Théâtres de l’Est et de l’Ouest - Rencontres Européennes du Millénaire
Initiated in 1998, the THEOREM association currently brings together about twenty European theatres and festivals with the common goal of promoting the work of young Eastern European artists.
By forming an association for the production and circulation of performances throughout Europe, the idea is:
to contribute to the settlement of a cultural Europe, linking East to West, at a time of European enlargementt,
for Western Europe audiences to discover the work of Central and Eastern Europe artists,
to reinforce collaboration between Western Europe professionals by creating an informal network of information and developing a concrete partnership,
to help creation in countries still too often excluded from the main international networks of diffusion,
- to enable an exchange of expertise between East and West, artistically, technically and financially, as well as in terms of audience relations.
In March 1999 THEOREM acquired a moral personality when adopting an associative statute, under the French 1901 law. The association comprises 26 members representing 12 European countries:
President : Bernard Faivre d’Arcier (Avignon Festival Director, France),
Deputy-President : Rose Fenton (LIFT Festival Director, London, Great Britain),
Secretary : Nele Hertling (Hebbel Theater Director, Berlin, Germany),
Deputy-Secretary : Lars Seeberg (Eventyr HC Andersen 2005 Director, Odense, Denmark),
Treasurer : Bernard Fleury (Le Maillon - Théâtre de Strasbourg Director, France),
Paolo Aniello (Centro servizi e spettacoli di Udine, Director, Italy),
Steve Austen (Felix Meritis Director, Amsterdam, The Netherlands),
Christopher Crimes (La Filature Director, Mulhouse, France), Myriam de Clopper (DeSingel Performing Arts Director, Antwerp, Belgium),
Laurent Dréano (Lille 2004 - European Capital of Culture Coordinator, France),
Sigrid Gareis (Tanzquartier Director, Vienna, Austria),
Dessy Gavrilova (Red House Director, Sofia, Bulgaria),
Giorgio Gennari (Parma Festival Director, Italy),
Stella Hall (Belfast Festival at Queen’s Director, Great Britain),
Dieter Jaenicke (European Workshop for Arts & Culture, Dresden, Adviser of the board, Germany),
Philippe Le Moine (Royal National Theatre Studio, International projects, London, Great Britain),
Markus Luchsinger (Berliner Festspiele Director, Berlin, Germany),
Helga Müller-Serre (Theater der Stadt Remscheid Director, Germany),
Risto Nieminen (Helsinki Festival Director, Finland),
Henk Scholten (Utrecht City Theatre, The Netherlands)
Didier Thibaut (La Rose des Vents Director, Villeneuve d’Ascq, France),
Baiba Tjarve (New Theatre Institute of Latvia Director, Riga, Latvia),
Chris Torch (Intercult Director, Stockholm, Sweden),
Charles Tordjman (Théâtre de La Manufacture Director, Nancy, France),
Monique Veaute (Festival RomaEuropa Director, Italy),
Claire Verlet (Maison des compagnies et des spectacles Director, CND, Paris, France)
In addition, a Paris-based team was formed to coordinate the project. Nathalie Vimeux and her assistant Myriam Chautemps were released by the Avignon Festival to accomplish this task.
As a vast intra-communautary network in the fields of theatre and dance, the THEOREM association has received funding from the European Commission since 1999, within the framework of the Kaleidoscope 1999 and Culture 2000 programmes. The latter guarantees European financial support for three years (June 2000 - June 2003). In October 2002, the association applied for a new three year European grant (2003-2006).
The European THEOREM association develops the following activities:
1 - Research missions in Central and Eastern Europe, 2 - Co-production and touring of shows, 3 - Communication and information 4 - Training seminars, artists’ residencies
Research trips and missions have been under way since September 1998. They provide an opportunity to attend performances, to meet the artists and X study their artistic projects, and to analyse their conditions of production and cultural contexts.
These trips take place throughout the Eastern European zone (around 20 missions per year, shared by the Parisian coordination office and all the members of the association) : Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Yugoslavia… THEOREM goes regularly to each country to keep abreast of theatrical developments. Press trips are additionally organised in order to bring theatre and dance creation in the East to the attention of Western European critics. THEOREM members also participate in large European theatre meetings like IETM.
2. PRODUCTION AND CIRCULATION OF THEOREM PROJECTS
a - Over a three year period, THEOREM has initiated and monitored about twenty projects, initially comprising parts of co-productions by different THEOREM members.
Theorem-supported directors to date:
Oskaras Korsunovas, Lithuania - Peeter Jalakas, Estonia - Arpád Schilling, Hungary - Viesturs Kairiss , Latvia - Teddy Moskov, Bulgaria - Sfumato Theatre, Bulgaria - Javor Gardev, Bulgaria - László Hudi, Hungary - Ivan Stanev, Bulgaria/Germany - Driterö Kasapi, Macedonia - Dimitar Nedkov, Bulgaria - Alexandru Dabija, Romania - Grzegorz Jarzyna, Poland - Krzysztof Warlikowski, Poland…
b - THEOREM ensures that the work of Central and Eastern European artists, including THEOREM projects, tours to different festivals and theatres in Western Europe. Numerous THEOREM partners organised specific events outside their usual programme: they presented shows from the THEOREM network to underline East-European theatrical creativity.
3. COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION
a - THEOREM members, sometimes together with theatre and festival partners, meet regularly in order to assess project development, exchange new information and detail plans for the next stage.
These meetings are held every two or three months, in different European cities, and frequently in Eastern European countries to meet local partners and attend performances (Paris, Avignon, Berlin, Vilnius, Sofia, Moscow, Budapest…).
b - The THEOREM network today is a genuine information bank for :
The structures of production and distribution in the European Union member States
Theatre and dance creation in Central and Eastern Europe
From missions to collaborations, contacts throughout Europe have multiplied, as has access to more technical information about the cultural and artistic processes occurring in each of the different countries, both in the East and in the West. In this way, THEOREM has become a pool of information that is increasingly consulted by creators, presenters or producers working in the Performing Arts.
4. MEETINGS, RESIDENCIES, TRAINING
a - Workshops and meetings are organised in tandem with touring shows, with the aim of creating closer links between the audiences and the artists, the East and the West. Seminars are also organised where artists, critics, producers and tour organisers can meet and work together. Each of these events is an opportunity to communicate about the work of the THEOREM network and to afford the project wider resonance.
b - Some artistic residencies and workshops, linked to productions, provide artistic directors and actors from different countries with a unique opportunity to work together and experiment in an unusual environment without the pressure of a stage performance.
c - THEOREM Eastern European partners are increasingly keen to undertake professional training. In the years ahead, THEOREM wants to develop this direction of activities, in organising exchange programmes between Eastern and Western artists and technicians:
focusing on the issue of long-term cultural policy (theatre systems, financial contributions to first productions, production structures…) with the cultural authorities of the various countries,
as well focusing on very concrete issues relative to the practical organisation of tours, the training of performance technicians, the banking systems …
Thanks to its experience and to individual initiatives already achieved by some of its members, THEOREM would like to operate as a helping platform for theatrical preparation and training, in the true logic of its first mission: to contribute to the best artistic creation and distribution. The association will mobilize its present network, both in the West and in the East, in order to establish these exchanges and seminars on a modest but efficient and constructive scale.
A first exchange was held in May 2002 in Riga, in the form of a training seminar bringing together some 15 participants from the Baltic countries. Entitled "Managing Performing Arts across Europe" (MPAAE), this project was organised in collaboration with the New Theatre Institute of Latvia and the cultural representative bodies of the European Union countries in Riga (French Cultural Centre, British Council, Goethe Institute, Swedish Institute…).