International Performing Arts Market. How to Enter and Survive?

The Art of Pitching Performing Arts – this was the name of the seminar, led by producer and performing arts manager Lene Bang Henningsen, which took place in the Lithuanian Dance Information Centre this November. The two-day workshop was attended by Lithuanian artists and managers wanting to learn how to represent themselves and pitch their work to the international market. How did survival in the international performing arts market became a separate art itself and how to master it when you are just starting? We asked Lene Bang Henningsen.


Lene Bang Henningsen

How to ‘make it‘?

According to Henningsen, there is no single answer to this question: “It has to do with talent, ambition, dedication, a support system that appears in the right moment and lots of hard work. Although we are used to hearing these unique success stories, if we looked deeper into them, we would see that it takes a team to create an artistic career. It is also very important to be aware of your network which creates possibilities and to always have a strategy – artistic, financial and cultural-political strategy, because you have to know the context around you.” She points out, that there are many programmes and platforms where you can get your work made visible internationally, but she also suggests to note that most of the programmes are for either discovering emerging, young artists or for celebrating the amazing professionals. “It means that the mid-career artists are having the hardest challenge to survive in the international market.” – says Lene Bang Henningsen.

The Power of Community

Lene Bang Henningsen often mentions the importance of a good team, but what are the chances to enter the international market if there is no team and you can’t afford a producer? “In this case it is extremely important for the artist to have a supporting structure, a community, just like the Lithuanian Dance Information Centre, – says Henningsen, – it’s a team which can share the knowledge about international opportunities and give insight. It’s all about the community. From my experience, it has a great importance.”


Meeting in Vilnius. “The Art og Pitching Performing Arts”

Experience in Vilnius

“I think you should be very proud of the artistic community you have here.” – Lene Bang Henningsen states after being asked about her experience in leading the seminar in Vilnius. “I was super excited about the qualities of the artists and how diverse their work was. Even though people were a bit intimidated by the fact that there was a jury, it was so lovely to see how the whole community supported each other. We created an atmosphere where we could learn as a group. I will go home and have a few conversations with people in Denmark about what I saw. I know there is a connection already between the artist communities of Lithuania and Denmark, but more can be done. I believe in the Nordic-Baltic community. All in all, I leave Vilnius with a big smile!”


Meeting in Vilnius. “The Art og Pitching Performing Arts”

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