5 february 2020

Launch of Fast Forward 2


The second edition of the Fast Forward programme has now been launched. Fifteen makers will have the opportunity to participate in this prestigious multiple-year programme of the Performing Arts Fund, which was first launched in 2014. The programme gives participants the chance to boost their international career and artistic development by working with international partners.


In 2019, with the assistance of a group of scouts (link), intendant Viktorien van Hulst selected seven makers. “The nominated makers represent a wide variety of genres, and each maker is at an important juncture in their development. This programme enables them to make a significant stride in their artistic development, in an international context. I expect that the programme will give a valuable boost to their career. With Fast Forward 2 we are not only investing in their development but also in a professional practice.”

The emphasis in this edition is not on producing work, as in the first edition, but on giving makers the opportunity to set up a long-term project. Such a project combines research, artistic development, and network building.

For choreographer Stephen Shropshire, for example, participation in Fast Forward 2 means a unique opportunity to engage with new artistic research, production and academic exchanges. “By working with the Sao Paolo Ballet Company (BRA), the Hong Kong Ballet Company and the English National Ballet, I am making a new foray into the world of ballet. It is a new chapter for me as a choreographer with roots in academic dance research and a professional practice in contemporary dance.”

Pia Meuthen, choreographer and artistic leader at Panama Pictures, is looking forward to working with partners in Canada.
“By working with specialised production companies in Montreal, we will have the opportunity to further develop both our artistic and technical knowledge. For example, they have a lot of experience with complex rigging and with working at great heights. Thanks to the Fast Forward programme, we can learn all about these technical possibilities and developments.”

Fifteen makers in all with participate in Fast Forward 2. With seven selected so far, the remaining eight will be selected over the course of 2020.


Who are the seven makers?


The seven makers participating in Fast Forward 2 are: Het Geluid Maastricht, Sevdaliza, Stephen Shropshire, Ensemble Klang, Jorinde Keesmaat, Lisa Verbelen/BOG and Pia Meuthen/Panama Pictures.
Photo: Tetsuro Miyazaki
Photo: Tetsuro Miyazaki
Het Geluid: “In recent years we combined our work in our local community in Limburg with a few first steps on the international music theatre stage. To have the opportunity now to further elaborate and apply our locally acquired knowledge and experience in the field of community co-creation at La Monnaie / De Munt – the Brussels opera house of world renown – is a wonderful gift. We hope that this step will expand our knowledge and enable us to share this knowledge with both the Dutch and the international field.”
Photo: Bethany Vargas
Photo: Bethany Vargas
Sevdaliza (Amsterdam) is a Dutch-Iranian singer, songwriter and producer. Working with partners in the United Kingdom, Russia and Los Angeles, she adds new vocabularies from both classic and new media to her repertoire and performance practice.

Sevdaliza: “My work is often described as genre-bending, and my participation in the Fast Forward programme will boost this process.”
Photo: Jasper van Gheluwe
Photo: Jasper van Gheluwe
Ensemble Klang (The Hague) is a collective of six musicians. Pete Harden is the artistic leader, composer and performing artist. To further develop artistic qualities and organisation practice, the ensemble will enter into a multiple-year collaboration with the New York-based Bang on a Can (US). Part of the project is to work towards a duo-concert by the two ensembles.

Pete Harden: “As a composer, and performer, the possibility to work through an extended period with Bang on a Can through the Fast Forward trajectory represents a real dream. For Ensemble Klang too, it represents a great chance to learn from, and embrace, their special skillset. Their musicianship, communication with an international audience, and longevity are elements to which we really aspire.”
Photo: Welmer Keesmaat
Photo: Welmer Keesmaat
Opera director Jorinde Keesmaat (Amsterdam) spent some time working in New York as part of the Fast Forward I programme. Her focus then was mainly on producing. The opportunities that this stay opened up now enable her to take a next step through a residency programme with National Sawdust.

Jorinde Keesmaat: “National Sawdust is composed of a remarkable group of people devoted to standing up for female and non-binary artists, and to renewing music theatre by creating room for stories that need to be told. Our shared focus on gender issues and the position of women in the arts, both narratively and on the work floor, will result in a fertile and mutual exchange.”
Photo: Jan Rymenants
Photo: Jan Rymenants
Lisa Verbelen is one of the members of BOG. Under the banner of this collective, she creates solo music theatre productions such as the shows ONE and ALL. Lisa’s goal is to further develop her musical voice and to research the (political) content/significance and singing techniques.

Lisa Verbelen: “I shall spend several research periods in the Middle East. I find Arab music inspiring for the different use of voice, partly due to the different musical scale, and for the emotionality put into singing.”
As a choreographer with roots in academic dance research and professional practice in contemporary dance, Stephen Shropshire (Maastricht) will take a new step into the world of Ballet. He will be working with the Sao Paolo Ballet Company (BRA), the Hong Kong Ballet Company and the English National Ballet (UK).

Stephen Shropshire: “I very much look forward to further developing my work as a choreographer in collaboration with these three internationally renowned ballet companies. The Fast Forward programme offers me a unique opportunity to engage in new artistic research, production and academic exchanges.”
Photo: Willeke Machiels
Photo: Willeke Machiels
Pia Meuthen is choreographer and artistic leader at Panama Pictures, a company that creates artistic dance productions by combining the techniques and acrobatics of a circus with dance. The Fast Forward programme is an opportunity to further investigate technical possibilities and developments, especially with regard to complex rigging and working at heights, by working with specialised production companies in Montreal.

Pia Meuthen: “Panama Pictures wishes to further develop its artistic and technical knowledge. The collaboration with these partners in Canada offers lots of opportunities in this respect.”

Further information about the Fast Forward programme is available here: fondspodiumkunsten.nl/en/grants/making_producing/fast_forward/
Photo: Tetsuro Miyazaki
Photo: Tetsuro Miyazaki
Sabrina Starke at inJazz. Photo: Eric van Nieuwland
Sabrina Starke at inJazz. Photo: Eric van Nieuwland
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