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5th decibel Performing Arts Showcase & Creative Case Symposium

28 April 2011

50 artists and companies from England have been chosen to present work at the fifth decibel Performing Arts Showcase in Manchester from 12-16 September 2011.

  • selected artists and companies announced
  • symposium on Beyond Cultural Diversity
  • a new approach to creativity and diversity
  • early-bird delegate registration until 30 June
  • Visiting Arts support available for international delegates

50 artists and companies from England have been chosen to present work at the fifth decibel Performing Arts Showcase in Manchester from 12-16 September 2011. The event will also include a seminar on Beyond Cultural Diversity - a Third Text publication in partnership with Arts Council England, which outlines the creative case for diversity and equality in the arts. Registration for both events opens today, (Wednesday 20 April), with support available for international delegates.

Showcase provides UK and international arts professionals with the opportunity to preview innovative and culturally diverse productions from some of this country’s most talented performing artists and companies. All the performances have been selected for their creative excellence and ability to appeal to national and international audiences.

Work selected this year ranges from cutting-edge audio-visual music performances and digitally interactive dramas, to explosive theatre, enchanting puppetry, engaging live art and close-to-the-bone spoken word. It includes tour ready productions from, Rouge28 Theatre, Joseph Mercier and Ayanna Witter-Johnson; new works-in-progress from Eggs Collective, Mind the Gap and ESKA; and original pitches from Sarah Pickthall, Two Gents Production and Jane Sekonya-John

Nike Jonah, decibel Performing Arts Showcase Project Manager, Arts Council England, said: “Diversity drives innovation and offers new perspectives. The artists and companies selected for Showcase represent the most exciting new work coming out of England’s culturally rich performing arts scene. With our complementary networking activities and a symposium on the future of cultural diversity, decibel 2011 is an essential event for anyone looking to broaden their programmes, audiences and contacts.”

National and international promoters, producers, programmers, artistic directors and venue managers are invited to see extracts from leading artists’ latest productions and new and developing work. Networking opportunities then lead to longer term relationships, which see delegates booking artists’ work or collaborating with them to develop their ideas further.

A series of complementary activities for delegates will take place alongside the showcase performances. These will range from introductory forums for first-time attendees, to an industry marketplace and panel discussions on issues such as diversity, touring and presenting work, or best practice for the sector. Full details can be found at:

On Monday 12 September, The Creative Case Symposium will discuss the issues and themes raised in Beyond Cultural Diversity: The Case for Creativity. The publication demonstrates how diversity and equality refresh, replenish and drive creativity in the arts. It will form an integral part of Achieving Great Art for Everyone - Arts Council England’s ten year vision for the arts.

For 2011, Visiting Arts will be providing eight to ten bursaries for international arts practitioners to attend the Showcase. The International Connections programme will give delegates and artists, from both the UK and overseas, insight into international markets and the opportunity to develop partnerships.

decibel Showcase has a proven track record of connecting arts professionals with artists and work from different cultures and backgrounds, which they would like to book and develop. Following the 2009 showcase, musicians The Fish Police were booked to launch their new album at New York's Lincoln Centre after being seen by Bill Bragin, the venue's Director of Public Programming.

Bill Bragin, Director of Public Programming, Lincoln Centre, said: “decibel gave me a great opportunity to discover a broad variety of diverse English art. Being there not only directly resulted in my inviting The Fish Police to make their US debut at Lincoln Center, but also expanded my thinking about how to include the work of artists with disabilities in our programming more generally.”

Carole McFadden, Adviser, Drama and Dance Department, British Council also attended the 2009 Showcase. She comments:

“I made a host of contacts as we trooped from show to show together exchanging feedback and ideas on the move! decibel is a must for anyone interested in diverse practice and the rich ideas it can bring to their programmes.”

Delegate registration for the full four days of Showcase costs just £120 if booked before 30 June 2011 or £170 after. For the first time this year, 24 hour and day passes will be available at the cost of £55 each. Further information and delegate registration forms can be found on the website