Alumni weekend 19-21 May in Fredrikstad 2017
Thank you to all that came and participated in the start up of the alumni network of NTA. Here follows a short summary, the protocol of the meeting and main themes that came from the discussion from Saturday:
Lecture and introduction by Øyvind Jørgensen.
Øyvind has been a prominent figure in the European and Norwegian contemporary dance scene for a long time and taught at NTA at several occasions. He held an inspiring lecture on “aging in the field”, spanning from this own beginning as a dancer in the 70s at Statens Ballethøyskole on to training with Martha Graham in New York, the discovery of Butoh, the return to dance and current collaborations. His inspiring lecture gave a contextualization for our meeting, looked at development, tendencies and challenges within a carrier and artist life as a creator, producer, teacher and performer. You can read more about Øyvind here: http://www.sceneweb.no/nb/artist/1068/%C3%98yvind_J%C3%B8rgensen
Presentation by artistic directors of Acting and Scenography department Karmenlara Ely and Serge Von Arx on the Artistic Research Programme and the work towards a new MA in Performance
The academy is in addition to its BA program, and the MA in Scenography, working towards an MA in Performance. This will lead to a restructuring of the BA programme. In practical terms this means that entry exams will be held every third year, and the acting classes will consist of 12 students and scenography of up to 8. To read more about the current programs, structures, deadlines for application, go to http://www.hiof.no/about-us/faculties-and-units/norwegian-theatre-academy/studies?lang=eng and stay tuned for new information through the blog and newsletter: https://blogg.hiof.no/nta/
NTA is also part of the Artistic Research Programme, collaborating on a fellowship programme and a Project programme. Further info can be found: http://artistic-research.no/?lang=en and http://www.hiof.no/about-us/faculties-and-units/norwegian-theatre-academy/research-and-development/projects?lang=eng
Next concrete working steps for the NTA alumni network that were taken:
- Alumni board was chosen and consist of Marina Popovic, Nela H. Kornetova, Ivar Furre Aam and current students Kaja Egerberg and Rasmus Jensen. Work towards the next meeting in 2018 will be led by Marina Popovic.
- The boards tasks will in this first instance be to organize the next Alumni meeting in the spring 2018.
- We are working towards that the next meeting will be held in Oslo in the spring, preferably at the same time of current students work and showings in Oslo. We envisage a 1 day conference followed by performance by the students.
- In collaboration with Anne Berit Løland we are working towards the creation of a residency space at NTA for Alumni, offering a space/studio, technical equipment and an apartment for the time of the residency. All NTA alumni should be able to apply with a project and a board of representatives should help decide who is the most eligible and relevant person/group to come. There is need to create the residency as soon as possible, even in a smaller pilot scale, so we can test how it can be incorporated into student/NTA curriculum and schedule. The residency will require an exchange between the visiting alumni artist and current students in the form of showings, lectures, workshops or other suitable exchange platforms. We will look in to the length of the residency, from 1-4 weeks, depending on spaces available at NTA. A possibility then is on the border of holidays (summer, winter, spring) When is the first one? What are the conditions and rules? How can we make a fruitful meeting with alumni and students through this? Accordingly we decide the deadline for application. Any ideas and comments are welcome and can be sent to the board or Anne Berit.
- Anne Berit and the administration will financially and administratively support the implementation of an Alumni organization as a pilot-project the next 3-5 years, with the aim of a self-sustainable organization.
Other topics, themes and visions that were discussed:
- Karmenlara Ely adressed the need for active alumni in order to foster and continue the culture of critique on and coming from NTA, enable the sharing of experience and awareness of the legacy. As NTA is a very diverse community, we do not learn just from being social and being good at parties, but what we are learning from is the critique of each others work, our conflicts and clashes of different aesthetics (all with and through “love”). NTA is not a fixed monument and it keeps developing with every new class and it evolves within the field, it is never the same. She also mentioned possible teaching and workshops led by alumni where that could be the space for meetings and discussions. Alumni needs to be also based on our own initiative. How can we take care of the alumni association? How can we keep developing? How could alumni rehearse and show unfinished work?
- Serge von Arx talked more conretely about the structure of all the levels of education (BA, MA, PHD, Alumni) as highly active and slightly intertwined. NTA as a laboratory. Alumni as a synchronic identity outside time. Alumni itself needs to decide what it is. The possibility of alumni coming back as PhD researchers and research fellows.
- Is there a need to reach out and gather alumni, when many work together already?
- What are the benefits of formally organizing the NTA community and what are the perks of engaging with it?
- Long term aims: own house/theatre/residency and leading and teaching at NTA?
- Is there a wish to decentralize the meetings, ie. not necessarily having them in Fredrikstad and Oslo, but also abroad. An alumni-representative in “each” country?
- What does the alumni organization need to be in order to have relevance, for the members as well as for the field in general?
- How do we organize and share the responsibilities? An alumni contact for each year?
- Sharing the experience we have after the graduation.
- Crashing the hierarchy and division of BA, MA and PhD during the workshop week lead by alumni. True workshop where you can sign up and choose where to be.
- Mentoring program between alumni: buddy system?
- Creating a legal entity, applying for money at Fredrikstad commune, HIOF, kulturådet etc.
Many ideas, topics and possible collaborations were brought out during our discussion. In a very short time, we managed to make concrete steps towards our next meeting, and plant seeds for further planning, watch 2.nd years independent productions and have a great party together Saturday night. We are very excited about the possibilities and potential of the alumni! If you have any questions, ideas or would like to join in the planning of next years conference, do not hesitate to contact us.
See you all in the spring 2018 !!!!
Nela Kornetova / 48192522 / email@example.com
Marina Popovic / 93253683/ firstname.lastname@example.org