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From September 2 to 13, 2013, at the Vivaio del Malcantone of Florence was held the first intensive summer academy of the Steps Ahead
project, which involved nine young artists active in dance, theatre, music, visual arts and media, with vocation to non-formal educational practices. The academy was structured into 80 hours of activities, including master classes, seminars, evaluation and question time, with Italian and foreign coaches and facilitators.
The programme included both the transfer of technical information and practical / theoretical skills necessary for the coaching profession, and the development of a critical and analytical approach with respect to the context, the forms of expression, the individual abilities. The core educational area of the Academy was the "Cantiere" (workshop), ranging in a cross-disciplinary way through artistic, linguistic, methodological and pedagogical themes, focusing on processes and on spaces within which these processes can develop. Another important work line was the theoretical and practical analysis of the attitude to coaching and of the necessary approaches for a concrete start of an educational pathway, in relation to artistic quality. A constant reminder of the social function of art and the specific responsibility of those involved in training (through the vision and discussion of materials by international authors engaged in this domain), has anchored the project to the contemporary condition, the public sphere, to the political profile of every creative act. Finally, the request to draw up an individual project (an artistic-educational "draft ") allowed learners to amplify and personalise the different experiences, and to find a concrete feedback for verifying and translating the concepts learned.
The Academy had intensive structure in form of semi-residency, engaging participants for two consecutive weeks from Monday to Friday (10 total days of activity) from 10 to 19. The start of the work, with an introduction to the project, self-presentations and definition of the rules, focused on identifying through brainstorming a list of topics and one of keywords related to coaching and the languages of art. The two lists have accompanied all the pathway, providing a continuous reference for a shared discussion of key concepts and issues in teaching and learning processes through the arts.
The coaches of the coordination group led their respective modules (mostly concentrated in the first phase of the Academy), dedicated to mutual knowledge, understanding of the working group, defining the primary object of the project and all its ramifications. Furthermore, the coordinators accompanied all activities of the other trainers involved, to harmonise and give unity to the different steps of the pathway. An important role was played by Jérôme Li-Thiao-Té, involved as a peer coach in various moments, both autonomously and alongside the coordinators. His being indeed a peer with respect to most of the participants, and his long experience as a learner in ROOTS & ROUTES projects, have allowed the learners to have an immediate confrontation with their own possible perspectives as a coach.
The three master classes by Francesca della Monica, Alessandro Certini and Massimo Conti, and the intensive work of Massimiliano Briarava on composition, have occupied the central part of the Academy, while maintaining a balance with activities held by the coordinators. In the last days of work, technical issues have been addressed related to self-promotion, communication, administration, entrepreneurship.
An important part of the work were the simulation exercises (fil rouge of the second week of work) in which each participant took up a leading role, designing and testing on the group a short hands-on experience related to his/her personal project, as an opportunity for discussion and analysis.
02.09.2013 - 13.09.2013
Firenze, Il Vivaio del Malcantone
Contact person: Marina
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