NEWS: The GIFT Exchange | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Gillie Kleiman Friend workshop by Kit Haigh

Fans of contemporary theatre will find much to enjoy at The GIFT Exchange, three days of workshops, conversations and walks which centre around making connections and creativity, kicking off from Friday 28th April. Taking place at venues across Gateshead, including Gateshead Central Library, The Shipley Art Gallery, Saltwell Park, By The River Brew and The Central Bar, the programme is intended to encourage collaboration and participation to share their creativity.

Among the highlights of the programme are a series of conversations around friendship led by theatre makers and producers Alfie Heffer and Danny Prosser; also looking at friendship on a more intense level, dancer and choreographer Gillie Kleiman invites participants to discover her project entitled ‘Friend’, a performance for a non-professional dancer to present in their home to an audience of their friends; Models for International Working looks at collaboration on a larger scale, as festival direct Kate Craddock is joined by artists including Camilla Parini in Switzerland, Mark Maughan in Columbia, and Greg Wohead in Portugal to explore artistic projects beyond the UK; Balancing Acts sharing and workshop will take the form of a physical performance about precarity and endurance, and Artist Rachael Clerke, dance artist Linzy Na Nakorn, and interdisciplinary artist Hannah Sullivan will share material they created over a two week residency at Caedmon Hall in Gateshead Library; there will also be a series of one-to-one walks in which participants can walk and talk to gain insight into the creative practices of Patrick Ziza, Tess Denman-Cleaver, Luca Rutherford and Scott Turnbull.

Festival Director Kate Craddock said: “While the programme has not been designed around a particular theme, ideas of friendship and precarity appear across multiple events, and artists are ready to use The GIFT Exchange as a space to discuss the issues that matter to them today. While the programme is contained across a handful of events, I hope there will be lots of opportunities within these events, as well as in between, for meaningful connections to be made.”

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