in collaboration with
Bildungshaus Schloss Retzhof 
barrier-free international education center in Styria, Austria!

International Conference 
"Theatre Between Tradition and Contemporaneity"

Theatre - Dance - Music - Visual & Multimedia Art - Arts Administration - Performing Arts Training - Theatre Design & Technology

December 16 - 20, 2016
Retzhof Castle - Austria

"Theatre Between Tradition and Contemporaneity" 

is the annual international multidisciplinary conference 

researching the Bridge between Tradition and Contemporaneity in performing arts. 

Performing arts in the era of constantly evolving technology - traditional forms of performing arts constantly reconsidered and reshaped by contemporary practitioners.

Performing arts traditions influencing, enhancing and co-mingling in contemporary performing arts processes and inspiring our artistic expression - 
what means "traditional" and "contemporary" for performers, artists and audience today?

Astonishing phenomena of arts appearing on the intersection of cultures, 
when the borders of countries become conditional -
etting inspired by the unique connection and stepping beyond usual practices.

Traditions as the impulse to search for the universal “intercultural” language in contemporary performance and artistic expression. 

Traditions as the inexhaustible source of inspiration for contemporary generation of artists and firm foundation for intercultural dialogue.

The conference meeting is highly recommended to performing arts practitioners and researchers from different countries interested in the traditional methods as applied to contemporary performing arts work, searching for international network opportunities and new collaboration partnersperforming arts academics, arts educators and teachers, performers of various genres and techniques, theatre directors, dancers and choreographers, arts administrators and producers, musicians, stage designers costume designers, mask makers, multimedia artists, scriptwriters, playwrights, theatre critics and arts journalists. conference offers the unique opportunity:
  • to exchange experience and share ideas in contemporary performing arts education and training, rehearsal process and performance practice;
  • to become familiar with diverse methods and techniques in contemporary performing arts inspired and formed in the connection with the world traditional heritage;
  • to meet colleagues from all over the world, establish new contacts and lay the foundation for future networking and collaboration in multicultural and multilingual artistic environment.
The conference creates the unique encounter of different arts in multicultural and multilingual artistic environment and offers a great platform for performers, performing arts educators and teachers to find new collaboration partners from all continents! 

The conference working language is English.

The organizers reserve the right to make changes and add-ins in the program.

The programme includes practical workshops and seminars, performances and works-in-progress, photo and video presentations, interactive lectures, research papers, discussions and more events. 

Please follow the news! The conference program is being regularly updated. 

Practical workshop on the principles of Biomechanics and the teachings of the Russian outstanding theatrical innovator, Vsevolod Meyerhold, by theatre director and teacher, Sergei Ostrenko (Russia)Read more...

Interactive workshop and discussion for arts managers, administrators, artists and everyone interested and involved in multicultural and international arts organization, exchange and collaboration by Luca Fabbricotti (Switzerland) - manager and consultant expert in international and intercultural projectsRead more...

Practical masterclass on singing for Musical Theatre using the work of voice and speech specialist, Arthur Lessac by Shelley Cooper - voice instructor, stage director and actor specializing in Musical Theatre, the Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre at LaGrange College in LaGrange, GA (USA). The basis of the masterclass is that in the world of Musical Theatre and Opera, it is not acceptable to simply have a pretty voice; you must be able to portray the character you are singing and ground it in reality. Through a series of physical, breathing, and vocal exercises, inspired greatly by Arthur Lessac, participants will unleash their true natural singing voices. Read more...

Practical participatory workshop and presentation by Denise Purvis - Assistant Professor of Dance at Southern Utah University (USA). The workshop explores the unique challenges offered through working within a system focused on participating in the Western world market, while preserving cultural heritage. Read more...

Performance with Discussion by Andrea Vazquez, Choreographer, Interdisciplinary Dance Artist, Denise Purvis - Dancer, Choreographer, Assistant Professor of Dance at Southern Utah University, USA, and Pianist James Kaufmann (USA). The performance explores the intersection and interrelation of inner and outer world; it questions one woman's relationship with her body and her environment - her desire to control her surroundings and her personal reality in the midst of environmental upheaval. Read more...

The Immigrant’s Diasporic Imagination
Work demonstration and interactive talk by Giovanni Ortega - 
Director, Assistant Professor at Pomona College Department of Theater and Dance (USA). The heart of this research is to collaborate with an international group of like-minded souls to engage and exchange our ideas and experiences to create works that will nurture, inspire and empower the next generation of academics and artists. Giovanni Ortega would like to invite the participants in this prolonged journey, let us embark in a voyage that will test the waters of what it’s like to be coloured in this day and age. Read more...

Research presentation by Courtney Harris - Assistant Professor, Department of Dance and Choreography/School of the Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University (USA) and Charli Brissey - artist and choreographer (USA). Inspired by the life and work of early twentieth century painter Romaine Brooks, 20 Rue Jacob brings Brooks’ unique portraitures to life through video, sound, sculpture, modern dance, drag, and physical theater, resulting in an immersive performance and art installation, while also mirroring salon events of 1920s Paris. A revisionist artwork, 20 Rue Jacob reimagines and honors homosexual voices of the past, while re-contextualizing sexuality and gender through current migratory identities. Read more...

Interactive lecture and workshop by Ellie Chadwick - experimental theatre-maker, PhD researcher, teacher at the University of Warwick (UK). The session will raise the question of how we might usefully tap into the latent power of ritualistic, archetypal and symbolic patterns in a modern context. Read more...

Talk and demonstration by Ellie Chadwick - experimental theatre-maker, PhD researcher, teacher at the University of Warwick (UK) and Aaron Hussain - sound engineer and creative technician (UK). Ergo Sum is a multi-sensory event combining live performance with new technology, exploring the kaleidoscopic nature of human experience. Read more...

Presentation by Shani Robison - Associate Professor of Dance, Brigham Young University, President, CORPS de Ballet International (USA). Shani Robison had choreographed original ballets and restaged the iconic classics on the ballet company in previous years, but she wanted to involve the students in a life-changing opportunity for growth and insight that evolved from the creation of a large-scale production. During the conference Shani would like to share the production process of this two-year project with other professional artists in order to demonstrate the steps that it required, explain how it was different from a normal ballet production, show the outcomes of all of the designs (costume, make-up, choreography, lighting, scenery, etc.), and present the results, both in student comments/experiences, and in performance clips. Read more...

Workshop by Lenka Novakova - a Czech-Canadian artist, researcher, teacher, PhD candidate at The Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture, at Concordia University, in Montreal (Canada). Participants will explore the expanding dimension of performative space and focus on the sliding role of scenography within the margins of performance and visual arts. Lenka Novakova will provide theoretical and historical background of expanded scenographic practices, embracing the materiality of performative space, as well practical tools to explore these margines in an actual physical setting. Through practical activities, and discussion, participants will generate new perspectives of spatial performance, performative agents and the shifting role of audience. Read more...

Lecture-discussion by Dr. Ross Richard Osmun (Canada) - recitalist, accompanist and chamber musician, teacher, Professor of Piano and Theory at Bishop’s University (Canada). This discussion aims to offer audience members a brief journey into the ever-changing role of the piano and its performers through the artistically volatile previous century. Traditional performance practices as well as expanded instrumental techniques and other innovative uses of the instrument will highlight not only acoustic properties but also the theatrical capabilities of the instrument. Sound bites, live performance and video clips will be featured as well to offer listeners a varied and holistic artistic experience. On the second day of his presentation, Dr.Osmun will also present the Mini–Recital: "From Mozart to Morel: Exploring 200 Years of Piano Music" Works by Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Debussy, Ravel and Morel". Read more...


To apply for participation, please fill in the online Application Form


For Participants: 450 EUR (early bird reduced fee) / 550 EUR
(for those who wish to participate in practical workshops and events)    
The fee covers participation in all events of the program.
Group Registration Discounts.
For groups of three or more people - 350 EUR per person
Student's Rate 250 EUR per person (with student identity document presented).
For student groups of three or more people 200 EUR per person.

For Observers: 300 EUR.
(for those who wish to attend and observe the workshops without participating).   

Bring and share your creative materials with colleagues!

We encourage all participants to bring their promo materials to share with colleagues during the conference - booklets, cards, DVDs, book samples, publications or any other format. You may bring materials with you or send them to us in advance by post 
(please contact us for the postal address).

The accommodation for the participants is organized at the guest house of the beautiful 15th century refurbished Retzhof Castle in the landscape of natural beauty in Leitring bei Leibnitz, Austria. 

The group will stay and practice all together in the same venue.
The group meals are also organized at Retzhof Castle restaurant. 

The official arrival day is Friday, December 16th from 13:00.
The conference opening begins at 19:00.

The departure day is Tuesday, December 20th at 9:00. 

IUGTE Staff will be glad to help you in planning your travel itinerary, information on accommodation options and practical details!

"The IUGTE Conference was an incredible opportunity to connect with like-minded colleagues from all over the world. Through IUGTE, I have made many valuable contacts for continuing my work, and I have made lifetime friendships with other artists". 
Laura Wayth, USA

"We attended the IUGTE conference in Carrara where 31 countries assembled to explore art, theatre, music, dance. We presented our Butterfly interactive study to a very enthusiastic group of artists, academics and students. I was honoured to be a part of this conference and I’d like to thank the IUGTE organizers for an excellently run event and manifesting such a rich celebration of art and culture." 
Gwenyth Dobie, Canada

"Great company, contacts, learned scholars, innovative research, lovely venue, a vibrant sensorial mix combined with a great amount of laughter...
Just perfect for the soul!
It was a complete pleasure to meet you all."
Lisa Adams-Davey, UK

"It was such a pleasure to participate and meet so many amazing people. Congratulations on a most successful conference."
Greg Mitchell, USA

"I'm so lucky to have a chance to attend this extremely marvelous conference, and get to know so many incredibly talented artists like you all!" 
Phoenix Tsailuan Chang, Taiwan

"Thanks for bringing together
such talented, intelligent
and generous souls."
Carrie Ann Quinn, USA

"It was a pleasure to have met many sincere and talented performers, artists and educators all over the world". 
Rina Angela Corpus, Philippines

"This conference opened for me a new level of of looking upon the way of conecting between the theatre tradition and contemporary ways of performing arts. It offered a great overwiev on the theatrical world and different possibilities how we can create a real theatrical space full of truth...IUGTE Conference is an international place, where people, who really love arts came to share their ideas and passion for their art work".
Janka Fedešová, Slovakia

"Thank you to all the speakers, really interesting talks and topic being explored."
Eileen Mc Clory, Ireland
"IUGTE Conference is a perfect platform to link up people who work in the performance industry from different cultures. Theatre people are always very generous and are ready to share with other people about their own culture and always welcome people from other cultures to share their own...As we can see in IUGTE Conference, the participants use up every minute to talk about their culture and ask questions about others’ culture. Everyone is so enthusiastic. This exchange is valuable and should never stop"
Kady Cheung Cheuk-Ki,
Hong Kong

"The exchange that became important to create something new, this is what I was breathing during the four days; this have been a wonderful opportunity for artists, educators, teachers and designers. I hope it's the beginning of a series of meetings and collaborations..."
Sandra Ventarelli, Italy

"The conference organized by IUGTE provided the space and opportunity for creative dialogue and exchange that for me are fundamental elements and the essence of contemporary art making. Thank you for organizing an excellent conference. I was very happy to experience very special moments..."
Daniela Gatti, Brazil

"I felt as though I gained a huge insight into other areas of drama, dance, performing arts, and experience. The different viewpoints regarding the arts and work ethic demonstrate different techniques in acting and training. This opened my mind up to different possibilities and caused me to brainstorm ways that I could apply the work from the conference to shape my training and career in the future".
Youngsuck Kim, USA

"This was a fantastic experience that allowed me to meet many people from different countries and to be able to communicate with them and learn the aspects of their cultures. This experience was very valuable, and not only artistically, but also in terms of relationships with other participants. All the people were very helpful and ready to share their experiences and knowledge..."
Sonia Ravenna, Italy

"This shared enthusiasm for creativity and collaboration created a congenial atmosphere, facilitating an open exchange of ideas, new friendships and paving the way for future research and development of collaborative productions. Some of my new found colleagues and I discussed joint ventures even before leaving the conference" 
Amy Drake, USA

"IUGTE's conference was very well organized and operated on highly professional level, giving oppotunity to the artisting practitioners and as well as academics" 
Sheila Gordon, USA

"I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and feel I gain a huge insight into other areas of dance, performing arts and experience. I feel I developed both as an individual and as a member of my company, and have made some invaluable contacts along the way. I was very inspired by the diversity of people who attended"
Rebecca Price, UK

"The opportunities to be a part of international conference was really grateful choice for demonstrate different techniques in acting. For me as a teacher was this practical training the best chance to get together theory and practice". 
Katarina Misikova, Slovakia

"This event aligned directly with the mission of IUGTE, in that it effectively made the bridge between continents that much smaller, and in turn, produced multicultural dialogues that enlightened and informed participants with new knowledge, both practical and perceived"
Andrew Carroll, USA

"This experience was very precious, and not only artistically but also with regards to relationships with the other participants. Finding yourself in front of so many people coming from different backgrounds and with different artistic experiences helps to see theatre as a realty which is always changing and creating new expressive channels"
Giuseppe Perez, Italy

"The Conference provided me with a new understanding of different training programs in different aspects of theatre and performance from all over the world. The other wonderful part about the conference that went beyond my expectations was the people I met from all over the world, all of them brilliant artists"
Anya Gibian, USA

"This was a fantastic experience as I feel that in just a week I’ve learnt so much. I brought a lot of knowledge back to my country and I’ll make sure to use it in the best way possible"
Anthea Xuereb, Malta

"The different viewpoints on the arts, on work ethic, on training, all opened my mind to different possibilities for how to use the work from the conference and how to shape my training and career in the future. While I plan to share what I learned with the students at my university and grow an interest in physical theatre there, this conference has given me a professional network of artists with related interests that I may create with in the future". 
Alex Elliott, USA