The curriculum The Performance Bridge [Getting on and off the Stage] is directed towards performers, i.e. dancers, actors and musicians. It addresses both the needs of young performing artists in transition from the school to the professional plattform and artists in transition from the stage to other carreers.

We are currently investing massive time, money and energy in the carreers of young people who find that they are often obsolete by the age of 35 or 40, if not before – this is especially true in the case of dancers. Likewise a mature performer confronting leaving his first choice of carreer can be so traumatized and confused that that transition takes longer and is not cost effective. This risks leaving a worker searching for a new carreer in a market she/he is not prepared to compete in successfully. Creating an innovative curriculum that confronts this transition as part of the basic training could make that future brighter for all concerned including governments and public agencies who must provide social support for the unemployed.

The Performance Bridge [Getting on and off the Stage] addresses the needs of both target groups. It supports the transition for both the young and the mature artist thus recognising and preparing them for related theatrical carreers.
Developing entrepreneur skills in the young artist and from the years of accumulated experience and knowledge in the mature artist, is the goal and objective of The Performance Bridge [Getting on and off the Stage].

The landmark study „The Dancer‘s Destiny“ based on the first International Symposium of the International Organization for the Transition of Professional Dancers in Lausanne, May 1995, provides ample research and documented data that supports the trainability of this target group. As reported in this study:

  • The intelligence curve of the typical dancer shows a peak at a point equivalent to the top 15 % of the population.
  • Dancers have usually been goal-directed from an early age.
  • In order to succeed as a dancer, one must be disciplined, hard working, persistent, focused and concentrated, able to apply criticism and direction, possess good listening and learning skills and a desire to achive excellence.
  • The acquired attitudes and habits, mentioned above, will be retained throughout the dancers entire life. Particularly the abilities to take correction and instruction, and to work as a member of a team while taking individual responsibility are features attractive to entrepeneurship and to employment.
  • The very skills and attitudes that are required of a professional dancer/performer are exactly what all employees of the future will need to survive in our volatile and unstable economies: flexibility, mobility, adaptibility.

„Helping to recycle energy and talent, and managing these valuable human resources is what the dancers transition is all about“

The curriculum of The Performance Bridge [Getting on and off the Stage] is applicable to all performing groups as they share many of the same traits, capabilities and restrictions. The daily routine of any performing artist is work saturated and time limited. All dancers and musicians must invest a minimum of six hours a day in study and practice. Programmes for employment retraining demand availability in terms of hours, days and/or weeks that are completely impossible to meet for our target groups. Professional performing artists work in the evening thus even night courses are unusable to them.

Employment available to the young performing artist is limited to the evening hours as well, i.e. restaurant work, etc. An unemployed person in the regular workplace can afford to take six to eight weeks to do a retraining course. Take away six to eight weeks in the life of an artist from their daily training and you jeopardize their carreer possibilities and threaten employability. Even in our highly motivated target groups there is a limit to what they can accomplish with current reeducation material available on the market.

Our target groups require information packaged in such a way that their limited time possibilities can be used efficiently and productively.

The curriculum supports the transition of both the mature and the young performer – our target groups 1 and 2. The aim of the The Performance Bridge [Getting on and off the Stage] is to equip both target groups with skills that will enable them to start another carreer within the theater or related fields thus building on their experience and knowledge of the profession.

The curriculum should provide an overview of the following skills and addresses target group 1 and 2.:

  • Stage Technical Skills: Lighting Design, Sound Design, Costume Design, Videoskills
  • Management Skills & Administration Skills : Project Management, Concept Creation, Project Presentation, Budget Development & Accounting, Graphic Design and Writing Skills, PR, Legal Background knowledge on a comparative European level (copyrights, workers rights, social security, taxlaw)
  • IT Skills: Basic Computer Skills and Internet Skills

It is not the objective of The Performance Bridge [Getting on and off the Stage] to produce an expert in each of these fields; rather a person knowledgable in how to handle these elements in creating and producing performances of a theatrical context. Thus the delivery of the information is the major challenge in retraining and expanding employability for performing artists.

Target group 1 are mature performers who are planning to transit from the performance stage to other carreers. This group either choses or is forced to terminate the performance aspect of their carreers through injury, age or a change of perspectives. This termination can be addressed in a curriculum that supports the transition from the stage to related carreers.

Ideally this termination is addressed as part of the initial training of the artist.

Target group 2 are therefore young performing artists who have already finished a minimum of three to four years of training. In addition to the skills mentioned above, this group must maintain and continue their development in their primary skills of dance, acting and music.

During the time of The Performance Bridge [Getting on and off the Stage] both groups will be working on a performance project in all its aspects as a means of assessing the success of the curriculum. Working towards a common goal will deepen and validify the theoretical knowledge.

There is no indication that target groups 1 and 2 arrive at this transition with major level differences of these new skills to justify different curriculums. Furthermore it is the integration of all these skills in one curriculum that produces a significant impact in terms of greater employability. The overview created by this integration is the strength and the raison d'être for the The Performance Bridge [Getting on and off the Stage]. As well bringing together the two age groups enhances assimilation of experience and enthusiasm.

For the realisation of the project the optimal size of each target group should be 12 to 15 participants.