Held at the Victorian College of the Arts, The National Dance Forum 2017 brought together producers and presenters of dance for a two-day conference from 25-26 of September. With a focus on strengthening the dance sector’s capacity within the digital domain, the program centred around current digital practices and new technological developments.
Responding to a question posed by artists ‘how can I expand my audiences and get my work out there more?’ Helen Simondson, Head of ACMI X and Special Projects at Australian Centre for Moving Image (ACMI) chaired a stimulating session on digital distribution. The session brought together Distinguished Professor David Throsby AO from the Department of Economics at Macquarie University and Matt Campbell, Director of Content at ValleyArm Digital to speak on new models for sharing content and the impact on attendance and engagement.
Matt Campbell spoke about ValleyArm Digital’s accreditation with YouTube. This relationship enables them to work directly with content producers to enhance their revenue-generating potential when streaming audio and video through the site.
Professor David Throsby’s keynote focused on opportunities around digitalising live theatre, using the National Theatre Company’s live transmission of Phèdre to 273 cinemas in the UK and globally as a case study.
The National Theatre Company’s transmission enabled increased access to the performance, broadened the audience in socio-economic terms and doubled the entire season’s attendance in one night. Evaluating audience experience found that segments of the audience who saw the cinema broadcast reported higher levels of captivation than those at the live theatre performance (except the very front rows). Cameras allowed close-ups on faces and took the cinema audience inside the action.
The National Dance Forum opened up new and interesting conversations about engaging ways that arts and cultural experiences can be made available to global audiences.