonging, both of which are essential to an understanding of home?
- How much is a sense of home connected to ‘physical' space or place and notions of permanence. What is it to live in the middle spaces where sometimes nowhere feels fully like home?
- Is wherever I lay my hat, my home? privilege, assumption, exclusion?
- How does our relationship to our environment - built and natural - effect and inform our sense of self, place and home?
- How do experiences of migration inform the place-making that is involved in making a home?
- Do we really know who lives in our cities as immigration itself diversifies, with immigrants from new countries moving in resulting in an increasing and/or changing range of nationalities?
- Do elements of our home affect the art we make – landscape, language, culture, bodily expressions, rituals, communal storytelling, history?
- What are the non-permanent and non-human aspects / qualities of home?
We are also interested in experimentation with form as well as content so will explore these three ‘formats’ over the duration of PUSH+, being participatory, site-specific and intergenerational. Through these formats we will play with the ways in which we create and present material, who performs it and how we engage with the audience.
We will spend the first three days at Wiston Lodge, a charity housed in a former Victorian Hunting Lodge built in the 1870s. From there we will have access to outdoor spaces to walk and talk in as well as indoor spaces in the main house. On return to Edinburgh, we will work in the Royal Lyceum Theatre Rehearsal Room to explore performance ideas together with additional input from external artists and experts.
FAILURE - CCHA/Krokusfestival (Belgium) - September 2019
This Lab will investigate on a more philosophical level how failure is related to success as a positive norm in society. What is failure compared to success, who decides on that, what does failure mean on a personal and social level? What if failure turns out to be as positive as success? Then we might need real Institutes of Failures as an antidote to our society imposed fear for failures. After all, Stephen Frears is (maybe) right: "To be successful at anything, you need the right to fail, not just occasionally."
The Lab will equally investigate how that applies to and effects children, parents and artists: how many failures are they allowed to make in the arts industry? And how do we, presenters and festival directors, deal with that? Do we keep supporting those failing artists or do we also turn our back in search of more successful productions? In that sense, this Lab will be partly a self-reflective dialogue (even and definitely between presenters and artists).
On an artistic level, the Lab will research the creative possibilities of failure in repertoire and on stage. What role models are in our performances for young audiences?
CCHA/Krokusfestival will open up questions and research around failure in different ways: as a value in itself, as a start for something new (American author Zig Ziglar: "Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.") and as a space of freedom for creativity. The Lab will work with an experienced Lead Artist and will introduce participating artists from different Belgian companies, have input from several non-arts experts from different social fields (e.g. psychology, sociology, private sector, politicians), will spend time with children/educators/parents/presenters, will visit so-called places of failure in society (e.g. assistance homes for addicts, jail, homeless, youth assistance homes), and dive into dramaturgical input through films, books, games.
DIFFERENT BODIES - Scenekunstbruket (Norway) - September 2020
Scenekunstbruket will work alongside a Lead Artist to explore content, implementation and follow-up.
Lab lines of enquiry will include:
- What is a body and how do our bodies connect with our sense of self?
- What bodies are we seeing on our stages and whose bodies are missing?
- Where are the old bodies, disabled bodies, ‘unhealthy’ bodies, ethnically diverse bodies?
- What is the impact of how we treat our bodies, when we self-harm or don’t take care?
- What messaging are we giving young audiences with this lack of diversity of bodies
- Who is ‘allowed’ to dance or be on stage?
In addition to sharing and working with each other, we would like to introduce the participating artists to some of Norway’s most inspiring artists and companies. In particular: Panta Rei Dance Theatre who create dance productions for young audiences and always find ways to include the community when touring. They have led multicultural projects in collaboration with asylum centres as well as local projects with youth centres and different public art projects with a focus on reaching new audiences. Hege Haagenrud who through the performance Use My Body While It’s Still Young takes an unflinching look at the unfashionable subject of ageing and society’s dismissive or embarrassed attitudes to older people’s appetites and longings. Her performance The Infinite shows how a young girl acts like a predator towards her own body. Nasser Mhende and Sebastian Tjørstad who made the performance The Balance - a dance duet. Sebastian was born without legs and arms; he is also a comedian and an actor. Therese Slob, who has created several dance performances with immigrants, disabled dancers and children.
Artists will have the opportunity to work directly with children and young people through KROM (developed by Rom for Dance). KROM stands for body in the room. The focus is on the uniqueness of the individual, taking care of each person’s distinctive character, value, movement and history. KROM wishes to visualise how many different bodies and expressions exist and create acceptance for inequalities.
They will also meet with projects like the INK project (professional artists who made performances and workshops for/with children with special needs). The project was initiated as Norwegian cultural policy has not succeeded in its goals as people living with disability are still underrepresented in the field of culture. The project was intended to let disabled children/youth participate in some specific cultural activities based on their social skills.
In addition to working with one topic each year, PUSH+ will introduce three formats (forms or styles of performance) to encourage experimentation with both form and content. Through these formats we will play with the ways in which we create and present material, who performs it and how we engage with the audience.
Participatory – Performance that requires audiences to participate
Can we enrich the expression by democratising the roles within the performance by changing the audience's role from being passively observant to creatively participating? How can we stage performances involving the audience so they are both participants, co-creators and observers at the same time?
Site-specific – Performance taking place outside of traditional venue spaces
Can we make performance art more present and reach new audiences by taking it out of the conventional theatre spaces? Working site-specifically can involve all kinds of non-theatrical spaces. It can be interventions that pop-up in a space without being pre-announced, it can guide the audience through landscape or it can stage a specific and relevant location in a new way.
Intergenerational – Performance with different age groups across human life
Can we make work about general human subjects that allow the audience to interpret it individually, according to the eyes that see, that is relevant for people of diverse ages and backgrounds? We will explore the artistic possibilities of working with performers of different generations on stage together.
We offer these formats as inspirations, styles of performance that we are interested in seeing on our stages. For example, working in a site-specific setting in an urban or rural landscape, might be rewarding in combination with the topic of 'Home'. Working across generations in a participatory form might be interesting in combination with the theme 'Different Bodies’.
Many borders are being pushed right now. Geographical borders are being pushed by economic interests, multinational companies, political ideologies and religious beliefs and by news media, social media, the IT industry and people moving. At the same time, there are national interests that work to build and strengthen these borders.
An important role of stage art is to be a reflection of its contemporary society and to be pushing the boundaries of convictions. Thus the boundaries of performing art itself alsohave to be pushed. By bringing in these three specific formats, we want to investigate new methods and strategies of the work pushing the borders between performers and audiences, the borders between the performance and public space and the borders across ages and stages of human life.
Finally, public presentations and engagement will be inherent in the working process: participatory works unfold only in the meeting with the audience; in site-specific works one must relate to the people present in the public space and intergenerational work requires a diversity of audiences and/or performers to take part.