World premiere dance piece is part of international cultural conference at York Theatre Royal

A Zagreb-based group of dance artists has arrived in York ahead of an international conference for cultural leaders across the UK and Europe.

DENF Collective is making a dance piece, High Spirits, to be premiered at York Theatre Royal on 30 October as part of the two day BeSpectACTive! Conference being held at the theatre.

Theatre Royal marketing manager Rodolfo Barradas said: “This conference marks the conclusion of a four-year project. Be SpectACTive! has allowed us to build new relationships with companies and artists whose work we will continue to present in 2019, share our experiences of connecting with our community and learn more about how other European organisations reach and work with their audiences and communities.”

The project has supported the theatre’s award-winning TakeOver Festival and provided the catalyst to develop an active community programming group, Visionari, based on a very successful model from partners Capo Trav/Kilowatt in Italy. York Visionari have programmed a week of theatre in the Studio in November.

The fifth and final Be SpectACTive! International conference taking place at York Theatre Royal on 29 and 30 October marks the conclusion of the project on audience engagement and active spectatorship in the performing arts, funded by Creative Europe.

Over two days the conference will present the results of the activity undertaken over the past four years across the partner organisations, bringing together industry professionals from across Europe as well as academics, artists and representatives from the European Union, Creative Europe and cultural policy makers.

The conference concludes with the UK premiere of DENF’s High Spirits in York Theatre Royal main house. This avant-garde dance piece in three acts takes inspiration from American dancer Merce Cunningham and european expressionism to create a unique physical style of movement. The company is creating the piece at the theatre.

High Spirits reflects the dynamism of post-Soviet Eastern Europe and is a rare opportunity to see some of the most alternative live performance being created in Europe right now,” says Rodolfo.

High Spirits can be seen on Tuesday 30 October at 7.30pm. Tickets are free but booking is required.