The Learning Diaries | From Participant to Attender
Supporting participants to become independent attenders...
Recently, I’ve been involved in a research project with The Greenwich Dance & Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance Partnership, which has looked at how community groups that participate in dance classes with the two organisations might increase their independent attendance to dance performances as audience members. We worked with a group of five to 11 year olds and their parents in Bellingham, and another group of older Vietnamese women from Woolwich.
In initial workshops we looked at their existing attitudes and any
barriers they face in attending live dance shows. The groups then attended shows at
the Southbank Centre and Sadler’s Wells respectively, plus we got to go along
too to get a sense of the whole experience, pre, during and after. Through post-show
discussions and interviews we explored their experiences and asked what might increase
their attendance in the future.
Whilst the needs and interests of these groups are very specific to this project, some of the findings that arose reflect what we know more broadly about family audiences, older people and those for whom English is not a first language:
families: shows ideally need to be short, easily accessible transport wise and
interactive, and parents need plenty of information in advance about cost and
age-appropriateness, and generally signposting to suitable events.
the older Vietnamese ladies: cost is also a factor, as well as language
barriers in understanding transport systems and preferring to go as a group, as
the social experience was also very important to them.
Katie Windsor, Consultant - Learning & Participation