Online Forum
12 October 2021

European Dancehouse Network together with The Place and Saddler’s Wells presented EDN Online Forum “Are you here? Dance and its audience”, an online event open to all dance professionals and others who would like to delve into the complexities of the relationship between dance and its audience.

You can also read a short report from Annette van Zwol.


The pandemic has deeply shaken the realities of dance professionals and has given us both the necessity and the opportunity to explore new relationships with audiences. The Forum builds on the work of ateliers held over the past few years and will draw on that knowledge as well as expanding new ideas that acknowledge the urgent societal shifts that are shaping our world:

How do we connect? Who defines who is invited or excluded? What does the future hold for dance and its audience? What have we learned about our audiences during covid? How can we co-create and build intimacy with our audiences through digital connections?


GMT UK time (CET + 1)
subject to change


10.00 – 10.15 (British time) | 11.00 – 11.15 (CET)

Introduction of the themes of the atelier and of the programme by Eddie Nixon, Director of The Place, Ankur Bahl, Director of Digital Stage & Studio at Sadler's Wells and Marie Proffit, Co-curator and Producer of the Forum.

10.15 – 10.55 (British time) | 11.15 – 11.55 (CET)

This opening session will enable us to understand and discuss audiences behaviours during and post-COVID-19. What are the most interesting audience trends we have observed during the pandemics? Are they here to stay? What worked and what didn’t?

Anne Torregiani, CEO of Audience Agency (UK). Anne is the founder and Chief Executive of The Audience Agency, the UK national charity for public engagement with arts, museums and heritage, increasing the reach, relevance and resilience of the sector.

Atanas Maev, Director of Derida Dance Center (Bulgaria) and Yvona Kreuzmannova, Director and Founder of Tanec Praha (Czech Republic) share with us case studies and strategies they have adopted as dance organisations during the pandemics to stay in touch with their audiences. 

Moderator: Caroline Schreiber, Director of Communications The Place (UK)

10.55 - 11.00 (British time) | 11.55 – 12.00 (CET)

11.00 - 12.30 (British time) | 12.00 – 13.30 (CET)

Let’s take a brave look at the future and at how technologies can change the relationships we create with audiences. 

What is the opportunity to invite new audiences through digital tools? How can we reach more equity in who’s invited and who’s not? How to build intimacy and co-creation with audiences in digital setup? How to create liveness and collective presence in virtual environments? What do technologies such as VR, telepresence, virtual worlds/gaming, robotics and social media hold for the future of our relation to audiences? 


Ghislaine Boddington (UK), Reader in Digital immersion, University of Greenwich, creative director of body>data>space. Ghislaine is an artist, curator, director and presenter, specialising in the future human, body responsive technologies and immersive experiences. 

Robin Jonsson (Sweden) is a choreographer and a sound artist. His most recent project ‘Alone Together’ is presented in Virtual Reality in real-time, the audience and the dancers meet in a virtual environment in which they can move freely and interact. 

Jamaal Burkmar (UK) is an internationally award-winning choreographer, together with Extended Play, they re-evaluate their practice with a focus on creating new works that are accessible for new audiences. 

Moderator: Ankur Bahl, Director of Digital Stage & Studio at Sadler's Wells

12.30 - 13.00 (British time) | 13.30 – 14.00 (CET) LUNCH BREAK 

13.00 - 13.20 (British time) | 14.00 – 14.20 (CET)

Hilde Ingeborg Sandvold is a Norwegian dance artist based in Denmark. She will lead a well deserved movement based session to our conference attendees. No prior dancing skills required!

13.20 - 14.00 (British time) | 14.20 – 15.00 (CET)
ACCESS IS LOVE by Tanja Erhart

Tanja Erhart is a self identified dis_abled cultural scientist, contemporary dancer from Austria based in London. Tanja will share a presentation on accessibility and care followed by a conversation with Eva Martinez, Performing arts curator, producer, dramaturg and coach.

14.00 - 15.30 (British time) | 15.00 – 16.30 (CET)

This panel questions the power structure that underpin the relations of dance institutions to their audiences. 

Who decides who ‘our audience’ is? How can we be both place-based and global? Who are our communities and how are they invited to our work?  How do we include those individuals at the edge of or excluded from the communities we target? How can our audiences be co-curators?  


Roberto Casarotto (Italy), responsible for the dance projects and programmes for the Centro per la Scena Contemporanea di Bassano del Grappa (CSC) and Operaestate Festival Veneto. 

Freddie Opoku-Addaie (UK), Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Dance Umbrella. A critically acclaimed choreographer, dancer/performer, curator and teacher and is also the recipient of several choreographic awards and commissions. 

Tamara Zsófia Vadas, Ábris Gryllus and Márton Emil Tóth
(Hungary). Tamara is a dancer, choreographer and teacher, Ábris is a cross disciplinary media artist and musician, Márton is a visual artist. Together they have collaborated with young people on the BeSpectactive project Nibiru

Moderator: Eva Martinez, Performing arts curator, producer, dramaturg and coach

15.30 - 15.45 (British time) | 16.30 – 16.45 (CET)

15.45 - 16.15 (British time) | 16.45 – 17.15 (CET)

We invite Rosemary Lee to share her reflections on the day. Rosemary is a choreographer film maker and performer.  She will reflect on the key themes that she has noticed through the day and also draw on her own consideration of audience and her evolving relationship with them. Over the past thirty years, she has created works ranging from live performances that are predominantly site specific and often involve intergenerational casts of non professional and professional dancers, to dance films and installations. 

What is the take away from the day? Annette Van Zwoll, an independent dance dramaturge, curator, text writer from Netherlands shares the ‘live summary’ of the conference. 

16.15 - 16.30 (British time) | 17.15 – 17.30 (CET)

Final words by European Dancehouse Network


Practical information

All events happened on Zoom.

Participation was free of charge and open to all but booking was essential.

British sign language interpretation was provided all day.

Contact and assistance

For any inquiries, please be in touch with Engagement & Production Manager Eva Broberg.

Photo: Requardt & Rosenberg: Future Cargo, photo credit: Stuart Martin
Design: Lealudvik

Forum “Are you here? Dance and its audience” was co-organized by European Dancehouse Network, The Place and Saddler’s Wells. European Dancehouse Network is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

London I United Kingdom
London I United Kingdom