“Creating a network, developing an idea, speaking-out a dream, helping the dream of someone else – being human and humane, being creative and supportive – you can learn all these at the Performing Arts Market”, said Gina Kafedijan, one of this year’s guests at the Sibiu Performing Arts Market. Every year, at the same time with FITS, not only does the city become a great stage for performances but also a networking platform, an art market where partnerships are created, contracts are concluded, ideas and experiences are shared and collaborations are planned. While the performance venues are full of people who come from all over the world to see the latest productions of Pippo Delbono, Michael Thalheimer or Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota, in the conference halls of the Ibis Hotel plans are being made about how the future of the performing arts is going to look like. Every year, the Performing Arts Market opens in Sibiu on the fourth day of the festival. This is the meeting place for producers, artists, directors, independent companies, state institutions and sponsors. There are 6 intense days of workshops, conferences, masterclasses and conversations with famous people from the world of the performing arts who come to offer their insights based on what they have achieved during their careers.

This year at the 23rd edition of the Market, the participants can meet, among many others, Julia Amour (Director, Festivals Edinburgh), Sasapin Siriwanij (Artistic Director, Bangkok International Performing Arts Meeting), Mia Shen (Producer, Baiyue Culture Creative (China)), Dr. Danny Tan (CEO & Founding Artistic Director – Odyssey Dance Theatre Ltd) etc. Some of them will be attending the Market for the first time, while others are already familiar with the Market tradition, they know the city very well and what FITS represents. Choreographer and dancer Noa Wertheim, artistic director and co-founder of Vertigo Dance Company, will return this year to FITS and we will be able to meet her again at the Performing Arts Market.

“For me, today’s Sibiu is one of the most incredible venues for the Performing Arts. We have been invited several times over the last decade and each time we noticed the incredible organization and the artistic quality changing this beautiful small pastoral city. I am happy to be invited again. Sibiu is one of my favorite venues. I met Baryshnikov while we were in Sibiu and he invited us to perform at the Baryshnikov Center of Arts.”

And if she were to offer a piece of advice to the artists that are just starting their careers, it would be this: “Listen to your intuition. The intuitive area is related to the unknown – where the art exists..”

Besides Noah Wertheim, in the section of “Meeting great choreographers” the participants can also find out the working methods for creating a dance performance from Jesus Carmona (the first flamenco choreographer to hold a masterclass) and Silvia Macrea,

The conference “European Capitals of Culture”, a section created in 2015, is also in the programme of the Market. Gina Kafedijan, executive director of the programme “Plodviv – Capital of Culture 2019” (Bulgaria), will also be present this year in Sibiu. We have asked her about the need for this kind of meeting platforms: “Living and gaining knowledge, experience, widening your perspectives, questioning your personal understanding, facing challenges, being inspired, being an inspiration, becoming a part of a collaborative group, finding a family, creating a network, developing an idea, speaking-out a dream, helping the dream of someone else – being human and humane, being creative and supportive – these all are, for me, markers of how important it is to meet co-thinkers, co-fielders, co-creators, co-audiences – this is how important such forums are and how much it is worth being part of them. Each meeting has the potential to become a highlight one – and luckily I have had the chance, in my life so far, to have had such meetings that have pushed those buttons in me, which trigger my imagination and desire to learn and work more in a certain sphere. We are creative and active palimpsest precisely due to the marks that such meetings leave on us.”

In 2020, Galway (Ireland) will become European Capital of Culture. Chris Baldwin, who was part of the Galway 2020 team as creative director, will be present at the Performing Arts Market: “Performing arts markets in general, and this one in particular, are essential spaces for people to exchange and share ideas and inspiration, contacts and insights and of course to reject and argue! The performing arts are made for people by people and so coming together for the specific purpose of talking performing arts is only going to be beneficial. Ideas migrate, transform and are reborn through such events. I have had a number of mentors and teachers who have, and continue to have, an extraordinary influence over my work and career. Those of particular importance were the ones who taught me that theatre was a craft first and foremost and that talent was only 20 percent of a successful career.”

Festivals in dialogue

As people get their inspiration from one another so is the case with the concepts of festivals  around the world. Field experts will talk about how other festivals get their inspiration from the surrounding area or how buildings and the urban environment help to define a festival. Moreover, the guests of this event, Julia Amour (Director, Festivals Edinburgh), Goh Ching Lee (Executive & Artistic Director, CultureLink Singapore) and Meera Krishnan (Senior Arts Manager, Prakriti Foundation) will talk about their festival experiences.

Speed Networking

300 participants from 28 countries have signed up for the 2019 edition of the Sibiu Performing Arts Market. Surely many of them will participate in Speed Networking, the most successful socializing event of the Performing Arts Market. The event represents a series of short meetings (10 minutes) between a festival programmer or director and an artist who wishes to present their cultural offer while seeking a collaboration.

During the entire series of events at the Performing Arts Market, professor Noel Witts will hold his famous interviews in the format of “Cultural Conversations”. This event has been going on for 10 years and the interviews, which are open to the general public, will take place at Atrium Cafe.

Sibiu Performing Arts Market, structure associated with Sibiu International Theatre Festival (FITS), is the largest cultural network in Central and Eastern Europe. The 23rd edition will take place in the period of June 17-22.

This year marks the first time when Sibiu Performing Arts Market and Sibiu International Theatre Festival create a strategic partnership with the Romanian Cultural Institute in the field of the performing arts in order to promote the artistic creativity in Romania and the Republic of Moldova.