Trends in the international production and distribution of the performing arts from Flanders & Brussels
Flanders Arts Institute is continuously researching the changing practice of producing and distributing (performing) arts.
We recently mapped out the international dimension of the performing arts over the period 2001-2014, including performances abroad as well as international co-productions. This has produced interesting material.
First of all, companies managed to maintain their production capacity, even in times of crisis and government cutbacks. There is even an increase in the number of Flemish productions performed abroad, and an increase in venues and countries. In 2001, productions were presented in 30 different countries; in 2014, this number rose to 56 countries. However, the story also has a downside: because subsidies have been reduced since 2010, companies are increasingly dependent on (inter)national partnerships for the development of their projects.
Many performing arts productions today are made through partnerships between companies and sometimes various festivals, arts centres and other domestic and foreign partners. During the last five years in particular – after cuts in spending at home and abroad – the number of foreign partners increased very quickly. The figures illustrate the rise and flourishing of a transnational circuit in which the performing arts are made and presented. Flemish players have a strong position within this circuit. Due to increasing pressure on arts policy in many countries, the limits to growth in this transnational circuit are in sight. Today much time is spent on difficult negotiations over ever-smaller sums. All of this could occasion a discussion of a number of developments in the practice of organisations and cultural policy.
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