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The Five Things You Need to Know When Planning an Online Festival

The Five Things You Need to Know When Planning an Online Festival

The team at IJAD Dance spent the last few months developing and delivering a live-streamed festival as part of their Open Online Theatre programme.

OOT is a virtual venue developing and showcasing new work at the intersections of performing arts and technology; training artists to rethink their practice to make work specifically for live-streaming, via the art of sensography, which is the practice of choreographing work for live-streaming via multiple cameras to multiple devices. Artists receive training from professionals in film, editing, business, social media and sensography.

The programme culminates in the OOT Festival, where the participating artists can showcase their work live to audiences around the world.

Work from our most recent festival reached people in 16 countries and 59 cities!

Planning an online festival is a huge undertaking; it comes with a lot of challenges and requires dedication, cooperation and lots of love.

Here’s what we learned developing the OOT Festival during the pandemic.

  1. Build a space for process, questions, trust and support

Open Online Theatre began with the ambition to offer a programme that would support artists to bring them digitally alive in their work practice, aiming to create two concurrent existences: one for the digital realm; the other for their physical space.

The programme should provide:

  • Knowledge
  • Experience
  • Toolkits
  • Time
  • Community
  • Experts & Mentors

These tools and our respect for two golden rules – privacy and support – gave the artists a good grounding in what the programme was about. They soon started interacting, getting support from each other and the workshop leaders. We witnessed an outpouring of generosity and a boom in collaboration.

While the interpersonal nature of the programme was important in creating the right space, the other vital strand was technology: The Open Online Theatre programme includes the opportunity to deliver workshops and co-creation sessions as well as performances in our OOT Festival showcase.

These sessions are all delivered via our bespoke Open Online Theatre platform.

We could have chosen to use existing streaming and events technology, but we felt it was important that OOT had its own home and its own identity.

  • Be fluid and adaptable, nothing is personal, it’s ok to be unsure

Our objective for OOT was to create a space where all the artists could be together, and share their experience of all elements of the programme.

From day one this was challenging and challenged by the artists: For example, two of the participants were unable to meet for workshops in a space in London as we originally planned. We adapted to become online and geoplaced, making sure everyone received and understood the information and course exploration without being physically present. We were always available to answer questions and hear concerns.

We achieved this by making all the exercises and practical explorations fluid between the physical participants and the virtual ones; we had the project manager and the whole team involved by walking the space with their laptops, tablets and mobile phones. Quickly everyone in the room – and those that were many miles away – adapted to this with openness, flexibility and agility. 

  • Know your team and your collaborators

We had a team of 49 professionals working on the Open Online Theatre (OOT) Festival. They all brought something different to the project. We knew them all well and enjoyed working with them – we held each other in a safe space to work and communicate.

We even engaged a COVID-19 health and safety production manager to navigate the complex health and safety rules, which was a great investment, as we had someone on board who could act diligently and professionally and share accurate information with the team, enabling us to make an informed decision about the feasibility of going ahead with the festival.

That was also the time that I had to harness my enthusiastic and optimistic boundary-pushing nature, as putting on the festival involved a moral responsibility from a health and safety COVID-19 point of view!

  • Focus on your North Star 

Keep an eye on the objective, on the thing you have planned for, while keeping a finger on the pulse of what is happening around you. 

Throughout the autumn, OOT artists were offering workshops and co-creation sessions, IJAD was hosting roundtable discussions and there were artists’ Zoom meetings, all of which kept the mood positive.

The glimpse of the New Year ahead came with optimism. Our plans for the festival in February were taking shape. We’d decided to host panel discussions, and everything was looking good as momentum built.

When Boris Johnson announced stricter lockdown measures at the beginning of January, we questioned whether we could go ahead. We had already postponed the festival once from its original date in November, but we had a theatre and we had a very strong call of duty. We had momentum, we had engagement, we had support and – best of all – we had mutuality,  

We spent a lot of time waiting for government websites to publish updates, talking to colleagues in our industry and some dance bodies.

Everything and many were telling us to wait. Organising the festival was very heavy going as we needed to have a lot of things in place. But we decided internally that we would keep on preparing and only if the worst happened would we cancel.

  • Covid taught us: Be kind, be sensitive, be grounded and be flexible.

After many more meetings and clearer government guidance, we decided we could go ahead with the festival. However, it was not entirely our choice and we did speak to our artists to make sure they were happy.

But more problems soon arose.

  • One of the artists contracted Covid.
  • Two of the technical team were unable to return to the UK due to stricter laws around travel and quarantine.
  • One of the artists is over 70, so was unable to travel or be in the theatre.

With our North Star always in mind, we spent a week re-imagining how the festival would work, developing a whole new ecology where we could support all five artists from the theatre, whether or not they chose to be physically present.

The OOT ecosystem our hybrid tech sensography team – supported several different performances: One with two performers where one was in New York and one in London; another was collaborating with Amazon Alexa; another filmed from a kitchen in Milton Keynes, with different cameras editing live from the theatre; and one recorded and presented with live material from Lebanon.

It goes without saying our team was dedicated, focused, and more than anything committed to the arts. There was so much wisdom, kindness and 100% support involved in this project.

This was a collaborative team effort – we built a family, a family that will always be able to work together.

If you’d like to stay up-to-date with our work, sign up to our newsletter.

Image credit: Katerina Sfaellou

General Manager

General Manager

IJAD’s offices are in Willesden Green, West London.
Job Description
We have an exciting opportunity for a creative, motivated and well-organised individual to take on the job of IJAD DANCE COMPANY General Manager. IJAD had previously advertised this post in June 2015 however due to the growth of the organisation our current General Manager will be moving into the role of Development Manager and we are looking for someone new to replace her. We are looking for someone who is enthusiastic, reliable, an excellent communicator and who has a good understanding of arts management and fundraising.
About IJAD
IJAD Dance Company develops new forms of dance for the digital sphere, making contemporary dance accessible, participatory and connective. Founded on the ethos that the arts should shape our digital future, IJAD creates high-quality dance and researches innovative digital platforms.
IJAD is a non-profit creative dance company dedicated to involving people that are, historically, less likely to engage with contemporary dance. We do this through multi-disciplinary performances, outreach programmes, and the development of digital technology for co-creation. We believe in the power of dance to uplift the human spirit and enhance people’s lives.
The internet is a new arena for dance which requires different processes to a physical performance. IJAD asks how we can make dance digital as well as physical.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=IJAD+dance
The General Manager will work closely with the Artistic Director, Event Producer(s), and Volunteer Coordinator.
Key Responsibilities include:
• Working with IJAD’s team to develop partnerships and income-generating opportunities
• Help create and action a long-term plan to sustainably grow the organisation
• Fundraising: researching, applying for and administrating grants and other income-generating possibilities
• Overseeing year-round running of the organisation
• Carrying on building the companies profile within the dance venues/galleries/museums/festivals/virtual platforms for performing and commissioning opportunities.
• Carrying on engaging with schools/universities/venues/galleries for engaging in workshops and receiving the toolkit.
• Understands Social media and converse on it
The applicant should be experienced in arts management and/or managing a creative business and have a proven track record of fundraising and revenue development.
This position is part-time, 2 days per week, from IJAD’s offices in Willesden Green.
This is initially a 3-month paid position to be reviewed with the possibility of becoming a permanent position.
Essential Skills
– Experienced Project Manager – a highly motivated and independent individual who has excellent written and verbal communication, organisational and interpersonal skills. Applicants should demonstrate the ability to multi-task across a portfolio of projects and to work with close attention to detail in a moderate moving environment.
– Experience writing successful fundraising applications and have solid understanding of the marketing process
– You will be passionate about the arts and bringing then to a wide range of people
– Excellent written and spoken English
– Conversant with Google docs and Microsoft Office (including experience with budgets)
– Interested in social media and digital technology in the arts
– This is a great opportunity for someone who is career-focused and interested in taking on responsibility as there is growth within the role to diversify into other areas of management.
Desirable Skills
• Experience of managing volunteers
• Knowledge of the tour booking process
• Experience in other areas of fundraising
• Previous experience working within the dance world
• Previous experience working within the digital world
IJAD has no political or religious affiliations and actively seeks opportunities to work with a wide range of cultures in the UK and abroad, achieving inter-cultural harmony through the highest quality contemporary dance events.
Applications deadline : 6 November 2015
Interviews will be held the week of november 9 2015.
If you need more info e-mail your questions to: Lauren.crowley@ijaddancecompany.com
Please note: You need to send a covering letter explaining why you want to work with IJAD and a C.V. The position is for self employed and legally allowed to work within the U.K.
The interview will take place in two stages: the first is being invited to meet the team, then we will ask you to submit a work plan; the second stage is meeting the trustees.

Part-time Fundraising and Marketing Officer

Part-time Fundraising and Marketing Officer

Job-Spec

Part-time General Manager:  12hours to two days a week. £17,290 -£21800 a year or  from £9.5 to £12/hour it has the potential in developing to a full time role.

Job Description

We have an exciting opportunity for a creative, motivated and well-organised individual to take on the job of IJAD DANCE COMPANY General Manager. We are looking for someone who is enthusiastic, reliable, an excellent communicator and has a good understanding of arts management and fundraising.

About IJAD

IJAD believes that when one is being creative it is impossible to being a state of conflict- and so we use contemporary dance to reach as many people as possible.

To further this aim we use social media within performances to open access but also to question what the art experience is.

We are currently applying for research grants to fund exploration of this as well as our work.  Recent performances include the AHRC Creative Economy Showcase, The Science Museum and The Victoria and Albert Museum.

Please see here for examples of our work:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__2JX8NdunU

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=IJAD+dance

The General Manager will work closely with the Artistic Director, Event Producer(s), Volunteer Coordinator Key Responsibilities include:

  • Working with IJAD’s team to develop partnerships and income-generating opportunities
  • Help create and action a long-term plan to sustainably grow the organisation
  • Fundraising: researching, applying for and administrating grants and other income-generating possibilities
  • Overseeing year-round running of the organisation
  • Carrying on building the companies profile within the dance venues/galleries/museums/festivals/virtual platforms for performing and commissioning opportunities.
  • Carrying on engaging with schools/universities/venues/galleries for engaging in workshops and receiving the toolkit.
  • Understands Social media and converse on it

 

The applicant should be experienced in arts management and/or managing a creative business and have a proven track record of fundraising and revenue development.

This position is part-time, 2 days per week.
This is initially a 3-month paid position to be reviewed with the possibility of becoming a permanent position.

Essential

  • The post requires an experienced Project Manager – a highly motivated and independent individual who has excellent written and verbal communication skills, and organisational and interpersonal skills. Applicants should demonstrate the ability to multi-task across a portfolio of projects and to work with close attention to detail in a moderate moving environment.
    • have experience writing successful fundraising applications and have solid understanding of the marketing process
    • This is a great opportunity for someone who is career focused who is interested in taking responsibility as there is growth within the role to diversify into other areas of management
    • You will be passionate about the arts and bringing then to a wide range of people
    • Excellent written and spoken English
    • Conversant with google docs and Microsoft office
    • Interested in social media and digital technology in the arts

Desirable

  • Experience of managing volunteers
  • Knowledge of the tour booking process
  • Experience in other areas of fundraising
  • Previous experience working within the dance world
  • Previous experience working within the digital world

IJAD has no political or religious affiliations and actively seeks opportunities to work with a wide range of cultures in the UK and abroad, achieving inter-cultural harmony through the highest quality contemporary dance events.

Applications due: May 29, 2014
Interviews will be held on June 2nd

If you need more info e-mail your questions to: hello@ijaddancecompany.com to receive a job description. Please note: You need to send a covering letter explaining why you want to work with IJAD and a C.V. The position is for self employed and legally allowed to work within the U.K.

This post interview is in two stages: First you meet the team than we ask you to submit a work plan based on the first meeting

Second stage is meeting the trustees.

We need you!

We need you!

Like a bad friend, do you ever feel like everyone is talking on social media, but no one ever listens?

IJAD are.

What you send us over the next month we’ll create a performance around at – drumroll please – The Science Museum. That’s way better than a facebook post saying ‘tell me where you first me me to prove that you read this’.

Yes that’s right – The Science Museum. We’re taking part in their adults only (no, I said adult not ‘adult’) lates series and the theme is Space.

Not only that, it’s also part of the two month long Nour Festival of Arts which reflects the very best in contemporary Middle Eastern and North African arts and culture; a crucial meeting point for East and West.

We want anything you’ve got that relates to Space (and not just outer space) the Middle East or the arts. We’ll be massaging your creative juices over the next month with suggestions on facebook and Twitter so if nothing comes to mind take a look there. #InfiniteReach is the hashtag and we’ll be looking at different Space topics each week.

Poetry? Prose? Painting?
Photography? Food art? Phone messages?
Sound? Video? Bananas?

Whatever you do – fling it at us. We won’t just be holding it up – we’ll be designing the performance around it. We’ll be using your thoughts and artwork and creating a show inspired by and incorporating it because we want our art to reflect life as much as possible – and so we really think it should come from you.

We’ll be creating an installation between 7pm and 9.45pm on 30th October. It’s free to come along and the space will come alive with a multi-media performance at 7.30pm, 8.15pm and 9pm.

Send us the inside of your brain – we will of course credit you on social media and on our website for everything we use.

@IJADdance
IJAD Dance Company – facebook
hello@ijaddancecompany.com

TEDx

TEDx

Yesterday Artistic Director, Joumana, went to the TEDx event at the Albert Hall.

‘Inspirational doesn’t come close. Most of the day was based on people who had visions springing from Prince Albert who helped to establish the cultural centre in Kensington & Chelsea or, as we learnt, Albertropolis. The collection of cultural sites and educational institutions would work to support all human progress in culture and science. This TEDx location was an ideal setting for an event that explored art and science and how they fit together in the modern world.

The speakers were a variety but they came together in their belief in their own internal powers and their cutting edge practice in their respective field.
The speaker who blew me away was Jessica Thom. Her creation, Touretteshero is incredible. Nicholas McCarthy’s talk was also a great example of people defeating physical nature in order to be more than functional, to be incredible.

A few of the speakers were inviting people to be creative, to indulge in their hobbies and for me this has never been more relevant. You only have to look at the #TEDx feeds on Twitter to see the conversations that inspirational stories can spark. The use of Twitter at the event made the experience even richer. This is the kind of engagement that we want to encourage through the In-finite Space project at the Science Museum. We are inviting people to be creative through Twitter (we are @IJADdance by the way) in order to provide our artists with a new foundation for their response. Overcoming physical limitations was a theme of TEDx that got me thinking about the existence of a more universal limitation for humans. Does digital interaction lead to richer social and cultural experiences? Can we learn, from these inspirational examples, how to bridge the gaps between the physical and the digital space we inhabit?’

Follow us on Twitter to find out about why the In-Finite Space performance won’t work without you!

Calling all DANCERS – Twitter Flash-Mob is happening at the largest Digital conferences of the year in London!

Calling all DANCERS – Twitter Flash-Mob is happening at the largest Digital conferences of the year in London!

Can you move?

Are you free 11.18am onwards on Friday 24th

Do you have a smart phone?

If so – IJAD Dance Company are giving a talk on how the digital world is revolutionising dance.

We want to demonstrate this to the 15,000 attendees – as part
of our talk we’ll be asking them to tweet #todayimdancing with a piece of inspiration(idea, thought, poem) – we want you to help us flood twitter, by picking one, filming a 6 second or less vine of you dancing in response to one of these and tweeting it back on #ds13.

N.B if you do not have a vine on your make download it from the app mac to obtain a vine app for free go to: http://www.vineapp.com

Last year, #DS12 trended twitter on the first day of the conference so this is going to be big. Even better – the best one will get to work with artistic director of IJAD, Joumana
Mourad and learn in a private lesson the skills behind performing on multiple platforms as well as starring in our all new Twitter Scratch Performances over the summer.

Get excited. Get involved. Follow @IJADdance and tweet at us to let us know you’ll be taking part or if you have any questions.

Missed In-Finite in March? Get behind the scenes at Cambridge University’s Kettle’s Yard May 24th, 6pm

Missed In-Finite in March? Get behind the scenes at Cambridge University’s Kettle’s Yard May 24th, 6pm

Kettle’s Yard will be screening In-Finite as part of their season of Adult Events (oo-eer) called The 
Practice Sessions.

That’s not all though folks. Joumana Mourad will be giving unique insights into the piece so you will 
be able to see the effects of newly developed Sensography and Triple Choreography. These concepts
change the environment and the performer practice so that you will have an experience unlike any 
other streamed performance you’ve seen to date.

Joumana will also be running a twitter workshop as this piece existed on twitter at the same time it 
existed live on the night and over streaming. This isn’t any old ‘look at my sandwich’ tweeting, oh no, 
we look at how twitter can be used as a creative tool for expression and there will be plenty to join 
in with (including movement if you fancy it).

The creative team (designers, dramaturge, dancers et cetera) will be looking out for your tweets on 
the night, so if you want to ask any questions while you watch – tweet away!

Ensure your phone is fully charged, because this is going to be one fully charged night, whether 
you’re a newbie to ‘this whole social media thing’ or a passport holder of the twitterverse. We look
forward to seeing you there.

Find out more here: http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk/education/adults/

##NEWS FLASH## 

We’re re-opening our anonymous survey to gather your secrets which will be workshoped on the 
night. You can tweet them privately to @infinite13 or here: survey monkey
IJAD’s done digital in Shoreditch – now we’re doing Digital Shoreditch

IJAD’s done digital in Shoreditch – now we’re doing Digital Shoreditch

London is positioning itself as the digital capital of the world and Shoreditch is already a thriving hub of tech companies (and the trendy bars that go with it!)

In March, IJAD launched In-Finite at Rich Mix in Shoreditch to the world which ushered in a new way of interacting with dance performance, both streaming video online and creating what one audience member dubbed it as ‘a durational performance’ on twitter. The conversation is still continuing and we’re taking it to Digital Shoreditch.

We’ll be presenting a talk on how the latest technologies are revolutionising the dance world – and in true IJAD style – we’re getting them to contribute to the weave of In-Finite.

The In-Finite Project is rather aptly named – and not because you’ll never hear the end of it! It looks at the infinite spaces within and the infinite nature of the internet and externality. It started its development in 2010 and we’re now booking tour dates into 2014 so you haven’t missed out if you weren’t able to plug in March 2013.

If you want to hear about how performers are adapting to dancing across multiple mediums simulations – direct from the horses mouth, then grab a ticket, take a look at us online and we look forward to seeing you in the audience and sharing your tweets!

Joumana and Camilla will speak on the Mayor’s Parlour at 11.18am on Friday 24

Buy Ticket http://tickets.digitalshoreditch.com/

Watch on twitter: @IJADdance #infinite13 @DigiShoreditch

What are we on about?: http://bit.ly/ZRe8gg


Bio: Lou Cope

Bio: Lou Cope

Lou Cope is a lecturer, writer and coach and has currently joined IJAD as dramaturg for the In-Finite project. Having discussed creative director and choreographer Joumana’s ideas and intentions over skype in the past few weeks, Lou comes in now to help the company see how the material is working and whether it is communicating what they hope it will. She works with Joumana and the dancers on the structure and tries to help them all find consistency and coherency in the movement and relationships. She is here to consider what the audience will experience, more objectively than Joumana and the others are able.

Of being part of the In-Finite project, Lou says;

‘Joining joumana and the others in this murky world of secrets has been really interesting. Dramaturgically speaking, a secret has its own energy and its own desire to break out and be heard. Playing with this has been fascinating. And confronting our own relationships with secrets, and exploring the question ‘would it really be so bad if we relieved ourselves of the burden of carrying this secret’ has been eye opening. Of course with IJAD this is then placed in a social media context, where sharing is everything and anonymity a possibility, and this allows an extra element of truth, unburdening and revelation. What fun!’

Lou is on twitter @loucope1 and the In-Finite project comes to London this Friday.