In March 2022 we present the second edition of Step – an international dance festival for children and young people in Region Västra Götaland, Sweden. Once again, the foundation of the festival is the meeting between dance and audience. Our ambition and our hope is that children and young audiences – no matter circumstances, background, place of residence or understanding of dance – of all kinds can experience professional dance at the highest level.
We would like Step to be a shared platform where we can all experience something that lifts us from our everyday lives into something completely different. Where equality for everyone is the starting point for creating a sense of community and enjoyment through dance. Where the festival is a place for discovering something completely new, something you may never before have dreamt of. In other words, it is a festival for all children and adults who are still young at heart.
The large and small-scale performances presented during Step 2022 will include a variety of styles, cultures and modes of expression. With our professional’s program, Step will also provide a meeting place for members of the dance community.
The 2020 festival was ended prematurely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, Step 2022 isn’t just a second chance for those of us who work with the festival, but even more so for the children and youths who missed out on Step 2020.
Step is founded and produced by Producentbyrån. We have worked as independent producers of the performing arts since 2008. Creating encounters between dance and young audiences has been a driving force since the start. And the desire to work with this just grows. With Step we’re creating a fantastic opportunity for strengthening dance in our region. We hope that the festival becomes a meeting place, a door opener and a source for inspiration for the audiences, the dance community, presenters and collaborators alike. We hope you will continue to join us on our journey!
Fiona is a trained flautist graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2001. Since then jobs in music, theatre, arts education and curation have led to a focus on theatre and dance for children and young. Fiona joined Imaginate as Creative Development Director in 2011. Her role includes initiating and leading projects and opportunities for artists, teachers and schools, curating platforms for artists, and being Artistic Lead for the EU project PUSH+. Fiona is currently on the International Advisory Panel for explore dance, a German project commission new dance works for young audiences.
Fiona on curatorship
“I am very happy to join Step 2022 as a guest curator and to work with a team of people who are so committed to what they do. Everything feels different right now, pandemic restrictions bringing new challenges so I am intrigued to see how this impacts the process of curation and how audiences might respond. My approach is to find dance that has something to say, that make us think differently about ideas and stereotypes, about what we think dance is or isn’t, and performances that are created from a place of care and respect for who children and young people are. It is a special privilege to be able to connect exciting and authentic artists with children and young people in Sweden especially at a time when this connection and access to live performances is so core to our souls.”
Adjjima Na Patalung
Adjjima is a theatre director, curator and producer. In other words; a typical arts professional from Thailand, wearing many different hats. Her current role is that of Festival Director at BICT Fest and Creative Director for the organization Arts on Location. She has a background in visual arts, crafts and liberal arts. Since 2006, she’s been dividing her time living and working in Bangkok and London. Her ambition is to utilize those experiences to generate more awareness among the Thai public sector about the benefits of performing arts for people of all ages.
Adjjima on curatorship
“I look at curatorship as a creative practice, allowing me to exercise my sense of aesthetics and of humanity. My hope is to create connectivity between an audience and the art form. I am drawn to works that move with time, to artists that constantly push the boundaries with their ideas and artistry, but with a real interest in their audiences. When selecting works, I try to look at a performance through the lens of an audience; open, curious, hungry yet uncompromising. I believe that all audiences – especially the young ones – deserve the pleasure to watch and access high quality works that respects their intellect, imagination and emotions.”
Peter Sunesson works at Dansstationen in Malmö as producer for the Salto! festival. The festival takes place in October and is a yearly recurring dance festival for children and young audiences in Skåne. Presenting approximately 150 performances each year, the festival is one of the largest dance festivals for young audiences in Sweden and Europe. Peter has also worked with the selection for various festivals like Bibu 2016 and 2018, and he’s also part of the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s working group for dance and circus.
Peter on curatorship
“It feels exciting to once again be given the trust to put together a program for Step, seeing as how the last festival was reduced and became chipped around the edges due to the Covid-19 situation around the world. It comes down to finding width, sharpness, representation and diversity in scenic expressions. Perhaps the content of the upcoming festival will be affected of what has happened? We’ll see. I hope our selection in a good way will reflect our current times and that it can contribute to establishing Step as an important festival on the Swedish performing arts scene.”
Step Extended is our initiative to showcase both dance companies and innovative dance projects from Region Västra Götaland. It is also an addition to the festival’s curated program. Beyond showcasing regional dance initiatives, and through for instance international exchange and residencies, we also want to develop collaborations and strengthen regrowth in dance for young audiences regionally and nationally.
With Step Extended we broaden the festival selection even further with performances and workshops. During Step 2022, we expand the festival program with Vind, blås mig!, Kvinnostaden, Konst och pedagogik and Open Stage.
We are now taking a new step in reducing the festival’s climate footprint! In preparation for the 2022 festival we are focusing on creating a festival that is sustainable both regarding environmental and climate issues. We have identified four main areas that we are working with. In the areas food and beverage, travels, accommodation and printed matter, our ambition is to:
– Serve only vegetarian food and snacks at the festival’s opening, professionals program and closing party.
Serve only organic coffee/tea, sugar and milk.
– When possible, collaborate with local food and beverage producers for the various events during the festival.
– Make sure all travels within the Nordics are done by train or bus.
– When possible, book Nordic Swan Ecolabel or Green Key certified hotels for the visiting companies and guests.
– Reduce the number of printed matter. And what’s printed will be so on Nordic Swan Ecolabel certified paper.
Producentbyrån in Gothenburg is the initiator and producer of Step. Producentbyrån is a team of producers and project managers working with various artists, companies, festivals, conferences and projects in performing arts, both in Sweden and internationally. Producentbyrån was founded in 2008 and work with tour management, communication, project management, coordination, production, administration and economy. We work with both short and long-term projects and hire additional producers and project managers when needed. Producentbyrån is run by Malin Enberg and Dag Rosenqvist.