There are four types of encounters which can emerge at APT:
1) Encounters between artistic disciplines
The practice of theatre and performance has always fed on and been strongly influenced by other artistic disciplines - from puppetry and dance to visual arts in the broadest sense - but also by a theoretical discourse - philosophy, politics, sociology, science, etc. APT intends to open up theatre practice to the influence of other practices going beyond the boundaries of disciplines, both on a national and an international level. In practice, this means that APT projects will always have a 'performative' aspect, no matter how widely we define this concept: it can include the 'performative' in architecture just as it can include political rhetoric or the theatricality of corporate strategies or again the 'mobility' of visual arts. The result of this, of course, is that the workshops, lectures and debates organized by APT will be very diverse and that the task of the artistic team is to place the diverse results in a coherent framework - by means of analysis and pertinent feedback - so that both the participants and the broader public can read/understand everything from within an appropriate context.
(2) Encounters between cultures
APT explicitly intends to position itself as an international-oriented platform which is always seeking a communal basis for all participants. In practice, this means that theatre practices will be tested against one another and against other artistic challenges. But APT also needs to include the organizational and productional structure of these practices in the encounter so that a platform can emerge which will be more than just a space for artistic-pedagogical exchanges but where one can also reflect on the position of the artist within a community and on the artist's responsibility in the organizing of his work in non/hierarchical models, organizational structures and production means. In this way, he will also be able to position his artistic and creative growth in the broader context of his relation to a community and the economic system in which his work develops. Also, it is essential to bring together Western and non-Western approaches and standpoints. We thus intend to open up our network and to draw participants who do not yet belong to the standard circuit of European festivals and meeting places: a non-Western input, both at the level of artistic theory and practice, will be an important contribution to the research environment which APT is developing. An experiment in artistic and intellectual hospitality.
(3) Encounters between theory and practice
Participants choose for the APT approach because they want to develop their practice in a space - in a literal and figurative sense - where theoretical reflections play an important role both within the work process itself and beyond it. This means that they are willing to question and reflect on their habitual artistic practices and to confront their own standpoint with those of divergent practices and theoretical frameworks. Without losing sight of the specificity of their own work, they wish to engage with other opinions and to adopt a critical attitude towards their own practice and that of other participants. Starting from a reflection on existing performances, exhibitions or films, but also from a collective discourse development, a theoretical framework can be built in which lectures, texts, discourse analyses, etc. will occupy a relevant place. An artist who uses film techniques in his stage work, for instance, could set up a series of lectures on the philosophical significance of his approach. Or from a discussion on a philosophical concept such as the 'affect', a workshop could develop which would give this concept (a concept with somewhat alien connotations) its concrete, practical dimensions and turn it into a concept which can be used 'in practice'. Within the APT environment the imagination can be stimulated in such a way as to enable theory to be translated into practice and vice versa: neither theory as the expensive ornament of an artistic practice, nor the naive belief in the 'gut feeling'.
(4) Encounters between training and work field
Because APT is largely organized as a 'link' in a network, it will be possible and even necessary to interact directly with the professional work field. Research and creation are always involved with one another and the curriculum needs to include flexibility, for instance by interrupting a course to make way for a period of creativity in a relevant theatre, workplace or art centre. APT also wishes to play a visible role in the field: by functioning as a think-tank for the stage arts sector in Flanders/Brussels - setting up work groups, performances and debates - and by organizing shows, talks, installations etc. within the walls of other institutions. This will enable us to heighten the recognition and visibility of APT to a significant extent.