Audience Engagment brings Zodiak’s performances, events and contemporary dance closer to the general public. Contemporary dance content is enriched through Audience Engagement by offering artists work opportunities and presenting audiences with rich, high-quality ways of participation.
Since its conception the focus of Zodiak´s Engagement Program has been to increase authentic and rich communication between artists and the audience. Through Audience Engagement Zodiak also provides an open community where participants can exist simultaneously as members of the audience as well as art makers.
Zodiak Engagement consists of work done in conjunction with performances, different workshops and courses as well as processes focusing on developing performance and wider community art projects. In addition to familiarising people's knowledge of dance, a key focus has been in strengthening the audience member’s own experience in dance. Zodiak’s courses, workshops and projects provide a unique platform to experience movement that brings together body and mind.
Since the early days of our audience work, courses and workshops have been important part of Zodiak’s activities. The Audience Engagement Program has formed a new kind of audience that enjoy watching and engaging with contemporary dance and participates in Zodiaks courses time after time. Personal experiences of dance also make experiences of watching dance stronger. Zodiak´s course instructors are professional artists who work in contemporary dance field.
In addition to courses, Zodiak Engagement initiatives offer opportunities for participating in dance productions as a performer. Zodiak’s offering of performances features productions with non-professional dancers almost every year. Opportunities for non- professional performers are also opened through our audience engagement projects. One example of this is the collaboration project between four cultural organisations called Valokeilassa koillinen (Focus Northeast), in the northeast parts of Helsinki in 2019—2021.
Zodiak Engagment develops contemporary dance content also by offering work opportunities for artists. Our approach is art and artists based as well as having a focus on freedom of artistic expression. We support artists in their work with audience projects and give them a framework and conditions where they can focus on artistic work also when working with non-professionals.
Zodiak Engagement initiatives also offer opportunities for schools and businesses. Workshops, lectures, information, personal experiences, discussions, motion-based activities, learning about and through motion, doing things together, happiness and joy — in other words, knowledge and experiences of contemporary dance.