31 October 2019
Participating in the Roundabout Europe residencies, is different for everyone. So we asked the different artists what it was like for them. In this blogpost, BANDART will tell what Roundabout Europe meant for them as artists and for the show they developed.
BANDART did two residencies, both at KoresponDance (Czech Republic), Out There (United Kingdom). We wanted to create an outdoor version of our previous indoor show by completely changing its plot, BANDART states. Our goal was to keep the already existing characters of the show. Moreover, we wanted to create experiments with the audience, therefore, we wanted to learn techniques and tricks of how we could involve them. Although we have a five-year experience in performing on the street, we have never done real audience-participatory work.
The residencies at the two street art festivals, are the perfect laboratory for this experiment. In order to find out how audience reacts to our ideas, we needed actual spectators to work closely with throughout different phases of the creation. We expected the residencies to give us the chance to test our developing project in diverse situations and to help find out what really works, what we need to improve or simply leave out.
Roundabout Europe gave them the chance to meet other street artists. That provides them with a fresh view and fresh finds. Our desire was to present our work-in-progress to professionals who can provide us with proper feedback and constructive criticism. In Hungary street theatre is a relatively new field, hence it is very difficult to gather anyone who would be competent. Instead of creating new work lonely, we were longing for artistically fruitful environment.
Proper guidance was very useful to the two artists during the development of their show. During the two residencies we worked with one coach and one mentor. Both was very helpful. The coach helped us find a working method that fits the project. He asked us questions that guided us to directions that felt authentic. With the mentor we learned some technical tricks. He also helped us think through the structure and find the end of the show.
We learned that talking about the project with professionals helps a lot to clarify our thoughts. Also, a working progress presentation forces us to gather every material we have and organise them in a presentable format. It was a great opportunity to start our project. We met lot of great artists and organisers and had two very fruitful residencies. It is a fantastic possibility to start your project with professional and financial help of festivals.
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