[Festivals Stories] Internationales Solo-Tanz-Theater Festival Stuttgart
Celebrating the solo as the prime artistic expression
The International Solo Dance-Theatre-Festival takes place every year on four days in March and enables contemporary choreographers and young dancers to show their new, modern, individual and experimental productions on the stage of Robert-Bosch-Saal at the TREFFPUNKT Rotebühlplatz in Stuttgart.
Obviously, everything was different in March 2020, as the administration of Stuttgart imposed the first lockdown, just when the festival had started. Thus, only one festival day could take place, without audience, before everything had to be shut down. As other festivals, fairs and performance were cancelled we were able to present a Corona Edition of the International Solo Dance Theatre Festival in May. Luckily enough our live festival has been streamed for over 20 years now. Therefore, we could conceive a special stream version quickly.
Our contestants - coming from 17 countries around the world - filmed their solos. Artistic Director Marcelo Santos compiled their videos into a thrilling programme of six performances, streamed on three evenings. Our finals on the fourth evening where hosted live; our international jury chose the winner via Zoom. Unfortunately, in 2021 - the year of our 25th anniversary! - we had to stick to a hybrid version, as another lockdown struck.This time we worked with live hosting on all four festival days, presenting the performances on video, via zoom talks with renowned dance artists, former contestants and members of the audience.
The festival has fans who have supported the festival for over 25 years, now. Some even offered prizes, for the public first and final choices. Famous companies and theatres have provided contestant artists residencies, e.g. Eastman by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. We provided background information, catalogues, special online brochures and exhibitions for the audience. During the pandemic our talks and Q&A sessions were realised via zoom and chat; not forgetting the social media channels which keep us in touch with the audience. With this hybrid version we reached six times as many people as usual.
This is exceptional and great for the artists. As one of the most important goals was and is to discover new unorthodox talents, to promote young dancers and choreographers around the world. The International Solo Dance Theatre Festival was the pioneer of this format - and it is still one of a kind, celebrating the solo as the prime artistic expression, constantly searching for innovative languages of movement.
We plan to take the positive things we experienced with hybrid formats into the future of the festival, i.e. the outreach of communication and audience development. Nevertheless, we are looking forward to the time when we can present our contestants live again. The magic of a live performance is unmatched; even more so when it is combined with the possibilites of new media.
More information: https://www.solo-tanz-theater....
(General Editor: Simon Mundy)
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