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Accepted Contribution:

RODEO 2020_Construction Site Utopia. Repositioning a dance and theatre festival between municipality and art scene  


Simone Egger (Klagenfurt University)

Contribution short abstract:

Curating RODEO 2020, a dance and theatre festival in Munich, was challenging in many ways. Repositioning a current structure aiming at participation means perceiving power and requires transgression. Commissioned by the cultural department, the art directors had to break rules in principle.

Contribution long abstract:

Some years ago, as an anthropologist especially interested in the urban and arts, I became part of a collective who applied for the curation of "Rodeo", a dance and theatre festival in Munich. Participation and audience development were integral to the renewed concept, which focussed on repositioning supposedly established civic structures. Together with the artists Bülent Kullukcu and Karnik Gregorian I awarded the direction with an alternative proposal to preceding formats. "RODEO 2020_Construction Site Utopia" focussed on mediation and worked to enable encounters between contemporary artists and people who have never heard about this kind of dance and theatre. We also incorporated new art spaces outside well known middle class venues. Most dancers performed in a shopping center away from the inner city for example.

Thinking about diversity of class, gender and race in relation to an urban society was not only a topic of talks and plays but also a main theme of organisation. The municipality as commissioner supports these ideas, however there are still norms regarding behavior in the arts. In addition there are interests of the arts scene in the city we had to satisfy. Acting in the field of communal cultural and educational policy the question of power soon became apparent. The experience showed that discussions of diversity do not necessarily lead to changes in behaviour given the exclusion of social differences in the sense of Pierre Bourdieu through class and habitus. From this background it has to be negotiated what transgression means.

Panel Perf04
Breaking art rules? New patrons, art commissions and the old "règles de l´art"