Autumn in the Lithuanian Dance Information Centre: Education for Professionals and International Projects

The beginning of the 2019-2020 creative season was marked by heated discussions in the cultural field about the working conditions of the performing arts critics and the lack of the necessary education in Lithuania. Autumn was also very active in the international performing arts field, with selection processes in the important dance and circus platforms, where Lithuanian dance and circus are represented by the Lithuanian Dance Information Centre (LDIC).

Important workshops for the dance community

In late September, the LDIC signed a collaboration agreement with the Association of Performing Arts Critics in response to the ongoing debate on the situation of performing arts critics. Both institutions are interested in promoting professional analysis and dissemination of the performing arts, and are looking for opportunities for professional growth of the authors. Depending on financial situation, both partners plan to organize a series of workshops for dance critics, encourage their participation in international writing platforms and collaborate with authors on grant applications.

In October LDIC organized the first of the planned workshops and invited contemporary dance critics to participate in a seminar with dance critic, producer Ingrida Gerbutavičiūtė and editor, theatre critic Rūta Oginskaitė. During the practical workshop the participants reviewed the history of contemporary dance development and the basics of evaluation theory as well as the most common language and writing style mistakes in texts. “Most of contemporary dance critique is written by the theatre critics, therefore it was important for them to understand how to freely navigate in the multitude of  contemporary dance expression types, to be able to form reflections” – noted Rūta Oginskaitė.

Workshop for dance critics

Another important question, particularly relevant to the dance community today, is how to present creative works to the international art market and how to create and develop relationships. Recently, Lithuanian dance artists are increasingly involved in international platforms, meetings with foreign managers, festival organizers, and are seeking for new management knowledge.

Workshop “The Art of Pitching Performing Arts”

In November, LDIC invited Lene Bang Henningsen, a Danish producer and performing arts manager, to conduct a seminar on The Art of Pitching Performing Arts. During two intensive days, participants of the seminar, representatives of Lithuanian performing arts, learned the  specific of communication, the art of presenting their activities. People from the field of performing arts had the opportunity to present their ideas to a jury of cultural professionals invited by LDIC, to receive important comments and advices from Lene Bang and colleagues. This seminar is a continuation of the LDIC education cycle aimed at raising the professional competence of performing arts professionals in management and better understanding the details of working in the international market.

Workshop “The Art of Pitching Performing Arts”

November in the International Fields

One of Europe’s leading contemporary dance networks, Aerowaves, has made an annual selection of twenty dance performances for the Aerowaves festival “Spring Forward” .

Gintarė Masteikaitė, the head of LDIC, which is one of the members of the network, participated in the selection committee. “The selection has never been more difficult. You can see a very clear trend – the quality and variety of the performances are increasing, and the creative potential of young choreographers is getting stronger. There are about 500 different performances to be discussed during the three days, and the tension is endless as all countries try to get attention for their artists.” At least two performances of the selected twenty will be seen by the audience of next year’s international dance festival “New Baltic Dance” in Lithuania.

Aerowaves jury

LDIC is also a member of the circusnext platform, so in November project coordinator Laima Zamžickė traveled to the final stage of the platform’s project selection and was a part of its jury. Twelve projects were selected during the event in Paris – performance ideas that will be developed with the help of platform members over the next three years. Later, these performances will be shown at different festivals in Europe.

The meeting of circusnext partners

“The main selection criterion is originality, so this platform is a great opportunity for the creators of the contemporary circus to implement their craziest and most innovative ideas,” said L. Zamžickė. Two performances selected by circusnext will be available to viewers in August of 2020, during the International Performing Arts Festival ConTempo in Kaunas, Lithuania.

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