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Path dependency in theatre funding. Venues and their impact on dance productions in Estonia.

13.08.2018 10:39

Einasto, Heili; Evelin Lagle 2018. Path dependency in theatre funding. Venues and their impact on dance productions in Estonia. – Nordic Theatre Studies, vol. 30, no. 1. https://tidsskrift.dk/nts/article/view/106923/156683

Abstract. Estonian contemporary dance emerged in the early 1990s outside established thea-tre institutions. Since then, it has existed in a project-based format, which means that though dance artists can receive funding for preparing projects, there is no financial sup-port for facilities needed for everyday practice outside or between the projects. The type of venues available for practicing contemporary dance has an impact on choreographic practice presented for the public, even if that dimension often remains invisible.Funding policy, like other policies, is greatly affected by the historical legacy of a particu-lar policy (that is, path dependent), and the same can be claimed about choreographic practice. Therefore, in order to understand why a certain policy or practice prevails and is resistant to change even if it becomes problematic, it is necessary to look at the be-ginning of the path. In the present article, the history of theatre and dance funding in Estonia is taken as an example to discuss how that history affects the present in terms of choices by dance practitioners. Though Estonia is taken as an example, the situation is far from unique and therefore can serve as a case for analyzing similar situations in other countries.

Keywords. Contemporary dance, path dependency, theatre and dance funding