idea / presidency

KRAKÓW: IETM Meeting and Theatrical Reminiscences


In October, Kraków will host the anniversary meeting of the IETM. The IETM “Party” will coincide with the 36th Kraków Theatrical Reminiscences.


October 6–9, 2011

The International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts connects a wide variety of performing arts organizations from all across the world. The IETM meeting in Kraków will be unique for at least several reasons: not only is this the first meeting held in Poland, it is a meeting marking the 30th anniversary of the organization. While the spring meeting in Stockholm will celebrate the past, the event in Kraków, besides the obvious association of the theme “Party — Celebrating 30 Years” — will be an opportunity to set new goals for the future.

In keeping with the IETM’s three-year action plan, the network will focus over the next few years on compiling a set of best practices, analyzing them, and processing them, with special attention devoted to mapping current areas of artistic exploration and presentation formats. Other important areas of study will include the effects of increased artist mobility, the role of producers in the creative process, and new models of artistic activity.

The IETM also strives to replace the “conference” formula of meetings with one that would engage as many participants as possible (via the internet).

The theme of the discussion will be the word “Party” and its multiple meanings. This part of the debate will discuss methods for orienting culture towards other fields of political and economic life (“Put culture where it belongs”). Culture as a sector is often sidelined, despite the fact that it is a base and source for the creative sector — the fastest growing branch of the economy in the postindustrial world, as well as the branch that produces the greatest net return on investment, both for players on the open market and national budgets.

“Party” also means “participation.” The discussion will address cooperation in performing arts circles with the goal of articulating a common voice and forming a real force capable of effecting change in international legislation, not just for the good of performing arts circles (social safety nets, the right to laboratory work), but in order to better use art for the purpose of social work.

Kraków Theatrical Reminiscences
October 6–12, 2011

The 36th edition of the Kraków Theatrical Reminiscences (KTR) will be exceptional in many ways. The event’s 35th anniversary edition, featuring the theme of “Dismantling Utopia,” was intended to mark a historic end to a certain era, summing it up and starting anew. 36 years of existence is a remarkable achievement for a theater festival — few festivals in the world can boast such a long history.

The exceptionalness of the 36th edition starts with an exceptional date: traditionally held in the spring, this year the festival will be moved to early October. The reason is just as remarkable: the autumn date will coincide with the IETM meeting in Kraków. The meeting, held in Poland for the first time, will take place as a part of the Polish Presidency in the European Union and will mark the 30th anniversary of the organization’s existence.

This year’s program will also be exceptional due to its broad presentation of Polish theater companies as well as artists from Eastern Partnership countries and Russia. The theme of the festival will be highly topical: networking and international and inter-cultural cooperation, all of which are becoming increasingly indispensable in today’s global world, and at the same time are helping us understand it. Alongside the KTR and the IETM meeting, the newly-formed Eastern Europe Performing Arts Platform will hold its inaugural meeting. Artists from different countries will meet in Kraków and work on joint projects. The KTR will also host a meeting of Theater Festivals in Transition (FIT), a network of European theater festivals that includes the KTR.

The festival will also feature performances by theaters from Germany, part of the “North Rhine-Westphalia Season in Poland.” One of the productions will be put on by the Schauspielhaus from Bochum, and the other by the Schauspielhaus from Cologne.

Festival performances and projects will traditionally be accompanied by talks with artists, discussions, and exhibitions.

The festival will also feature a workshop for participants of the “Festival Lab” and a performance of a special theater co-production created by a selected participant during their “Festival Lab” residency. The project is the third by Theater Festivals in Transition (FIT), an informal network of European theater festivals. It is intended for young curators and theater producers, some of whom will go on to become directors of international festivals.


Co-organizers: UM Kraków, Centrum Kultury Rotunda, Krakowskie Biuro Festiwalowe, IETM, Fundacja Tone – Muzyka i Nowe Formy Sztuki

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