Plovdiv School of Spectacle
Everyone Dreams [of what they miss the most]…
Graffittied at the bottom of the sixties concrete stairwell on an abandoned island in the river, this phrase was at the heart of the soundtrack created to accompany the final event of the first Bulgarian School of Spectacle in Plovdiv, October 2017.
During October, Plovdiv 2019 and Walk the Plank completed the third School of Spectacle. Bulgarian artists – designer Maria Koycheva, mime Guerassim Dichliev, Rozie and Plamen Ivanov of Fireter Theatre, and digital artist Petko Tanchev – worked together alongside Walk the Plank’s team (Creative Producer Liz Pugh, technical expert Rob Hill and Learning Director Alexis Johnson) and Jym Daley of FidgetFeet to deliver training in design/scenography, projection & building mapping, AV production, fire technology and production management. Then participants from 5 European countries worked collaboratively in small groups to create an installation and performance inspired by the idea of transporting the spirit of Plovdiv’s abandoned Adata Island into the urban landscape.
Around 350 people enjoyed the performance-installation, the culmination of an 8 day training school hosted in the city. And more than 100 people took time to contribute to the Question Box, where we asked people to draw or write in response to a question: what should happen to the island?
New friendships began and pan-European collaborations were forged as a result of this School of Spectacle, as Plovdiv journeys towards its year as the Capital of Culture in 2019.
The next School of Spectacle, in Ireland, will take place in November, when several European artists will travel to Limerick to be part of the next international training programme, designed to develop new audiences for cultural activity as well as trans-European employment opportunities. The two year investment from Europe was secured through the Creative Europe fund.