A Carte Blanche in Bassano del Grappa

Visiting the production office during B-motion festival in Bassano del Grappa, an opportunity and a challenge. The festival it self and the days running up to the festival are some of the busiest days of the year in a production office, still they welcomed me warmly. It gave me the chance to see an other festival with emerging and more established makers in contemporary dance from inside. In this hectic period it’s almost impossible to truly understand the method/strategies used for production. Especially if everything is in a language you don’t understand.

I did have the chance to look around and join in different layers of the festival; speaking with staff members, participating artists, directors and producers from other dancehouses and visitors. Roberto Casarotto asked me to follow him in some of the many activities he was involved in. Like participating in the Dancing Museums program and the choreographer research week, and meeting lots of makers, producers, directors from all over Europe.

It was very good to actually visit a festival and experience it, to feel what is needed or appreciated either as a maker going for a residency or as a guest/visitor. It gave me feedback in order to improve my work of supporting these makers or welcoming guests. Often I’m organizing these things from behind a desk and this exchange refreshed my connection to the practice of what I’m organizing. Very inspiring to talk to so many people and to be able to look at our practice in a dancehouse and more specific my practice in production from a more meta level. It gave me the distance to think about why we’re doing, what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. We as a dancehouse and my production task within that.

Together with some of the makers we had interesting discussions of how we would like to work and collaborate, what we need from each other and how the relation to the work could be. I came to a possible format in which I would like the work. The maker and the producer are working together on the same level for the independent piece of art. You both improve the work from your own expertise and you’re both responsible for it. It might sound simple or common, it felt very refreshing and valuable for me. Out of the daily affairs it made my work meaningful again. It was enriching for me as a person and therefor as an employee, and I absolutely recommend it to every one. Don’t stay in your own bubble working for others, connect to your inner drive again and share with others. Aren’t we all working for the arts in the end? Let’s do it together!

Sanne Wichman

Production at Dansmakers Amsterdam
25 September 2015