The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia is partnering with three prominent UK arts venues to deliver a «virtual residency» programme. The Swiss artists taking part in the residencies would have been in the UK this August, presenting work as part of the Swiss Selection Edinburgh 2020 programme at the Edinburgh Fringe. But, as many other platforms, the Scottish performing arts festival was cancelled this year due to the health crisis. This residency programme offers the selected artists an alternative opportunity to develop their potential and talent, building their international profile with a view to future touring and collaboration opportunities in the UK.
The selected projects are:
Ntando Cele and Royal Court
The Royal Court is one of London’s most prominent subsidised venues, and the UK’s leading new writing theatre. Opened in 1956, it has been the home of a huge array of writers such as Caryl Churchill, Edward Bond, Mark Ravenhill, Roy Williams, Sarah Kane, Simon Stephens, Tanika Gupta, Alice Birch and many more. The venue has a real commitment to international work, with a dedicated international department.
Through this residency, Ntando Cele plans to explore some of the ideas underpinning her new work, «Go Go Othello», particularly the lack of black female protagonists in the theatrical canon. The Royal Court will connect her with their dramaturgical team and with a range of writers, makers and artists who have worked at the Court or who might inform the show she is making.
Trân Tran and HOME
HOME is a multidisciplinary arts venue in the heart of Manchester, which opened its doors in 2015. The venue works with international and UK artists through a mix of drama, dance, film and contemporary visual art. They are particularly interested in experimental work and pushing the boundaries of form and technology. Their theatre programme has a focus on international work and offers a UK home for premieres of foreign language plays. Manchester is one of the most culturally vibrant cities in the UK, with a large audience for experimental and queer-led theatre. It is a Manchester International Festival venue.
Trân Tran is excited to use their residency to explore the notion of intimacy in the age of social distancing, particularly as it applies to their show «HERE & NOW». HOME plans to link Trân with key members of their team and Manchester based artists.
Alan Alpenfelt and Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts
Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts in Brighton is an interdisciplinary venue based on the University of Sussex campus, with an excellent programme of innovative and experimental work, frequently by international artists. The artistic director, Laura McDermott, is passionate about Swiss culture, having spent time working as an artistic programmer at CERN. It’s one of the key venues for Brighton Festival.
During his time on residency, Alan Alpenfelt plans to work with food engineer Luisa Jane Rusconi, actress Anahì Traversi and performer Camilla Parini on his new art project «Essenz», explore the question of how we hold those in power accountable, looking at cannibalism and the idea of eating the wrongs of the world.
Looking back at the Swiss Selection Edinburgh 2019 with Amber Massie-Blomfield, Project LEAD
[Video: © Embassy of Switzerland UK]