A team of DAO writers went to Manchester to report on decibel 11 which took place from 12-16 September 2011
So decibel Performing Arts Showcase 2011 has come to an end. This was reputedly the biggest and best showcase yet, promoting diverse practice in the performing arts sector. This bi-annual event aims to more fully represent and reflect the different cultures and backgrounds that make our country unique in the world.
Artists and companies selected for the cross-art form four-day event represent the cutting edge of music, theatre, dance, live art, circus and street arts from around the country. 50 artists and companies have been chosen to present work that is either tour-ready, work-in-progress or at a stage for pitching. A series of complementary activities for delegates also took place alongside the showcase performances. These ranged from introductory forums for first-time attendees, to an industry marketplace and panel discussions on issues such as diversity, touring and presenting work, or best practice for the sector.
Many international and international promoters, producers, programmers, artistic directors and venue managers were invited to see extracts from leading artists’ latest productions and new and developing work. DAO plans to comment further on the booking of artists’ work and collaborations that lead to further creative output.
As one of DAO's team of writers commented: 'We've had a ball. It was probably Brian Lobel's!' Check out the review of Lobel's show and his interview with DAO's project director, Trish Wheatley, to find out why!**
The week kicked off with the launch of Art Council's Creative Case for Diversity. This day-long symposium enabled invited speakers from not only the UK but from organisations [from all over the world to put their perspective on the place for the Creative Case in the arts. DAO writers will be continuing to reflect on the Creative Case as time goes by to trace how theory merges with practice and what outcomes they see emerging from Art Council's initiative.
The Showcase week which followed saw a range of performers demonstrating drama, music, comedy, dance, puppetry and often a mash up of all sorts of theatre styles all devised through the most astounding imagination and creativity.
All of this contributed further to the case for placing diverse work firmly in the heart of what the mainstream has to offer.
You can read DAO reviews from Trish Wheately, Colin Hambrook, Amerdeep Sohi, Monika Richards, Gary Thomas and John O'Donoghue, of a selection of the 50 performances which took place at decibel by scrolling down the page and clicking on the links to the right of this page.