Theater Op De Markt, Hasselt, Belgium (2016)

A spotlight on UK Street Arts as part of one of Belgium’s leading Street Arts Festivals

Theater Op de Markt is a strategically significant showcase festival in Europe, which regularly attracts 80+ promoters from Belgium and beyond. Martine Linear, Artistic Director of Theater op de Markt, has been attending XTRAX Showcases for a number of years now and has always shown a great interest in UK outdoor arts.

In 2015, XTRAX, GDIF, Flanders Arts Institute and Theater op de Markt co-produced a Focus on Flanders event during the GDIF Showcase, where 4 Flemish companies performed as part of the festival programme and 10 were invited to pitch new outdoor work to an audience of 100+ UK and international promoters. This event was very successful in developing a strong relationship between all partners and Platform4:UK provided a perfect opportunity to explore further collaborations between XTRAX, Flanders Arts Institute and Theater op de Markt.

As part of this reciprocal agreement, the festival paid for all the performance programme and XTRAX, Flanders Arts Institute and Theater op de Markt worked in partnership to create a dedicated Spotlight on UK Street Arts as part of the 2016 edition.

The UK Focus gave outdoor promoters, event organisers and other industry professionals from across Europe the opportunity to see a selection of highly acclaimed shows from UK companies including NoFit State & Motionhouse’s BLOCK, Gandini Juggling’s 8 Songs, Plunge Boom’s Vegetable Nannies, Company Chameleon’s Of Man and Beast, and Artizani’s BEES! The Colony.

Theater op de Markt and XTRAX also hosted a professional event on the morning of Saturday 13th August where 11 UK companies were invited to share information about their work. Presenting artists included: Circus Geeks X PanGottic with Project_Vee, Walk The Plank & Mr. Wilsons Second Liners with Voodoo Rising, Tilted Productions with BELONGING(s), Candoco Dance Company with You and I Know, Gobbledegook Theatre with Ear Trumpet and IOU with Rear View; as well as presentations from all 5 companies performing at the festival. These presentations were followed by a drinks reception for artists, producers and promoters to meet and network.

32 Promoters from Belgium, France, Italy, Netherlands, Germany and the UK attended the UK Focus and 80% of the UK companies reported making new contacts with promoters following their pitch.

This collaboration is part of Platform 4:UK, a programme supported by Arts Council England and delivered by XTRAX that is designed to support the international promotion and export of UK street arts.

Presented in collaboration with the Flanders Arts Institute.

Back to Platform 4: UK
XTRAX made the Pitching session as relaxed as possible and the support both technical and personal was excellent. The experience certainly helped as a platform to present the show and also to then have conversations about it with my fellow pitchers and some of those who attended.
Ellie Turner, Walk The Plank