SPRING Performing Arts Festival
20-29 May 2021 UTRECHT


SPRING is about the world. SPRING means thinking about the world with artistic means. SPRING means looking at the world through the performing arts. SPRING means looking at the world through the eyes of artists. SPRING means looking at the world through the eyes of the artists from different countries, with different cultural backgrounds, with different life experiences, with different artistic, political and social references. SPRING is about the world. SPRING is about the world of today.

SPRING presents new developments within the performing arts internationally today with a focus on crossovers between dance, theatre and performance and on art in public space. SPRING does this by organizing two festivals for open and interested audiences each year; the ten-day SPRING Performing Arts Festival in May and the three-day SPRING in Autumn in the fall.

What does new mean? It means research, taking risks, experiments, accepting failure, hoping for success. In other words: venturing into new terrain.

Why international? We live in a complex world where people, goods, politics, money and information are circulated and organized at an international level. You can describe the complex world of today only by looking at it from different perspectives. An international view, through Western and non-Western eyes, connects us with the world. The international input brings new ideas to Utrecht and the Netherlands.

Why contemporary? Especially contemporary art is able to react to the fast-changing world of today with all its complexities. Without the experiments of today, there will be no mainstream tomorrow and in 50 years there will be no cultural heritage. 

Why crossover? Internationally the borders between genres have long been shattered. The most interesting works in the performing arts are being produced in the field of crossover.

Which artists? SPRING is interested in artists, who have developed or are developing an outspoken artistic handwriting, in artists who work with new forms in the field of crossover and who think about the use of public and digital space. These artists are driven by an urgency to question the world as well as their own artistic practice, they are young (at heart) and take artistic risks. They are aware of their public.

How does SPRING work with artists? Through dialogue, coproductions, presentations, context, audience development, international networks. We give trust and program mainly new work. We support reflection and facilitate meetings between audiences, programmers and the public.

Which audience? SPRING programs for an open and curious audience. SPRING believes that art can stimulate free thinking, acting and experiencing and that people are open to forms and ideas that are still unknown to them.

Why public space? Over the past few years our understanding of public space has undergone significant changes. Public space is becoming increasingly privatised and commercialised. Inner cities are being developed to draw in tourists and businesses. But who owns public space? How public is our so-called public space today? Artistic projects set in public space raise questions of ‘ownership’, stake their claim and trigger discussions on public issues. In addition to these content-related and societal reasons, projects in public space also raise the festival’s profile and give it greater relevance. Do they reach out to different types of audiences? Create a wider audience that may not be the ticket-buying kind? A project in public space is a free gift, but also a confrontation. Bringing together spectators and artists who do not choose to come together, but who cross paths for a brief moment. Unexpectedly and unforeseen. 



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