Guide to Danish platforms with international perspective
By Susanne Danig
It is a good idea to start your preparations for your international work by attending some of the various Danish platforms that have an international angle and aim at inviting international programmers and promoters to see Danish performances.
When international promoters come here to see work, they are already interested in what we have to offer in Denmark, and are interested in meeting Danish performing artists and maybe also in later presenting their works.
Here is a list of Danish festivals/platforms that invite international promoters to watch performances and participate in professional programmes.
Get on their newsletter lists, follow their work, and attend the professional programmes they offer. This is a perfect way to understand the context you operate in, and get into contact with international promoters. Remember your networking skills and be curious and generous with yourself, and you might befriend some important international people who can help you enter the global market.
CPH Stage is committed to showing a wide range of Danish performances and inviting international guests to see performances in Copenhagen every year in June. The guest list includes about 50 promoters. The international presentations take place over 3 days (often the beginning of the festival) and during these days there will also be a professional programme open to everyone. This is a great opportunity to meet international promoters. Just attend the programme activities and sign up for the events.
The Aprilfestival is a festival platform format that tours around the country. Each year in April it presents performances by professional Danish theatre companies for young audiences. Each year around 100 international theatre people visit the festival. The programme features a range of professional activities, where it is possible to meet the international promoters. Simply take advantage of this, and create new connections if your work is in this category.
Danish+ is a professional international showcase for theatre for young audiences, where a number of Danish performances are invited to perform for an invited group of international theatre people. It is held every second year in May in even years. Make sure you invite the organisers (Gruppe 38) to see your performances and lobby to get them into the programme, since it is a great platform, and after touring for so many years to so many places Gruppe 38 has a great network.
WAVES is biannual festival in Vordingborg held in uneven years in August and hosted by Cantabile 2. The festival presents physical, mostly interactive theatre and street art, many international shows and a few Danish ones in this category. It also offers a programme for professionals called Waves X-tra, which often has international promoters as guests or speakers. It is a great place to make new connections in the field of interactive performance and street art.
Passage is a street art festival held every year in August in Elsinore, where a whole range of great international and Danish works is presented. The festival collaborates with other festivals, particularly in Sweden, and hosts Nordic Street Art Days inviting a number of international promoters to Elsinore. The people behind Passage Festival know all the important international street art festivals and have great contacts, so if you perform outdoors (or want to do this) this would be a good place to start your networking.
SWOP is a biannual festival in Roskilde held in even years in May and hosted by the dance company Aaben Dans. The festival focuses on dance for young audiences, and presents international works and some Danish works. It is a great place to see very strong works in this genre, making you aware of your international context. The people behind SWOP are connected to almost all festivals in this field, and many of the festival directors will visit SWOP and attend the professional programmes the festival hosts. So it is a very easy place to make connections within a quite specific field. Aaben Dans is also part of the European project PUSH, a project with 5 partners focused on creating new works for young audiences.
Festival of Wonders is a meeting place for presenting and exchanging ideas on puppet, object and visual theatre for adults and children. Each year Danish and international theatre groups perform more than 100 shows. Films and exhibitions, workshops, masterclasses and backstage talks are also important parts of the festival, which welcomes international promoters in this area. So if you see yourself in this area of theatre this is a perfect place to perform, attend debates and meet people.
Over the years KIT has presented a whole range of international festivals, where it has been possible to benchmark yourself towards the international market. In recent years KIT has focused on the Metropolis Festival, which initiates and presents newly commissioned work from Denmark and abroad that investigates the urban space. International guests always visit the Metropolis programme, among them and of particular interest is members of Insitu, a network for festivals/organisers focused on creation in non-conventional spaces. This is a great network to have in mind if you create in these formats. Metropolis is also part of Nordic Urban Lab where artists have been invited for laboratories and residencies.
It can also be of value to look at other festivals if they present international work and especially if it is within your genre of work. Check out how they programme, and whom they are in contact with to get inspiration, and ask for their advice.
At Selected Works – From the Independent Field of Performing Arts, they have made a targeted effort to present different formats, genres and forms of expression from the stage-artistic scene. The purpose of the festival is to give visibility to the stage-artistic value, the societal necessity and the national and international impact of independent performing arts. The festival has both Danish and international guests and events.