the project

BeSpectACTive! is an European project based on audience development, involving some of the most innovative European organizations working on active involvement of spectators in the contemporary performing arts. Its members are European festivals, theatres, universities and a research centre.

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What we do?

BeSpectACTive! aims to deepen the levels of engagement between artists, cultural organization and audiences through the production of 21 new theatre and dance shows, 54 creative residencies, 30 workshop with 1.000 local spectators who will decide the programming of 108 shows, the online interaction with web-users, 4 international conferences and 1 research project which will accompany all the previous areas of action in order to evaluate the different effects deriving from the key actions.

WHY?

In an age of personalization and ubiquitous interactive platforms - where audiences increasingly demand active participation in culture rather than passive consumption - BeSpectACTive! will enable European arts organizations to explore new models and concepts of participation, accessibility, interaction and social cohesion. It focuses on the interaction between cultural activities and new concepts of citizenship and legitimacy, including the most advanced theories of participatory governance.

THE KEY WORD

The key word is active spectatorship. It refers to each mechanism through which audiences, namely spectators or citizens, take on the role of decision makers with regard to many of the aspects needed to carry out a festival or a theatre or dance programme. The project aims to give to the audience a decision-making role, providing them with individual responsibilities in a common space of creation.

THE PARTNERS

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COMUNE DI SANSEPOLCRO

Italy

The Comune di (City of) Sansepolcro is a public institution actively involved in planning and management of many cultural (more…)

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ASSOCIAZIONE CAPOTRAVE/KILOWATT

Italy

CapoTrave / Kilowatt is both an Italian theatre company and a festival dedicated to the new companies of the (more…)

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TANEC PRAHA SDRUZENI

czech republic

Tanec Praha is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation (NGO) founded in 1991. It has three basic missions: in the (more…)

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TEATRUL NATIONAL RADU STANCA SIBIU

Romania

“Radu Stanca” National Theatre is a public repertory theatre that consists of a Romanian and a German department, (more…)

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BAKELIT MULTI ART CENTER ALAPITVANY

Hungary

“The First Factory Theatre” in Budapest is an art center operating on European standards from private resources, (more…)

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DOMINO UDRUGE

Croatia

Domino is a non-governmental, non-profit organization based in Zagreb, Croatia, that has as its mission the questioning of the traditional (more…)

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UNIVERSITAT DE BARCELONA

Spain

The University of Barcelona is ranked the 1st Spanish university and the 33rd European institution in scientific quality (more…)

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YORK CITIZENS THEATRE TRUST LIMITED

United Kingdom

York Theatre Royal is one of the country’s leading producing theatres, welcoming over 200,000 people each year. (more…)

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FONDAZIONE FITZCARRALDO

Italy

Fitzcarraldo is the leading Italian center on cultural, arts and media management and policies. It has been active (more…)

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LONDON INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THEATRE

United Kingdom

LIFT travels the world to bring global stories to London, transforming this city to stage, presenting unique cultural (more…)

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KULTURNO DRUSTVO B-51

Slovenia

B-51 Cultural Society is a non-governmental organisation involved since its origin mainly in the production in the field of (more…)

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UNIVERSITE MONTPELLIER I

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At the interior of the University of Montpellier, the “Centre for Political Study in Latin Europe” was founded in 1983 on (more…)

Ultimately, the stylistic method presupposes the existence of a fourth creator in addition to the author, the director, and the actor—namely, the spectator. (Vsevelod Meyerhold, First Attempts at a Stylized Theatre, 1907)
The public is no longer a collection of hypnotized test subjects, but an assembly of interested persons whose demands it must satisfy. (Walter Benjamin, What is Epic Theatre? A study on Brecht, 1939)
We don’t need to turn spectators into actors. We do need to acknowledge that every spectator is already an actor in his own story and that every actor is in turn the spectator of the same kind of story. (Jacques Ranciére, The Emancipated Spectator, 2008)

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communities

In every city of the network has been created a local group of spectators, working all year long, with the aim of selecting part of the programming of the theatre/festival.
All around Europe people has been empowered, their opinions are taken into account, their suggestions carefully followed.

In this project, there are not “educational” activities where some experts are teaching to audience what is a good piece of art, there are not even community art actions, rather the project is a peer exchange, where everyone (audience, professionals, artists) actively learns, listening the others.

live show productions

Be SpectACTive! will produce 12 new theatre and dance shows that will come to life through a relationship with the audience. The 12 companies involved will be carefully chosen through a common assessment expressed by the artistic directors of theatres and festivals of the project. 3 creative residencies (in 3 different countries) will be given to each company. The creative residencies will be crucial for the relation with the local audiences and the knowledge of the cultural contexts. Artists will open their rehearsals to groups of local spectators and listen to their impressions.

online show productions / Interactive platform

Thanks to this platform, the artists present and discuss their creative research with the audience, using cross-media files such as texts, images, videos and music. 9 new dance projects will be produced. Each choreographer and his/her dancers will have 2 residences, in 2 different theatres in Europe. During each residency, the choreographer and the dancers will work together with a local filmmaker, who will make the shooting and the video-editing of their work.
Click on the pictures below, look the creative work of the artists and interact with them!

photo by Vojta Brtnicky

MICHAL ZAHORA (CZ) – LETTERS (2015)

In the first part of the project “Letters”, Michal Záhora and participants of workshops will explore together the phenomenon of…

photo by Camilla Cerea

DAN CANHAM (UK) – (2015-2016)

Dan Canham in his work combines dance-theatre with participatory research in the UK. Dan’s practice of choreographic storytelling is meticulous,…

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CLAUDIA CATARZI (IT) – TIME (2015-2016)

The image I have of this work is a continuous phrasing of dance performed by the two dancers moving in…

research

The research will focus on the concept of active spectatorship investigating the multiple impacts stemming from the participative methodologies used. The 4 years length of the project allows the design and implementation of a multidimensional evaluative approach, mainly qualitative, which enables the assessment of how and to what extent active spectatorship, in terms of stimulating an effective audience development and diversification, improving the relationship quality, reinforcing the sense of belonging and commitment of the audience to the organizations, enhancing the audience’s expressive capacities to understand the artistic process. The research project will also analyze how the active spectatorship modifies and affects the modus operandi of the professionals during their artistic creation and how can influence in a more general way the programming of the artistic organizations. 

conferences

Each year is held a public international conference (4 in 4 years: Sansepolcro 2015, Prague 2016, Sibiu 2017, York 2018) in which are presented the results of the activities. International experts are invited. The methodology applied by the researchers is disseminated and new organisations, wishing to improve their strategies of active spectatorship, take part in the discussion.

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