STRE-TCH Scotland 2022: Creative Lab

Keðja:                STRE-TCH Creative Lab
Scotland, 20 – 27 March 2022

STRE-TCH Creative Lab is a professional development intensive for artists with an established community dance practice. The artist lab will be a space for sharing practice, creative collaboration and enabling connections. It is hosted by The Work Room (Scotland) on behalf of the Keðja network of European dance organisations.

STRE-TCH Creative Lab will delve into the themes of dance as a community practice and sustainability (both human & environmental). It will be a space for artists experienced in community dance work to exchange experiences and ideas. Through the lab, we are interested in collectively re-imaging a sustainable future for dance and international collaboration.

Keðja is an informal, international network of dance organisations. Together we aim to create open meeting places for those working in dance. Keðja facilitates events that gather individuals from dance communities to meet, share and learn together and empowers dance professionals to connect and collaborate.

The Work Room is a membership organisation, committed to creating a sustainable

environment for independent artists working in dance in Scotland.

STRE-TCH Creative Lab will be co-facilitated by independent dance artists and choreographers Janice Parker and Nadia Iftkhar. Janice is known for her collaborative performance projects with people of different ages and abilities, working locally, nationally and internationally. She works across art forms and believes in the value of diversity in the development of movement-based art-works.  Janice’s work is informed by the believe that:

 ‘All art has the potential to be an act of quiet, or noisy, activism.’

Nadia is founding Artistic Director & CEO of Company of Others, a dance theatre company based in the North East of England. As a choreographer she is interested in how we physically unlearn, learn and share our stories. As an Artistic Director she is interested in how her work can create new realities and contribute to social justice movements. As a CEO she is interested in how we create organisations that are decolonized, hopeful and more human.

STRE-TCH Lab format:

The lab will bring together 12 artists from across the partner organisation countries. Artists will arrive in Glasgow on Sunday 20 March and depart on Sunday 27 March. We will spend the first four days at Wiston Lodge, a rural, residential centre providing facilities on-site to live, eat and practice together – both inside and out of doors.

On Friday 25, we will return to Glasgow and will be joined by representatives from the Kedja partner organisations. The final two days will involve round table discussions, presentations and opportunities to engage with the dance community in Scotland.

Who is it for:

The STRE-TCH Lab is targeted at independent choreographers with an established community dance or social engaged practice. By this we mean, artists who regularly collaborate with people and communities in research, creation and performance.

Participants will be drawn from the Keðja partner organisations’ countries, with one artist selected on-behalf each of the partner organisations.

Keðja and The Work Room are committed to ensuring an expansive range of dance artists and practices are visible and supported. We particularly recognise the rich potential for exchange between dance artists from different practices, perspectives and experiences. We have additional financial support available to meet any access requirements.

Each artist will receive:

  • A bursary of 900 euros for participating in the project;
  • Travel to/ from Scotland and all accommodation in Scotland

Practical Information:

During the STRE-TCH Lab, participants will stay in two locations:

  • At Wiston Lodge a charity housed in a former Victorian Hunting Lodge built in the 1870s. Accommodation here is in dormitory-style, shared rooms. There will be full catering responding to different dietary requirements. Participating artists will work both inside and out of doors.
  • In Glasgow, in hotel accommodation with meals provided.

We will work with the selected artists to meet any access requirements you may have.

Covid-19 RISKS:

Please be aware that all planned activity and dates may change due to the continued progress of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions to travel to Scotland. We will adhere to the current requirements for international travel from each country and will require the artists to work within this. You can see the current position for travel to Scotland here. If necessary, we will seek alternative dates or approaches in conversation with the participating artists.

STRE-TCH Lab is funded as part of the Connect & Collaborate programme by the British Council Scotland & Creative Scotland

Registration is open – and we have a programme!

We had to cancel our grand plans on inviting you all to Gothenburg. Instead we asked our partners in the keðja network,, to put together a programme that could happen on a local level but also shared digitally. And here it is:
Keðja presents STRETCH c/o EDITION 20–21 August 2020

So, settle in, find a comfy chair* and join us and colleagues from all over Europe online for two days of keynotes, presentations, talks and dancing. Stay for the whole thing or pick a favourite or two.  

*not applicable during Daily Dancing 

Register here…
Find the full programme here…
Read more about Keðja presents STRETCH c/o EDITION here…

Welcome to Keðja presents STRETCH c/o EDITION 20–21 August 2020

STRETCH is back on – in a digital, online, streaming, webinar version! Together with our Keðja partners we have put together a programme, for dance professionals from all over Europe, that runs over two days, we have keynotes, presentations, conversations, webinars and dance parties.

The programme will be released shortly, and registration will open soon.

Cancelled: Keđja presents STRETCH 2020 – expanding the movement

The Cultural Development Administration is cancelling Keđja presents STRETCH – Gothenburg 2020 on August 20–22.

This is in consideration of information and recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Sweden to events organisers regarding the current spread of the corona virus and covid-19.

Parts of the conference will be presented in other formats. More information will come shortly.

If you have questions, please contact Eyrun Thorhallsdottir, Regional Dance Advisor and Project Leader for Stretch 2020 in Gothenburg, e-mail:

A peek into the programme

The next Keđja presents STRETCH is in the making! Registration will open soon, and we are thrilled to give you a peek into the programme:

Jo Parkes
Jo Parkes is a dance artist and dance educator (Germany/UK). She creates participative projects: installations, performances in public space, events and videos. She is founder and artistic director of Mobile Dance, an organisation which works with socially engaged, co-creative, participative dance. Jo is a keynote speaker and will lead a workshop on participation and community dance during Stretch 2020. More about Jo Parkes…

Niels Righolt
Niels Righolt has a broad background and experience from more than 25 years in the arts field. He is director of the Danish Centre for Arts & Interculture CKI and has worked within a variety of cultural institutions over the years. At present Niels is a board member of the Danish contemporary dance scene Dansehallerne in Copenhagen and the Audience Europe Network. Niels is a keynote speaker and will talk about cultural policies and audiences at Stretch 2020. More about Niels Righolt…

Listening Party
25 youths will join choreographer Ásrún Magnúsdóttir and create Listening party. Listening Party is a party on stage, the hosts are a big group of teenagers, aged 13-17 years old. They play their favourite music. Sometimes they sing along or dance along or cry along or whatever. They talk about their music and about themselves, ideas, worries, thoughts and dreams. They hang out, listen to music together and listen to each other with their audience. They support each other, celebrate each other and their teenage years. The stage is theirs, the words are theirs, they have the power – even though it’s just during the show – it’s their party and they do whatever they want. More about Ásrún Magnúsdóttir…

Gothenburg Dance and Theatre Festival takes place from 21st to 29 August – so you can enjoy lots of performances parallel with the Stretch Encounter. More about the festival…

Travel to Gothenburg – in the heart of Scandinavia, on the West Coast of Sweden. It’s easy to travel there in an environmental friendly way – by railway, bus or sea. More about travelling to Gothenburg…

When planning your trip to Gothenburg, we strongly recommend arriving in Gothenburg on Wednesday 19th and departing on Sunday 23rd. Thursday 20th of August through Saturday 22nd will be full programme days.

Save the date: Keđja presents STRETCH 20–22 Aug 2020

We create art to open opportunities for a dialogue with the world.
How can we keep expanding that conversation?

The theme of the Encounter is Expanding the movement and it addresses the relationship between art and society, participation, community art, dramaturgy, communication, international work, film as a tool, touring and audiences.

Professionals from all over the dance field will gather in Gothenburg, Sweden, for talks, discussions, workshops, morning classes, performances and to network with colleagues.

The registration was planned to open in March, but is postponed. The reason behind is the current outbreak of coronavirus disease. We will keep you updated as soon as we have more information.

Welcome to Gothenburg and the Region of Västra Götaland!

Contact and subscribe to the Stretch newsletter
Eyrun Thorhallsdottir, Regional Dance Advisor and Project Leader for Stretch 2020 in Gothenburg

Organised by Kultur i Väst (Cultural Development Administration Region Västra Götaland from 1 January 2020) in collaboration with Gothenburg Dance and Theatre Festival, the City of Gothenburg, The Museum of World Culture and NorrlandsOperan. With the support of Nordic Culture Fund, Nordic Culture Point and Region Västra Götaland.

Thank you & stay tuned for Stretch 2020 Gothenburg!

Stretch 2019 Turku. Photo: Aleksi Telilä

Keðja presents: Stretch 2019 attracted 254 dance professionals from several countries to Turku, Finland, during four entire days in last October. The event offered an abundant programme with three keynote lectures, 17 workshops, five different morning classes, 11 dance performances by local companies and artists plus the New Performance Turku festival programme, dance films, parties and gatherings.

A selection of reports and notes and Ben Twist’s keynote about arts in the age of ecological crisis can be found here.

Stretch united dance people from Nordic & Baltic countries, Scotland, Slovenia, Belgium, Germany, France, UK and USA, who had come to Turku to network, to make new connections, increase their knowledge and get inspiration. They were choreographers, dancers, freelancers, producers, directors, dance critics, teachers, students, researchers, administrators and people working for different dance organizations.

See our photo gallery.

These Nordic-Baltic encounters for dance professionals have been organised since 2008. We were happy to see that lots of new friends found their way to Turku: for two thirds of participants this was the first Keðja event they attended.

The significance of the encounters for the international dance community is evident. It’s an exceptional opportunity to stop to think and reflect, share knowledge, and inspire each other. 

“The amount of ‘humility’ and how people listened to each other was impressive. Also the mixture of perspectives was good,” commented one of the participants.

 “You do not always have to think about problems or issues by yourself. Sharing is caring.” 

“It gave me more hope for the future as being a dance artist,” answered one attendant when asked what the most important lesson learned from the Stretch event was. 

The impact of Stretch has been important also locally. “After two years of Stretch-related partnership discussions, the Regional Dance Centre of Western Finland is now known locally as a solid collaboration partner and the dance field is more visible than ever,” says Sanna Meska, director of the Regional Dance Centre.

Stay tuned!

The next Stretch encounter will be organised in August 2020 in Gothenburg, Sweden, under the theme ‘Expanding movement’ – participation, community dance, audiences. Follow Stretch on Facebook or Instagram and be the first to get the programme and registration news.

Contact: Eyrun Thorhallsdottir, Kultur i Väst: eyrun.thorhallsdottir[at]

Full programme and schedule released!

Photo: Vesa Loikas Photography

The full programme and schedule of Stretch Turku is now released – hooray!
Download your own copy and schedule here.

What does working in the dance field look like nowadays? How is it changing and how can we develop the working culture in a more sustainable direction? What role does dance play in the society? Inspiring discussions and encounters, morning classes and new perspectives on working in the dance field – Stretch is an international dance encounter for all dance professionals, from artists and dancers to producers, managers and pedagogues.

Sign-ups and ticket sales will open already on 5th of September so stay tuned for further instructions!

The very last call for registrations!
In order to take part in the programme, you need to be registered.
REGISTER HERE by 2nd of September.

The Stretch Turku dates are 17th to 20th of October 2019 – be sure to arrive already the 16th!

Registration extended to 2nd September!

Photo: Uupi Tirronen

Time and support for your professional growth – register now to Stretch Turku! Inspiring conversations, inspirational meetings, morning classes and new perspectives for working in the field of dance. Stretch Turku welcomes all dance professionals from choreographers and dancers to producers and managers to Finland in October.

What does working internationally mean in times of climate change? What does it mean to work sustainably as an artist? What can cooperation between artists and producers look like? These are few of the questions we throw in the air. On top of these we will tackle the issues of coaching, content marketing, creating service concepts and much more. Stretch Turku will address these questions and topics in keynotes and panel discussions but we also work together in workshops to find concrete solutions for them. All this to support the daily life of dance professionals.

The full program and timetable will be published on the week 35 and the registration is open until the 2nd of September. There are already over 120 dance professionals registered so be quick and book your spot now! Read more and register here. The registration fee is 40 € (VAT 0%) per person.

Be sure to follow Stretch on Facebook and Instagram.

P.S. New Performance Turku Festival is an international festival for performance and live art taking place in Turku at the same time with Stretch. More information about the festival can be found here.

New programme releases and schedule out!

kedjaMariehamn 2014 © Uupi Tirronen

Summer is here and so are the new programme releases for Stretch 2019 Turku – check this out!

An array of working sessions and practical workshops will deal with various subjects such as artist residencies, coaching methods, contextualisation and dance dramaturgy, leadership, collaborative work, sustainability, the relationship between artists and producers, content marketing, mapping your work process etc.

The exciting speakers include Alison Tickell, founder of Julie’s Bicycle (UK) that supports the creative community to act on climate change and environmental sustainability. Alison Tickell’s keynote is brought to us via video conferencing.

Have a look at the schedule overview and get ahead with planning your trip. Thursday 17th through Saturday 19th will be full programme days, so we strongly recommend arriving in Turku on Wednesday 16th and departing on Sunday 20th.

See the updated programme and schedule overview here and register to Stretch Turku here.

Keðja presents: Stretch 2019 Turku is an international encounter in October, open for dance professionals from Nordic, Baltic and European countries.

The main theme of the Stretch 2019 Turku programme is Expanding Professionalism. The focus is on capacity building and acquiring new skills, new working models and better communication about dance. All these are key issues when developing the dance field toward a more sustainable direction. These themes will be dealt with through talks and discussions, workshops, sharing sessions and roundtables.