The Background for Performing Arts Platform – the story
Performing Arts Platform is an organization build upon a significant realm of knowledge and more than 20 years of experience – experience gathered from Danseværket and Center for Performing Arts.
The Aarhus-based organization, Danseværket, emerged in the 1980’s as a professional association (New Dance) for dance-actors in the City of Aarhus. Throughout the years, Danseværket worked in a facilitating, strategic and political sense. Thereby, the organization was an essential collaborator for both dance artists and other dance actors in Aarhus.
The objectives was to strengthen and to further professional dance, to stimulate and support the development of professional dance, and finally to contribute to the distribution and rooting of dance as a visible and accessible element in the cultural landscape of Aarhus. Initiatives which resulted in the following: Administrative and strategic counseling and support – facilitation of accessible facilities, training, artistic research and labs; professional meetings, larger conferences and seminars; dance platforms and dance festivals; encouragement of network and exchange – nationally and internationally.
Throughout the years Danseværket obtained a great range of experience and knowledge in relation to the local and international opportunities for dance actors in Aarhus. In regards, to cultural politics, Danseværket also functioned as an active consultant in dance-related questions and fostered a productive dialogue with politicians and management – as well as other artistic and cultural communities in Aarhus.
Center for Performing Arts was founded in 2011 as a response to the 2007-report from the Theatre Think Tank. To ensure artistic professionalism at Godsbanen, Center for Performing Arts was situated there, alongside Aarhus Billedkunstcenter and Aarhus Litteraturcenter.
It’s location at Godsbanen resulted in developing collaborations – not only within the performing arts community, but also cross-artistic and cross-disciplinary. In addition to Cooperation, Center for Performing Arts’ mission was also built around concepts of Feedback and Visibility.
The Center for Performing Arts therefore became a natural part of Godsbanen’s desire to ‘develop cultural competences’ in relation to the performing artists. The focus was especially on up-and-coming artist, the Feedback initiative offered courses, supporting development of administrative structures and the creation of a space to let performing arts projects progress. To consolidate the performing arts, the concept of Visibility worked politically to create focus on sharing of knowledge in the related community. Moreover, the Theatre Award (“Teaterprisen”) and Audience Award (“Publikumprisen”) got established, in order to make the diversity of the performing arts visible to the public.
The Dance-evaluation from ultimo 2014 pointed out, that a merger between Danseværket and the Center for Performing Arts would be an apparent next step. Reorganizing Godsbanen primo 2016, the desire to maintain the presence of art professionalism changed. By then it became obvious to merge Danseværket and Center for Performing Arts and thereby keep on working to secure optimal settings for the cultural profession. And as a result of these developments, Performing Arts Platform was founded.