Study the territory!Research the various presenters in the region or countries that are of interest, including their mandates or curatorial position. You are searching to find a match between your work’s aesthetic, content and form and the mandate of the presenters. Your research should include :
- Presenter’s programme content.
- Presenter’s size and scale of venue(s).
- Time of year of presenter’s programmes.
Use your dance work in performance as the first contact. Remember that presenters produce live theatre. Therefore, they are most interested in viewing the work first in performance. They seldom purchase work from video. Make connections with those presenters if your work seems to fit with their mandate.
Invite the presenter. Invite those who you now wish to make contact to all of your performances. Inform them of your performance’s date, time, location and of the context of the work. With the invitation enclose complimentary tickets, a Presenter’s Kit that includes your artistic vision statement and Media Release. Call and confirm their attendance.
After the presenter has seen your work. Contact them again! S/he may not choose it for their programme, but have a discussion about why they made that choice. They may indicate more suitable engagers for your work or explain why the work may not be suitable for their venue/festival.
- Developing tours or engagements takes time, sometime one to three years of planning.
- Send your presenter invitations no less than four weeks prior to the performance. For out-of-town presenters, no less than two months.
- Most presenting organizations usually have one person or at best a small committee looking at dance for consideration in their season/festival; be respectful of their time
- Get as many presenters to see your work as possible. Sometimes, you will receive offers based on recommendations from another presenter!
Article originally contributed by Myles Warren