Communication is crucial for curators. They communicate online and offline, with artists, the audience, politicians, and colleagues. Surrounding this topic of communication, we will learn about the necessary skills from experts, discuss strategies, and exchange experiences. The workshop is presented in cooperation with Tanz im August–Berlin’s international festival for contemporary dance.
Communication is one of the most important tasks and tools for curators and presenters. Working in the curatorial field you must communicate with different groups of people, specifically artists, the audience, politicians, sponsors, team members, and colleagues. Surrounding this topic of communication the participants will improve their professional skills, discuss communication strategies, and exchange experiences.
Experts from different fields will share their knowledge with us, and a group discussion will follow each presentation. Furthermore, the workshop includes inputs from two experienced curators. One of them is Virve Sutinen, Artistic director of the festival Tanz im August. Attendance of two dance/theatre performances will give us the opportunity to discuss the artistic quality and what makes a curation good.
Day 1: Artists/Audience
The morning of the first day will be dedicated to the communication between the artist and presenter. There is often an imbalance between the number of artists seeking a framework to develop and present their work and the possibilities that curators can provide. Being aware of the power structures at play and having the knowledge of some feedback techniques may help to create a fruitful collaboration between the two parties. Martine Dennewald, Artistic Director of the international festival Theaterformen, will join us.
Communication with the audience starts with marketing and public relations. In the afternoon a specialist in online marketing will provide helpful information on how to utilize social media and other marketing tools (NN).
Day 2: Audience/Festival Visit
The audience can also be addressed via many kinds of mediatory activities, e.g. community projects, after-show talks, physical introductions and so on. The field of contemporary dance, in particular, has developed a number of inventive mediatory formats, some of which will be presented by the mediator and dramaturge Amelie Mallmann.
In the afternoon we will meet Virve Sutinen in the festival library of Tanz im August and discuss with her the artist-presenter communication and general questions on how to curate a festival. In the evening we will attend a performance.
Day 3: Team, Colleagues, and Crew
Working in a theatre or another institution that houses performances demands the collaboration of its various departments, i.e. the technical department, public relations, customer service, and the general administration. To navigate between each of those organizational structures – also between the structures of the independent art scene and of the city or states theatres –, motivate colleagues and solve conflicts in the team can be a real challenge. These issues will be discussed with a specialist in team building and conflict management.
Day 4: Sponsors and Politicians
If you need to raise funds and acquire public funds for your organization you may need to not only send in applications but also convince politicians or sponsors of your ideas and your mission. With Madeline Ritter, a lawyer, dance curator, director of a dance company and the Tanzfonds by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, we will discuss how to prepare those talks and have your message successfully reach those “important people”. Upon request, the topics of budgeting for a festival and/or grant writing can also be incorporated into the programme.
Day 1: 10 – 17h (incl. a lunch break)
Day 2: 10h – 13h, a lunch break, 15 – 17.30h at HAU/Tanz im August and in the evening a performance
Day 3: 11h – 17h (incl. a lunch break) and in the evening a performance visit
Day 4: 10h – 14h
- Emerging curators or presenters in the field of dance and performing arts
- Artists or producers who aim to work as curators or at a performing arts institution
- Art makers of any field who want to improve their communication skills
There will be a focus on dance and performance but practitioners of other art genres are also welcome.
The course is presented in co-operation with the international festival Tanz im August.
Karin Kirchhoff is a freelance curator, production manager, and dramaturge. She has worked with institutions and artists in Berlin such as Berliner Festspiele, Sophiensaele, Tanzfabrik Berlin, Sasha Waltz & Guests, Rubato, Jo Fabian. From 2005 to 2008 she has worked at the Tanzbüro Berlin and held numerous seminars on cultural management since then.
Since 2009, she has been curating Tanz! Heilbronn, an annual international festival at the Theater Heilbronn. The festival represents a variety of contemporary dance productions, from large companies to works created by young choreographers, including educational formats such as community projects, workshops, dance film, work introductions, etc.
After completing her studies in Dramaturgy (Leipzig, Germany) and Arts Management (London, UK), Martine Dennewald has worked for theatres and theatre festivals in Luxembourg, Germany, United Kingdom, Hungary, Switzerland, and Austria. She then joined Niels Ewerbeck for a few years as dramaturge at Künstlerhaus Mousonturm in Frankfurt. Since 2015, she has been working as artistic director of Festival Theaterformen, an eleven-day performing arts festival which alternately takes place in the cities of Hanover and Braunschweig (Germany) every summer.
Amelie Mallmann is currently working for Tanzkomplizen in Berlin as dance mediator and educator. She studied Dramaturgy in Munich. From 2002 to 2005, she was a dramaturge at the Landestheater Linz (Austria), in 2005 she moved to Berlin to work as a dramaturge and theatre pedagogue at the Theater an der Parkaue. From 2011 to 2018, she was a freelance dramaturge, theatre and dance pedagogue and worked for different venues and festivals, e.g. Kunstfest Weimar, Festival Theaterformen, Deutsches Theater Berlin, Festival Augenblick mal!, tanzfabrik Berlin. Since 2015, she is a member of Tanzscout, a Berlin initiative for dance mediation (tanzscout-berlin.de).
Madeline Ritter is a lawyer, arts manager, and dance curator. With her Berlin-based non-profit organization DIEHL+RITTER, she has been developing and driving forward new funding policies for dance and creating ground-breaking models for sustainable cultural practice. In 2016, she received the prestigious European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Award for Dance Fund Heritage, an innovative program fostering a diverse and lively cultural memory of dance. In 2014, DIEHL+RITTER launched Dance On, a multi-faceted initiative promoting artistic excellence in the context of 'dance and age'. Madeline Ritter is a certified coach and facilitator of processes of change and teaches cultural management at various European universities.