We have had the opportunity to create a festival for our graduation. A festival to mark the closure of three years at PARTS. It’s called the Generation 12 Festival, because it’s our festival: the designing of it, the planning, the programming, the coming up with impossible ideas, the effort to make impossible ideas work, the organisation, the team work, the problem solving, and of course, being a part of the event of the festival itself.
We get to leave this place by sharing who we are as a generation. To do this, we have chosen to present a culmination of work that has been done over the course of the three years here. You can see curriculum works such as repertoire and choreographic assignments to our personal works made in after-school hours, be it dance or something else. We will take these “12 days for Generation 12” to celebrate and share who we are, right now, as individuals about to begin new chapters in all their various forms.
Usually festivals come together on a common ground- a theme, a focus, a stand point. Given the diversity that exists amongst us a group of 44 young artists, it seemed that the most important thing was focus on our time in this place. This means that the festival is as diverse and large as we are. “Space for everyone”, we say. From the outset,we wanted each student to be able to present what they want to and what they are proud of, all the while considering the fact that this is our graduation, the full-stop of GXII.
Everything that has been selected for this programme has been selected by the students. The only selection criterion was that it is a previously presented work. Maybe it hasn’t been so much about selecting the best and brightest (we don’t do that), but it’s been more about figuring out how to fit all the work that we want to present, and is thought ready to present, into the space of a 12-day festival. If anything, it’s been like a puzzle.
Someone who is proud of their work in A Twelve Ton Rose, by Trisha Brown should have the opportunity to perform this again. Someone who is proud of a solo they made should be able to present this. A group who is proud of how they worked together should be able to share their working. Someone who is excited about a concept that could work in this kind of platform should be given the opportunity to realise it. Someone who is proud of the music or painting or writing they have been doing should be able to open it up to the public if they want to.
In many ways this has been the ultimate opportunity to experience the creation of a festival. We have had very few doors shut to us and instead, only room to test our ideas and capabilities. We are very lucky to have a structure like this available to us, or more to the point, a staff who sees it as important to put a graduation festival into the hands of their students, all the while providing complete behind-the-scenes support to make it a reality. We cannot thank them enough!
Yes, we have made this festival in the safety net of the institution, far from the realities and practicalities that we would (and will) experience in the real world, but this has only meant the we have been able to dream big and to test our ambitions and desires as art makers. As a young artist, being given the space to do what you want with very few constraints beyond time is the best thing.
The problem with PARTS is that it’s just too busy. The curriculum is full and constantly changing, we are exposed to more practices, theories and experiences than we can digest, and sometimes we find ourselves inspired with so many ideas and projects that there is no way we can keep up with it all. That shows itself in this programme. It is full, far reaching and extremely ambitious. We knew all along how difficult we were making things for ourselves by choosing to present this number of works, especially given the fact that we have spent most of 2018 deep in the creation of Somnia with Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and her sister Jolente. However, we have learnt, while others have observed and we hope that you will too, that we should not be underestimated.
So welcome to this celebration of our graduation and welcome to the GXII Festival!