About IUGTE Conference - History

IUGTE Annual International Multidisciplinary Conference
"Performing Arts Between Tradition and Contemporaneity"
Theatre - Dance - Music - Visual & Multimedia Art - Arts Administration - Performing Arts Training - Stage Design & Technology

Performing arts have its roots in ancient times, and it has extraordinarily rich and diverse traditions in different cultures of the world. 
The research of the connection between tradition and contemporaneity helps to enrich and diversify the contemporary performing arts, giving the non-trivial decisions in forms, powerful energy and interesting ways of work on the stage. The festival invites both the bearers of the authentic traditions in performing arts and the representatives of contemporary stage work from all over the world.


Since 2001, IUGTE Conference "Theatre Between Tradition and Contemporaneity is held on an annual basis in different countries. For the time of its existence, the Conference collected the most unique presentations from performers, performing arts educators and teachers from around the world and archived it for future researchers.

In the beginning, the first several years IUGTE Conference took place in Malpils, Latvia and it was held in a format of a festival. 
Malpils (Clay Castle) is a fabulous place, situated in Vidzeme, the north-eastern part of Latvia, drowning in fragrant gardens, forest clearings, and parks with lakes full of blossoming lilies. 

In the framework of IUGTE Conferences in Malpils, we would like to highlight the works and the names of such speakers as:
Eugenia Rozanova - famous theatre critic from Russia; 
Floyd Favel from Canada and his presentation "The research into Native Performance Culture";
Sheila Gordon from the USA and her workshop on "Animal Body in Performing Shakespeare" based on Lee Strasberg; 
Prof. Dr.Haji Zainal Abdul Latiff - teacher, professor, performer from Malaysia with "Pencak Silat in the Training of Theatre Practitioners"
Victor Copytsko - composer, musicologist, conductor, director, member of IUGTE (Belarus) with the lecture "Theatricality in Non-Theatrical Music".

Here you can see an archived video of one of the events capturing the tour of traditional African dance and music ensemble "Tsir Kor Mpam" from Cape Coast (Ghana) organized by IUGTE in the framework of the International Festival "Theatre Between Tradition & Contemporaneity 2002". Performances and exhibitions of traditional crafts of the Gulf of Guinea took place in Riga, Malpils, and Jelgava (Latvia).

In 2005, Conference moved to Bovec - Slovenia and stayed there for several years. The site of the conference was a small 800-year-old alpine town, which is a mountain resort.  It is located in northwestern Slovenia in the Trenta Valley of the Julian Alps within the Triglav National Park. Its features include the source of the Soca River, one of the most beautiful in Europe, and the Boka waterfall. 

Many interesting and important topics were touched and many names are engraved in the memory and in the archives of the Conference. All the great names of great teachers and speakers are worth mentioning, here are some of them: Bence Vagi, Valentina Franchino, Briana Zaki, Maria Jose Contreras, John Wayne Shafer, SU-EN Butoh Company, Padmanabhan S.Sri, Dietlind Bertelsmann, Joanne Marie Jones, Marianne Kubik, Beth Cherne.

Speaking about IUGTE Conference in Bovec we can not pass by such important for us names as:
John Britton (UK) with his workshop"Psychophysical Training through Movement Improvisation";
Fay Nenander (Sweden) with the presentation "Reflections on the total regeneration of a post-high school, professional dancers training program";
Mandy Fox (USA) with a peactical workshop "Exploring Pause Behavior";

“Thrown” Project - Workshop and performance presentation by Nightmare Before Valentine (Germany);
A workshop and performance by Fabrizio Paladin (Italy) "Commedia Dell’Arte - A Tradition of Playing Now".
Also: Yoriko Okamoto (Japan), Ritsuko Tsumaki (Japan) Elke Van Campenhout (Belgium), Izumi Ashizawa (Japan/USA), Kimberly Davis (USA). See more....

We are glad to share the archived video from the IUGTE Conference in Bovec featuring the presentation of the Chinese Theatre Circle.

From 2008, IUGTE has the pleasure to collaborate with Chinese Theatre Circle Limited (CTC) from Singapore, who attended IUGTE Conference in Bovec (Slovenia), Malpils (Latvia) and Leitring bei Leibnitz (Austria) and gave their remarkable presentations about Chinese Opera: "The fascinating world of Chinese Opera" - practical workshop under the guidance of Joanna Wong Quee Heng and Leslie Wong Sze Ying; Chinese Opera performance by Chinese Theatre Circle (Singapore) in 2008 and in 2009; and An Interactive Talk On Chinese Opera With Practical Demonstration And Performance - 
Presentation by Joanna Wong, Artistic Director of Chinese Theatre Circle Limited (CTC), Singapore. 

From 2010 up to 2018, IUGTE Conference was annually held in Retzhof Schloss in the southern region of Austria. This small place became great for many people from around the world. On this website, we are trying to save all the presentations, from all the amazing speakers who gave their presentations, workshops, talks, performances, share their knowledge with curious young emerging artists and professionals in the field. We are grateful to Retzhof Castle's administration for welcoming international audiences and hosting our Conference. As a result of our fruitful collaboration IUGTE Conference program has extended and grown. 
We carefully keep all the presentations, descriptions and biographies of the Conference Speakers. Click here to view presentations... 

It is always such a great pleasure to create a multicultural and multidisciplinary meeting of artists from around the world!

Just imagine: 

In 2012 the Conference's Speakers were: Dione A. Joseph (Australia), Maggie Killingbeck (UK), Monika Herzig (USA), Burcu Yasemin Şeyben (Turkey), Amy Drake (USA), Pamela Crevcoure (USA), Irene Mack-Shafer (USA), Kelli Sanford-Burgoon (USA), Michael Vamos (USA), Wanasak Padungsestakit (Thailand), Sayompooh Jindarat (Thailand), Bill J. Adams (USA), Young-Hyun Cho (South Korea-USA), Ruth Boden (USA), Dean Luethi (USA), Todd Dellinger (USA), Carola Boehm (UK), Jane Linden, Jodie Gibson (UK), Gavin Carver (UK), Stephen Wetzel (USA).

In 2013 it was an honour to have: Laura Wayth (USA), Yati Yusoff (Singapore), Jennifer Mizenko (USA), William R. Naugle (USA), Rosa Campagnaro (Australia), Sara Csonka (artistic name - Евгений Шомаров) (Hungary), Nathalie Vallejo (Australia), Gitanjali Kolanad (India), Brandy Leary (Canada), Gordon Kerr (UK), Geetha Creffield (Singapore-UK), Sophia Alexandersson (Sweden) and Alisa Walton (Canada).  

In 2014 the conference took place in Carrara, Tuscany, and was organized under the patronage of the Municipality of Carrara. The program brought together arts practitioners from over 25 different countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Estonia, Germany, Great Britain, Ethiopia, Iran, Holland, Iceland, Lithuania, India, Italy, Mexico, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, South Korea and USA. The program included workshops, research presentations, performances, art exhibitions, as well as exchange meetings with the local arts workers of Carrara. The conference program was open for participation to the students of Accademia di Belle Arti and local artists. During multidisciplinary arts exhibition participants had the opportunity to meet with Carrara sculptors, painters, graphic designers, illustrators, costume designers and stage designers. International Guest Speakers: Mira Kruja (USA), James Oliverio (USA), Marié-Heleen Coetzee (South Africa), William Mackwood (Canada), Gwenyth Dobie (Canada), Eric Domuret (USA), Ritirong Jiwakanon (Thailand), Laura Wayth (USA), Brandon McWilliams (USA), Deanna Paolantonio (Canada), Roz Pappalardo (Australia), Luca Fabbricotti (Italy), Ken Skrzesz (USA), Elizabeth Palmer (USA), Bari Hochwald (USA-Italy), Rita Shackel (Australia). Italian Artists, authors of the arts exhibition: Giulia Bellè, Gabriele Mosti, Tiziana Ricci, Daniele Eschini, Federico Brambilla, Marcello Nesti, Nastasia Grillotti, Francesco Tufo, Tommaso Milazzo, Sonia Ravenna, Sandra Ventarelli and Alem Teklu (Ethiopia-Italy); Sara Csonka (Hungary); Asiye Aslan Özşen (Turkey). Theatre Parpignol (Italy): Francesco Marchesi, Valentina Paradiso, Paolo Giannelli, Andrea Mosti. View Conference Gallery here... 

In 2015 the Conference brought together performing artists from over 18 countries and Speakers: Carrie Ann Quinn (USA), Grayson Powell (USA), Phoenix Tsailuan Chang (Taiwan), Bluemoon Venice workshop (Italy),Thomas Vacanti (USA), Luca Fabbricotti (Italy), Greg Mitchell (USA), Eric Brandt Nielsen (USA), Amanda Hornberger (USA), Tara Snyder (USA), Jeffrey Bracco (USA), Lauris Gundars (Latvia), Fereshteh Rostampour (Iran - USA) , Lisa Adams-Davey (UK). View Gallery here....

In 2016 IUGTE International Conference "Theatre Between Tradition & Contemporaneity" organized in collaboration with Art Universe and Bildungshaus Schloss Retzhof Barrier-free International Education Centre in Styria, Austria - December 2016. This year the conference brought together performing arts academics and artists from over 15 different countries: Austria, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Lithuania, Mexico, Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA.

IUGTE Conference 2018

At the IUGTE Conference 2017, we were honored to hear many interesting speeches and explore practically many interesting theatre techniques, some of which we would like to highlight here: 

"The Archetypal Journey: deepening access to imagination in performance." - p
ractical workshop by Sheila Gordon (USA) and 
Patricia Tedford (Canada). More details...
"La Divina: The Last Interview of Maria Callas" - l
ive performance: a one-woman show written and performed by Shelley Cooper (Augustana College in Rock Island, USA), directed by Mariangela Chatzistamatiou, and accompanied by Dr. Ross Osmun, Professor of Bishop's University (Canada). 

"Concept and Convergence: Collaboration in Intermedia Visual Art and Dance" l
ecture, video demonstration and practical workshop by Cynthia Roberts and Nikki Sao Pedro-Welch (USA). More details...
"Classical Music in Canada, Eh? A Piano Lecture-Recital Celebrates Our Sesquicentennial" - presentation by Dr. Ross Richard Osmun (Canada). More details...

Unfortunately, 2017 was the last year when we were able to met an amazing and passionate theatre professional - Arthur Horowitz, who suddenly passed away in November 2018. 
It was a great honor for us to meet Art Horowitz repeatedly at our Conferences, to hear his passionate speeches about Goldoni, Chekhov and theatre...  He will stay in our hearts forever. R.I.P. 

The Conference of 2018 in Austria was very interesting, especially because there were amazing music performances by 
  • Diane Thueson Reich, Robert Brandt and Jared Pierce from Brigham Young University. Read more...
  • Shelley Cooper from Augustana College, and Corey Trahan from Northwest Florida State College and Ross Osmun from Bishop's University. Read more...
  • A Lecture-Recital by Ross Osmun - Professor of Piano and Theory at Bishop's University. Read more...
and interesting interactive workshops and talks:
  • Performance, coaching by Karen Kopryanski (Virginia Commonwealth University), Kelley Schoger (The University of Alabama), and Stacey Cabaj (College of Communication and Fine Arts of Loyola Marymount University)Read more...
  • Practical workshop by Gennadiy Ostrenko - choreographer, set designer, theater artist and educator (Ukraine). Read more...
  • Practical workshop/master class by Autumn Eckman (The University of Arizona). Read more...
  • Interactive talk and discussion by Robert Richmond - Department Chair (University of South Carolina), and Gabrielle Peterson. Read more...
  • Performance and workshop by Achutamanasa - a renowned Kuchipudi danseuse of India. Read more...   Read more...
  • Work in progress / Research Presentation by Dustin Whitehead - Assistant Professor of Acting, Director of BFA Acting, and Ashlee Wasmund - Assistant Professor of Dance, Director of BFA Musical Theatre & Dance at Western Carolina University, School of Stage & Screen. Read more...
  • Interactive Talk/Lecture/Discussion by Alexis Macnab - Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts & Dance, Sonoma State UniversityRead more...
  • Practical participatory workshop by Lucia Repašská - creative director of D’epog Theatre, a Brno-based progressive stage platform. Read more...
  • Interactive lecture by Amy Drake - Ohio Ambassador for the Dramatists Guild of America, Board member of the International Centre for Women Playwrights and a member of Producer’s Perspective PRO. Read more...

IUGTE Conference 2019 has been a huge success! The Conference 2019 was held from December 16 to December 20, 2019 in the new location - the refurbished 13th-century castle in the southern region of Austria, - Styria (Steiermark). The program included such presentations as:

Movement for Actors / Acting For Dancers - Practical workshop by theatre director and teacher, Sergei Ostrenko (Russia). Read more...
Collaborative Contact: From Classical to Contemporary - Physical/practical workshop by Autumn Eckman - Assistant Professor of Dance, The University of Arizona (Arizona, USA) and Robbie Cook - Assistant Professor of Dance at Hofstra University (New York, USA)Read more...
Singapore through the dancing body/ies; Revising Telok Blangah through Zapin - Performance-Lecture-Workshop by Zaki Razak – Lecturer, Visual Studies, School of Creative Industries at LASALLE College of the Arts (Singapore) and Norisham Osman – Choreographer, Theatre & Dance Educator, Artistic Director at the Kaizen M.D (Singapore). Read more...
Lecture and Workshop by Shayla Bott - Associate Professor of Ballet at Brigham Young University, Brenda Critchfield - Director of Dance Medicine and Wellness Facility for the Brigham Young University Department of Dance and Ashley Ivory Parov - Adjunct Instructor, Assistant Artistic Director of Theatre Ballet at Brigham Young University (Utah, USA). 
Theatre Biomechanics - a Practical workshop by Gennadiy Ostrenko - choreographer, set designer, theater artist and educator. 
Teaching Traditional American Modern Dance to the 21st Century Artist - Workshop / technique class style presentation by Dante Puleio - Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance, School of Theatre and Dance, College of the Arts, University of Florida (Florida, USA) and 
Mining yesterday’s fertile ground for tomorrow’s groundbreaking work - Repertory and Composition Workshop by Dante Puleio - Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance, School of Theatre and Dance, College of the Arts, University of Florida (Florida, USA). 
Tradition and Iconoclasm in Theatre, or, Remaking European Classics in the Image of the American Millennial - Interactive talk with photo/video demonstrations by Lucy Cashion, M.F.A. - Artistic Director, founder of "Equally Represented Arts, Assistant Professor", Saint Louis University (Missouri, USA) and Joe Taylor - creative director, performer and composer (Missouri, USA).
- Lecture / Workshop by Krissy Yin LAM – Lecturer in the Centre for Performing Arts Research in The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (Hong Kong). 
Engaging Dance Makers with Structured Improvisation Movement Workshop by Leslie E. Williams - Director and Associate Professor of Dance, West A&M Univerity (Texas, USA). Read more...
Combine lecture, conversation and demonstration by Virginia Callens Gregg Retired professor of Film/TV and Communication Studies at MN State University Moorhead (Minnesota, USA). 
Performance and discussion by theatre ensemble "Shakespeare Frankfurt" presented by PJ EscobioSara JonesVarvara PomoniJim Phetterplace Jr. (Frankfurt, Germany).  Read more...
Laban and Chekhov: The connection and the support" a practical/physical workshop by Jennifer Mizenko - Professor of Dance and Movement for the Actor at the University of Mississippi. (Mississippi, USA).  
"The Physical TextWorkshop by Dustin Whitehead - Assistant Professor of Media Acting, Jennifer Deckert - Professor of Dance, and André Megerdichian - Assistant Professor of Dance from the University of South Carolina (USA).  
"Daddy DearPerformance based on the play written by Mike Savuica (Romania/UK). Directed by Anna Demidova (Russia), performed by Mike Savuica, with a special appearance by Sorin Gongu (Romania).

IUGTE Conference 2019