RESEO’s Autumn Conference on intergenerational projects in opera and dance took place in Warsaw, Poland, in cooperation with Teatr Wielki (Polish National Opera).
“Intergeneration”, in contemporary discourse, is often debated as related to a challenge- or even a problem our European societies face. The aging of Europe’s population and the demographic shift are seen as a potential source of conflict concerning jobs, social resources and pensions.
A range of indicators suggest a deepening culture of individualism and social isolation, in parallel with the diminishing of traditional opportunities for participation in collective activities. The weakening of social structures and family support caused also by increased geographic mobility thus results in increasing solitude in advanced age- but isolation is certainly also a difficulty which affects people of all ages.
Maybe even more worrying is indifference towards people of other ages- coupled sometimes with more or less overt prejudice towards “the old” or “the young”.
“Traditional” transmission between generations seems to be encountering new barriers, and the resulting effects are starting to come to the surface.
The business world is rallying to the challenge, if for more economic reasons: Businesses are setting up schemes to encourage intergenerational exchange: older staff professionals relaying their acquired knowledge and experience, the young teach their new know-how.
What role do the arts and art education play in view of these challenges in European societies?
Where do opera and dance education stand?
And these considerations aside: how can people of different ages, contribute to Art, to opera or dance, in performances and projects?