During a long time of lockdown the partners of the Clash! Project took time to work on the development and implementation of online Audience development activities. They used tools from digital marketing and social media strategy to engage more audiences from different counties. This measurement was also the foundation of the new form of the “CLASH! On stage” Festival that should adapt to the new conditions of international travel and cultural exchange.
Online AD activities
On June 13th, 2020, Polish Dance Theatre launched a special installment of the “chat room” – series entitled “Dance of Spectators”. All participants were able to observe the contemporary dance audiences – not only to specify their description but also to investigate what attracts them to be part of contemporary dance performances and what defines their choice whether to be an active or a passive audience.
The online event was hosted by Agnieszka Jachym and Robert Chodyła. Their guests were Joanna Leśnierowska, Joanna Szymajda and Konrad Kurowski who talked about building an audience for contemporary dance and classical ballet, audience research, methods of arousing interest in the art of dance, and – in the context of the current situation in the world – the impact of the pandemic on the behavior of cultural audiences.
- Joanna Leśnierowska – a playwright, critic, dance curator and performer, who has been running the Old Brewery New Dance performance program since 2004 within the framework of the Art Stations Foundation established by Grażyna Kulczyk.
- Joanna Szymajda – the manager of the ballet of the Wrocław Opera, a critic, doctor of humanities, deputy director of the Institute of Music and Dance in 2010-2017, curator of dance projects such as the Dialogue of Four Cultures Festival in Łódź.
- Konrad Kurowski – a producer and manager of Lublin Dance Theatre (since 2014), co-organizer of International Meetings of Dance Theatres in Lublin, co-founder of Polish Dance Network, representing Lublin Dance Theatre – together with Anna Kalita – in Aerowaves, a European network of dance houses, will also be joining.
Furthermore, Polish Dance Theatre, lead a cycle of prerecorded short dance classes online in the space of the Internet between 14th and 19th of June 2020. This activity was dedicated to the company’s everyday routine to start their work with a class. This class aims to warm up and prepare the dancer for the rehearsal. Due to the varied, rich repertoire, the training of artists is very comprehensive and extensive. The access to the platform was free of charge and participants were able to join their Facebook accounts daily. Lessons were conducted in Polish and in English. The program included improvisation session, pilates, conditional training, classical ballet, physical preparation and contemporary dance.
The weeklong program concluded with a Skype talk with one of the dancers – artists from the Polish Dance Theatre (PTT) band. The goal of this conversation was to study audience expectations in the context of PTT performance activities and to analyze the use of cultural offers during the pandemic. Participants of the meeting had the opportunity to ask their questions about the Polish Dance Theatre, the repertoire, the work of the band, performances, etc.
The second partner who worked on audience development activities was 420people.org. They successfully prepared the exclusive in-person workshop CLASH! for the general public and for all levels of dancers. To mark the project CLASH! “CLASH! When classic and contemporary dance collides and new forms emerge”, they held the movement workshop for all levels of dancers accompanied by the choreographer Václav Kuneš and by Václav Havelka, the frontman of the band “Please the Trees”.
The hour and a half long dance seminar with the artistic director of 420PEOPLE Václav Kuneš allowed the company to complete the experience in leading seminars for different target groups and allowed them to evaluate information, principles, and knowledge (PES) collected during the CLASH project. They were happy to meet the public in person in the studio and share their knowledge developed during the CLASH project.
420people.org focused on the experience gained during all CLASH seminars and AD activities held in Prague, mainly on these recommendations and comments:
- Keep and follow already highly evaluated strategy of the workshop content: warm-up, somatic techniques, breathing exercises, and more intensive bodywork on the floor, more cardio exercises, energetic part, and final movement combination for connecting all elements.
- See as more effective to make the various dance techniques fusions.
They connected all these elements and supported the strategy of body awareness even more with live music.
All levels of non-professional dancers (mostly women) took part in the seminar. Many new participants learned about the CLASH seminars thanks to watching Václav Kuneš´s online dance workshops during a coronavirus pandemic situation.
420people.org received a lot of positive feedback, especially on the diversity of dance techniques. For non-professional dancers was easier to connect the movement with live music. The fusion of various dance techniques helped to understand the quality of the movement and deepen the dance research.
“I am thankful for the Vaclav & Vaclav workshops, for the fascinating slow-down of time, where the automatic everyday movements become refreshingly new and uncommon. Thanks for the possibility of creating one pulsating organism together!”
“Good and positive energy in studio.”
“Perfect amount of people in the studio. Professional approach to non-professional dancers. “
The Hybrid festival
Due to COVID-19 pandemic situation and the new measurements and international travel and exchange restrictions that are required by EU and the governments of partnerships, CLASH! Partners decided to change the form of the Festival and the tournee. CLASH! On stage will be held in a hybrid version – all partners will produce a screendance performance and they will stream online their planned workshops and discussions with audience and professionals. It will be conceived as a path the audience will be put in condition to follow in order to understand how the Festival expresses the results of a research carried by all the partners on the Clash! Between Classic and Contemporary Dance Models. The Hybrid festival will conclude with a premiere of CLASH! Screendance performance online and a discussion with professional from 5 countries.
CLASH! On Stage Festival will be scheduled at the beginning of December – from 8th to the 13th, in 6 days in as the number of the project partners. Each day will be dedicated to the theme of the project.
More details as well as the festival program and its participants will be revealed between mid-September and the beginning of October!