Do We Trust Showcases?

Posted on April 15, 2013

I was honoured to be asked by the organising committee for the Dublin Spring Plenary to organise and chair a working group entitled Do We Trust Showcases. The locally suggested presenters from Culture Ireland, my good friends and colleagues Madeline Boughton, and Dublin Dance Festival Director, Julia Carruthers were joined by my suggested representatives from Europe. I asked Walter Heun from Tanzquartier to present his two to three decades worth of experience in showcase hosting and attendance and to flag his forthcoming “antishowcase” Feedback. I asked producer and presenter Kristof Blom from CAMPO to talk from the point of view of his artists and his similarly broad international perspective. I planted a few very seasoned showcase attenders in the audience as well as those closely involved in the organising of showcases I have attended, including Ice Hot, the Nordic Dance Platform, British Dance Edition and the British Council Showcase. A key Australian delegate who attended was Jane Fuller, who is the producer of the next Australian Performing Arts Market, APAM in Brisbane. She took a lot of notes and was interested in the diversity of approaches to showcasing discussed by the group. We had a lively discussion, not without controversy, and a large number of people were turned away from a capacity room, so I would say on balance the session was a success.