Chris Torch

Article Bio Works Projects Images www
crossroads:
diversity, emigration, interculturalism, mobility, multi-culturalism, urbanity
genre(subgenre):
Performing Arts (theatre)
Written and spoken word (debate, public speaking)
region:
Europe, Nordic, America, North, Europe, Southern, America, Central
country/territory:
Sweden, United States of America, Italy, Mexico
city:
Stockholm
created on:
March 10, 2004
last changed on:
Please note: This page has not been updated since September 27, 2007. We decided to keep it online because we think the information is still valuable.
information provided by:
Chris Torch

Article

Advocating intercultural dialogue

Originally an actor and theatre director, Chris Torch extended his career into the domains of theatre management, producing and public speaking. Presently he is Artistic Director of Intercult, a production unit for local and international cultural activities, and an outspoken advocate for intercultural dialogue.
The work of Chris Torch has continuously engaged the arts with the state of society and charged artistic expression with intellectual and political responsibility. Going beyond the search for artistic values, his projects have been stimulating dialogue where it is missing, detecting the sores of society and reflecting on them.
Intercult is the major chapter in Torch´s professional life. The mission of Intercult´s artistic productions is to create a framework for connecting cultures and enable their cross-fertilization. Thus Intercult strengthens a commitment to humanism and stirs the public debate on issues of social integration, multicultural identities, urban regeneration.
SEAS and Hotel Europa are the major recent projects of Intercult. As artistic leader Chris Torch has designed the two platforms, has built artistic and production partnerships and has acted as a driving wheel in the production process. SEAS and Hotel Europa consist of site-specific performances where the space is an integral part of the aesthetic and conceptual messages of the work. While Hotel Europa featured only performing arts, through SEAS Torch explores the synergistic capacity of performing and visual arts.
Chris Torch is an active debater and lecturer both in workshops and courses Intercult initiates, and in national and international forums on culture related subjects. He is a founding member of Theorem (Association promoting the work of young Eastern European artists), and representative of Intercult in IETM (Informal European theatre Meeting), EFAH (The European Forum for the Arts and Heritage) and the Comedia Network (European Network for Cultural Diversity in the Performing Arts).
Author: Yuliana Yankova

Bio

Chris Torch was born in 1952 in Painesville, Ohio, USA. He earned a BA degree in Dramatic Arts/Business Administration from Amherst College, Massachusetts, USA. He worked as an actor with the Living Theatre for four years, under the direction of Julian Beck and Judith Malina. In 1976 and 1977 he toured throughout Europe and USA with his solo performance "Working" and led workshops on street theatre, community action and site-specific theatre. In 1977 Chris Torch founded Jordcirkus, an independent and international theatre company based in Stockholm, Sweden. Until 1990 he directed, acted in and/or designed a number of performances, both on the streets and indoors, for children and adults. The theatre toured extensively throughout Europe and USA. Chris Torch was artistic and/or executive producer of the international co-production Sarajevo (1992-1993), of Re:ORIENT (1993), a festival of Arab culture, in collaboration with Images of Afrika, Copenhagen, and of guest performances and site-specific creations with Theatre GARDZIENICE, Poland (1992). Chris Torch was a member of the Executive Committee and Council of IETM (Informal European Theatre Meeting) from 1990 to 1995. In 1992 Chris Torch founded Intercult, an independent production unit for the performing arts, focusing on international exchange and distribution. In 1993 he founded and worked for three years with Shikasta, a semi-independent and culturally diverse ensemble within the framework of the Swedish National Touring Theatre, Riksteatern. In 1996 he reconstructed Intercult and has been its Artistic Director ever since.

Works

Black/North SEAS

Established,
2007
An interdisciplinary, multi-national commissioning project, examining the environmental, social and political issues facing Europe: due to be presented in coastal cities and resorts in the Black and North Sea regions in 2008-2010

River Season

Established,
2005
The River Season is a project of the city of Warsaw, Poland - an artistic season that connects the two banks of the Vistula river. Pilot project for long-term cooperation, first to take place in 2006. The general purpose of the project and the pre-conference that will initiate it is to inspire cooperation, cultural planning and to show the good examples of art events in abandoned places that create new values in the city. Chris Torch is artistic leader for River Season. He will curate the artworks and the participation of international experts.

SEAS

Production / Performance,
2004
A Baltic-Adriatic Arts Adventure 2003-2005 SEAS is a pan-European project uniting artists from around the Baltic and Adriatic Seas. The project brings together experience and expression from different regions and coasts. Intercult originated the concept and acts as executive producer of SEAS. Chris Torch, May 2005: "SEAS has been a wild and demanding adventure since the end of 2002. It has grown into a platform for exchange, including seminars, research travels, co-productions and events in already 10 European countries until now. SEAS is also a possibility, still to be realized. We imagine that Art can change a City. We imagine that artists can be essential partners in urban re-invention, especially necessary in post-industrial harbor cities. We imagine that city planners and cultural activists have alot in common. We imagine that Public Space is an essential condition for democratic participation. And that artists and architects must open the way. Of course, our imagination is naive. Other factors dominate access to space for arts, exchange, ideas and recreation. The privatization of our cityscape is one of the greatest threats. The Arts might inspire courage - in citizens, politicians and civil servants - to resist the temptation to sacrifice our cities for shortsighted economic gains. SEAS - Second Wave is the aftermath of a bubbling creative energy released during 2003-2004, when co-productions were built and presented in cities around the Adriatic and Baltic Seas. In 2005, we visit new cities, with a few new artworks in our baggage. Some of us meet again and new relations are developed. In the coming years, we will turn our sights towards other shores (the Black Sea and North Sea regions), in a stubborn attempt to our keep imagination alive. The powerful changes taking place in the Outer Seas of Europe demand an appropiate artistic response. Bon Voyage!"

Hotel Europa

Production / Performance,
2001
A site-specific landscape on tour in Europe 2000-2001. Co-produced with Wiener Festwochen, Festival d´Avignon, Bologna 2000, Bonner Biennale 2000. Co-directed by 10 of the finest European performing arts professionals, rooted in the Balkans and the Baltics. Each invited artist created a ”room”, based on a storyline conceived by the Macedonian playwright Goran Stefanovski. The audience was guided in small groups through the hotel, witnessing this series of stories performed by 21 foreign actors and dancers together with local actors and musicians. Hotel Europa: a seedy and tragicomic hotel, encompassing the themes of loneliness, love, mobility, migration and homelessnes.

Ny Publik, Nya Grepp

Production / Performance,
1999
Audience Development and Diversity - a series of seminars and workshops on targeting audiences, people to people and creative marketing. (1997-1999)

Albanian Traces

Production / Performance,
1999
An exposition of art in movement. Presenting artists with Albanian origins from all over Europe, including the Albanian Drama Theatre, Skopje; Ergjeria, Albania; Ballet Preljocaj, France.

Landscape X

Production / Performance,
1998
A trilogy focusing on art in transition in Eastern and Central Europe. Comprised of the projects Re-mapping, Euralien, Utopia/Dystopia in the course of 1997-98. In collaboration with Stockholm - Cultural Capital of Europe 1998.

European Theatre Exchange

Production / Performance,
1997
International Symposium and guest performances of Theatre an der Ruhr (Germany) and Theatre Royal Stratford East (England). Carried out in Stockholm (1996-1997)

Bacchanalia

Production / Performance,
1996
An international co-production with artists from the Albanian Drama Theatre, The Turkish Drama Theatre and the Macedonian National Theatre - all from Skopje, Macedonia.

Re-Map 96

Production / Performance,
1996
A major project focusing on cultural diversity and the arts. Including guest performances, a long workshop, seminars and symposiums. In collaboration with Copenhagen 96 - European Cultural Capital. Carried out in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Projects

This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.

Black/North SEAS

The SEAS Platform 2008-2010

(02 December 05 - 31 December 10)

SEAS/Second Wave 2005

(19 January 05 - 19 January 07)

SEAS Events 2004

Baltikum-Adriatico

(26 April 04 - 26 September 04)

Trans//Fusion

(06 May 02 - 19 May 03)

SEAS

Baltikum-Adriatico

(01 December 01 - 30 September 05)

Trans//Form

Artists in Transit

(01 June 01 - 01 September 01)

Albanian Traces

Art on the Move

(29 October 99 - 28 November 99)

Hotel Europa

(01 October 99 - 31 December 00)

Landscape X

(01 May 98 - 31 December 98)

Re:MAP ´96

Theatre at the European Crossroads

(01 September 95 - 31 January 97)

Www

Intercult

images
SEAS I: Mekanika Popular
SEAS II: Deleted Messages
SEAS III: Theremin