EFA newsletter FestFlash 4/2013: Travel far, stay near

27 November 2013

The December edition of the FestFlash of the European Festivals Association (EFA) invites you to very different festival cities: to Hammerfest in Northern Norway where the contemporary performing arts festival DanseFestival Barents takes place; to Venice where the Venice Biennale invites visitors of the city on unexpected excursions through passages of creativity; to Shanghai that may be overwhelming to its visitors; and to Nicosia, a city in crisis, that seems to represent many challenges we are facing in Europe today.

The movement of the blind slippery ice

[Blog by Claudia Galhos] How is one’s perception of contemporary performing arts – with dance and/or the body at its core – altered by the context in which it is presented? And what can be, or should be, the ideal programmatic landscape of a contemporary dance festival in a geographically, socially, economically, naturally and ecologically very peculiar context? These are some of the questions that I bring with me while travelling towards the mythic, poetic but dark Northern Lights that Bill Bryson described in his book “Neither Here, Nor There” – a journey through Europe that starts at Hammerfest, the northernmost town of the European continent. He describes it as answering to “urge to experience what life was like in such a remote and forbidden place”, the city “on the edge of the world, the northernmost town of Europe (…) a place of dark and brutal winters, where the sun sinks into the Arctic Ocean in November and does not rise again for ten weeks.” Continue reading!

Your perception is not my reality: I am Venice

[Blog by Ceyda Berk] With identical façades surrounding the entire city, hundreds of bridges connecting tiny islands and narrow streets – full of melancholy – Venice itself stands for a surreal excursion towards the corridors of history and human soul. It is irresistibly mysterious and charming for anyone who is interested in arts in one way or the other. Forget about gondolas, romantic dreams, San Marco or Rialto Bridge, in this huge labyrinth city, there is a “must see” art happening: the International Art Exhibition of Venice Biennale. Continue reading!

Reshaping the future in Nicosia

[Blog by Kathrin Deventer] Nicosia. It is mid-October, 30 degrees; people are at the beach enjoying late summer in Cyprus; a city in the middle of one of the biggest islands of Europe; the capital of Cyprus, which has been a member of the EU since 2004; and a city in crisis; many buildings are empty; shops, houses, constructions not finished. The crisis hit the people heavily on an island which could be heaven, a haven for Europe. Continue reading!

The invisible Shanghai

[Blog by Kathrin Deventer] Arriving in Shanghai to visit the China Shanghai International Arts Festival for its 15th anniversary, sitting in a taxi on the way into the metropolis of 20 million people, walking around in this city where I was going to spend the next days, and trying to connect to the place, made me think about places, senses, people, and festivals. What I appreciate and strive for most in life is the community, and communicating, creating bonds and bridges with others around me. I am keen to move myself in this world, a world that should not suffer from self-destruction, unequal division of goods, and egoism. While looking into the mirror during my stay in Shanghai, I continued wondering. Continue reading!

Ripples are to become waves

“Paint a picture of Taiwan’s performing arts scene today and the brushstrokes will dance beyond the spectrum that colours and styles can embrace. We can proudly say that we are nourished by the political freedom and gathering the most lavish artistic harvest among Chinese-speaking regions today. How we blossomed across the Little Theatre Movement, raised the public’s awareness for the arts, swirled along with the currents of the globe, and soared into the artistic horizons, has shaped us into what we are today,” Serina Chen from Taiwan starts her essay in the latest publication by the European Festivals Association (EFA) “Inside/Insight Festivals. 9 Festival Directors — 9 Stories”. Continue reading!

Motion in music

[Blog by Irma de Jong] The world is in the midst of a big generational shift. Four generations with different attitudes and backgrounds will need to work together. Enormous contrasts in accessing and sharing information will have to be overcome, or at least be understood. This affects all of our present systems in the music industry; the musicians, the audiences, management and everyone else involved. Continue reading!

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