Working sessions

Solutions and Methods!
Working internationally in the age of ecological crisis part 2
Working groups

In the age of ecological crisis, how should we prepare for a more sustainable future? Which methods should we use to change behaviours, and which are the first steps to be taken? A keynote and panel discussion have addressed these questions in the morning, now it’s time to go from words to actions and develop a few concrete proposals for measures to be taken by the dance community.

From envisioning sustainable international work to discovering what can be done right now, this collaborative  working session will deal with a few key questions/themes from the panel discussion and aim for concrete next steps.

All Stretch participants are invited to be part of the solution and all voices need to be heard; we will work in smaller groups and come together for sharing our solutions and implementation schemes.

This session will contribute to the further development of the keðja Sustainability Report (see below) and serve as an inspiration for the ecological and sustainable policy work of IETM.   

Group facilitators:
Ása Richardsdottír (IS/BE), general secretary, IETM
Sari Palmgren (FI), dance artist
Anna Talasniemi (FI), director, Kone Foundation
Antti Majava (FI), artist and researcher, BIOS research unit
Nina Refsnes (NO/FI), senior advisor, Nordic Culture Point
Sanna Rekola (FI), director, Dance Info Finland
Katarina Lindholm (FI), manager of international affairs, Dance Info Finland

It is recommended to prepare by reading:
The report produced during kedja 2012-2015: Recommendations for a Sustainable Nordic and Baltic Dance Field -report (2015)
Joris Janssens, Kunstenpunkt: Reframing the International  – on new ways of working internationally in the arts (2018)


Connect and develop touring
Working session for organisations

Increasing touring activities is a key issue for the sustainable development of the dance field. It brings more income opportunities for artists, longer lifecycles for productions and more audiences for dance. Yet we lack structures and funding for Nordic and Baltic touring, in some cases even national touring. How do we get rid of the road blocks and strengthen touring activities in the region?

This discussion is aimed at representatives of organisations involved in or supporting transnational/international touring activities and interested in developing them. We will be inspired by existing touring structures/networks and share best practices/pitfalls/challenges and solutions. Everyone is expected to participate with their experiences, needs and to work to leave the session with own and common development possibilities.

Moderator: Amy Fee (SE), director, Danscentrum
Case presenters:
Lina Puodžiukaitė-Lanauskienė (LT), Contemporary Dance Association
Kirre Arneberg (NO), Dancenet Norway
Eyrun Thorhallsdottir (SE), Dancenet Sweden
Emma Jayne Park (UK), Dumfries & Galloway Dance


Age and dance – something lost, something gained?
Sharing session for artists

Ageing dance artists face many issues and challenges that has to do with physical capacities, visibility on the field, and acknowledgement of their long careers. Which are the actual physical and artistic needs; which are the pitfalls and challenges on one hand, opportunities and capacities on the other? This sharing session invites dance artists and those working with dance artists to discuss these issues by mapping the diverse needs, opportunities and desires when it comes to sustaining or reinventing their careers. 

Facilitator: Ólöf Ingólfsdóttir (IS), choreographer and project manager at Dansverkstæðið


How to build the perfect artist residency?
Roundtable session

Artist residencies are multiplying by the dozen and the formats are diverse. Some provide the artist with everything from working spaces and salaries to production and networking assistance; others merely boast with beautiful scenery and a roof over your head. Who are the different residencies really for and what purpose do they fill? What roles do these sought after opportunities play in an artist’s career development on one hand and on the other hand, what is fair in terms of opportunity and support? In the time of precarisation, why do we construct more and more residency programmes?

This dialogue-based roundtable session will rethink residencies from the artists’ perspective and focus on issues around sustainability, rights and responsibilities and ethical questions, such as hosting artists who travel with family members and when residencies can call themselves co-producers. The session will include presentations of residency programs and the aim is to identify some success factors for a sustainable artist residency.

NB! A short survey will be sent to everyone signed up. The results of these statistics will be used in the discussion.

Jesper de Neergard (DK), director, and Jeppe Hemdorff Nissen (DK), producer and dramaturge at Bora Bora – Dance and Visual Theatre and Bora Bora Residency Centre
Leena Kela (FI), executive director of Saari Residence of Kone Foundation, and Leyya Mona Tawil (PLE/SY/US), artist working with dance and music practices.


Working sustainably as an artist
Sharing session

What does it mean to work sustainably as an artist? Is it about career development and working practices, about artistic choices or practical solutions, or about the use of one’s resources in a responsible and effective way? Which are the preconditions for managing and nurturing your career and how can challenges be overcome? Sustainability from an artist’s perspective can be about all this and more.

This sharing session will look at how dance artists can think and work in a sustainable way. Dance artists Sari Palmgren (FI), Steinunn Ketilsdóttir (IS) and Amanda Billberg (SE) will present their own approaches to the subject and reflect on how sustainable thinking and practice has affected their work, well-being and outlook on being an artist in today’s society. After this the participants will be invited to pose questions and share their own experiences, thoughts and ideas on how sustainability can be implemented in practice.

Ólöf Ingólfsdóttir (IS) is a choreographer with a Master’s degree in culture communication. She is currently project manager at Dansverkstæðið – workspace for choreographers, focusing on long term planning and international collaborations.

Amanda Billberg (SE) is a dancer and choreographer and artistic director of the Group 5 initiative.
Steinunn Ketilsdóttir (IS) is a dance artist living and working out of Reykjavík. She works multidisciplinary as a performer, choreographer, teacher, and organizer, both independently and collaboratively.
Sari Palmgren (FI) works as a freelance choreographer, dancer and dance teacher in Finland and abroad. She is working widely in the dance field: on stage, with immersive and site specific projects, in theatre, in different social choreography projects and with dance films.


How to make being a dance producer into a dream job?
Sharing session for producers

Nordic Circle of Artistic Management is an international network created for the development of production and management skills across the field of dance. The network spans all the Nordic countries, with partners SITE Sweden, Performing Arts Hub Norway, Project Centre/ Dansehallerne (Denmark), Dance Atelier (Iceland) and Arts Management Helsinki (Finland). In 2016–2018, the network has organized two mentorship programs for managers and producers in the dance field. Two mentorship cycles have included a total of 30 mentors and mentees from the Nordic countries. The mentoring program for dance producers is planned to continue in 2020.

In this sharing session, we will talk about the realities and possibilities of working as a dance producer. The knowledge, experiences and best practices of Nordic Circle mentoring will be shared with the wider dance community. 

Facilitator: Outi Järvinen (FI), CEO of Arts Management Helsinki


EU Creative Europe, in the making
Info session

Come and hear what cooperation projects within EU’s Creative Europe programme are all about and how organisations can benefit from them. As the current programme period is coming to an end, we will give an introduction to the next programme for 2021-2027: what are the main points, the new traits and what should cultural operators think about when preparing for it. EU Creative Europe opportunities are aimed at organisations, except for the i-Portunus mobility support scheme, which is for individual artists. We will give a short introduction to the results of this pilot.

We will also look at some projects in the making. Discuss, share your project ideas and use the expertise of the Creative Europe Desk.

Speaker: Riikka Koivula (FI), Senior Programme Adviser, Creative Europe Desk Finland
Guest: Päivi Aura (FI), Artistic Director, Dance Theatre Auraco