Project SPARKS

OPENCOV enabled partners to recognise the depth of knowledge, long-term development and processes needed in order to make a significant contribution to the debate. The exploratory nature of the project demonstrated the long time period, identification of shared activities and level of reflection required to create long-term collaboration across cultures.    The project is in some ways incomplete due to its focus on process, but in that lies an element of success.  The engagement with process was  real for all parties and so the process is continuing.

For individuals, the impact of the project per se is nearly impossible to gauge.  Future career activity will be shaped by many experiences but it is posited that  the personal  international experience  in  such an intense and demanding project, a project shaped very much in progress,   should  strengthen  both cultural knowledge  with specific reference to performance context,  and the will to take risks.  

At the end of the project all participants across the two years were asked to contribute to a ‘blue skies’ thinking about how collaborations might be in the long term.  This compilation was then taken to the final management meeting in Shanghai September 2010.     It demonstrates concisely how the cross fertilisation across a number of performance, educational and cultural encounters have let the participants discover individually and collectively their ‘common voices’ and to an agreement on what are ‘common grounds’ of passion and action.    It is inevitable that the institutions and individuals involved in OPENCOV will continue to engage with the agenda of this European Action.

The identified areas are:

  • education and training
  • funding and sponsorship
  • marketing and audience
  • heritage  and innovation
  • management and consultancy
  • creating new work

Already Enacted

  • Memorandum of Agreement University of Leeds (UoL) & Shanghai Theatre Academy (STA)
  • Student exchange scheme agreed STA and UoL
  • Visiting research scholar from STA to UoL September 2010 –January 2011
  • Teaching contribution from Daniel Knapp (Bregenz) to Sibelius Academy November 2010
  • Article by J Pitches and Ruru Li published in  The Orientations Trilogy ed. Michael Walling & Roe Lane Border Crossings

What next? Blue skies.