Alice Springs artists Frankie Snowdon and Madeleine Krenek on APAM

— by Kate Rendell

Presented by the Brisbane Powerhouse and supported by the Australian Council for the Arts, the Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM) was held in Brisbane in February this year. Drawing together participants from across the country and from around the world, APAM aims to increase international and national touring opportunities for Australian contemporary performing arts groups and artists.

Thanks to the generous support of an Arts NT Strategic Arts Grant, Artback NT travelled the largest ever NT delegation of 28 artists and arts workers to APAM in 2018. 

Alice Springs based producers, choreographers and performers Frances Snowdon and Madeleine Krenek were among the delegation. Here, they reflect on the opportunity and the outcomes:

Attending APAM was extremely beneficial to us as it gave us an opportunity to see the kind of work that is being developed, thought about and presented, and to consider how we fit into the current cultural landscape of the Australian Performing Arts world.

Being immersed in this space allowed us to reflect on what we like and don’t like, what we think is important. Also whether or not our contributions, through our work in performance or as teachers and facilitators, is a valuable and worthy contribution to the conversation. It made us realise how rigorous the practice of artists currently steering the conversation is, and how this rigour must sit at the centre of artistic development and product.

We also realised that it is just as powerful to hold space for others as it is to produce your own artistic product, and to be generous with your time, energy and resources.

We are stronger, louder and more powerful together, and it can often feel like we’re all competing so hard that we forget that.

The keynote speeches were also extremely valuable, as they allowed us to think about the validity and power of arts practice, particularly as politicised people in a political world, and the different platforms and ways engaging with performance can influence and reflect the times we live in.

In terms of creating visibility and maintaining our networks, our trip to APAM was incredibly successful. We reconnected with many peers and previous collaborators and met a number of new ones. The whole week felt like one long meeting! We had endless conversations in regard to our practice, where we’re heading and new partnerships/collaborations.

When we spoke to our peers, mentors and industry professionals about the direction we’re moving in and what we want to achieve, it was met with a great amount of support, curiosity and genuine interest. It was an exciting time! Having said that, we also reflected a number of times over the week how glad we were not to be showcasing our own work at our very first APAM. Being in the audience allowed is to see and experience those showcases done well and those done poorly and to think about how we would approach presenting our work next time around.

For more info on Madeleine and Frankie’s arts practice, including their current work ‘The Perception Experiment‘, visit: https://www.maddyandfrank.com/