Last week, 60 newly established artists from across Europe came together with their 12 mentors to kickstart Thetre in Palm First Digital Residency Week online. The energy, excitement, and expectation were palpable as emerging artists in performing arts connected locally and digitally in Europe.
Participants from all forms of performing arts, including actors, musicians, scenographers, sound artists, circus artists, dancers, and those who find it difficult to label their works, were not only showcasing their talents, but also sparking meaningful discussions about the environment, climate change, Antigone, moral dilemmas, and life through improvisations, dance, music, and more. The result was truly inspiring and a testament to the power of art.
Intercult from Sweden had a very interesting collaboration with Italy and Spain. We visited partners in Reggio Emilia and participated from the other side of the screen in this hybrid residency, hosted in Italy by MaMiMò Teatro Piccolo Orologio and Fondazione E35 and led by Marco Oscar Maccieri and Fabio Banfo from MaMiMo. The Sweden-Italy-Spain trio experimented with local and online training, creating a digital connection for the common production showcased online for all the participants from 12 countries on the Theatre in Palm platform.
The digital residency posed a unique challenge for the participating artists, as they were tasked with bringing a personal object, reading Sophocles’ Antigone, and watching a UN Secretary-General’s speech on climate action. Drawing inspiration from these prompts, the artists collaborated and improvised to create a thought-provoking masterpiece that explores the pressing ethical dilemmas of our time, the urgent need for climate action, and the deeply personal perspectives of each artist.
To further emphasize the powerful themes explored in the residency, the artists of our trio used a red thread as a symbol to connect and share their experiences. Through this visual representation, the artists were able to bring attention to the interconnectedness of the pressing issues of climate change and exploitation of our planet.
The cross-cultural collaboration with artists from Spain and Italy further added depth and complexity to the project, as it evolved from a simple artistic dialogue to a rich, multifaceted exploration of contemporary issues. The final result was a unified narrative that spoke to the importance of working together to address the world’s most pressing problems.
It was remarkable to see how fast a project can take form when so many talented and open-minded artists within different fields of performance arts work together. The residency provided a unique opportunity for participants to explore ways of working together from a distance using tools like Teams and Zoom, allowing everyone to perform together.
The participants also enjoyed watching how other countries work and their different solutions within the same project. It was truly fascinating to see how technology has enabled collaboration between artists and how digital platforms like Theatre in Palm have the potential to bring artists from around the world together.
This week at Theatre in Palm was a celebration of emerging artists in performing arts and their ability to collaborate, create, and inspire. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for these talented artists and the digital platforms that enable their work!