Spider started knitting its web in 2010 under the guidence of Ljubljana’s Pekinpah Kink Kong production. Initial idea by choreographer Matej Kejžar has grown into a collaboration between Pekinpah Kink Kong and five dance organisations from various parts of Europe which created the Spider and Spider Expand! projects, resulting in a series of nine artistic manifestations taking place in Lyon, Berlin, Brussels, Zagreb, Athens, and Ljubljana.

At the heart of the Spider projects, which have been connecting various artists and numerous artistic disciplines, there has been an effort to engage in a research of the local cultural, social and political circumstances in order to present the local audiences with artistic practices and cultural genres that have for this or that reason not been, or have rarely been, represented in their local mileu.

Spider has always been putting local artists on the throne of planning, curating, and organising the manifestations. Each time, the position of the Spider artistic director is occupied by a local creative person whose active, first-hand knowledge of the upcoming talents’ work and the most daring new dance productions is directly influencing the programme of the current manifestation.

Spider manifestations have been supported by European Commission, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, and the City of Ljubljana – Department for Culture.


An Itinerant Artistic Manifestation

SPIDER is an itinerant artistic manifestation. SPIDER is a net of collaborators who connect to construct different performance structures in new spaces. SPIDER is at home away from home. SPIDER is collaboration. SPIDER is meeting and contributing to the diversity of European life. SPIDER combines process and product. SPIDER is artists meeting artists. SPIDER is artists meeting audiences. SPIDER is performance meeting performance. SPIDER is expanding into something new.

SPIDER EXPAND! is coming to a town near you.

The project brings together 6 European co-organisers: Pekinpah / Kink Kong (Ljubljana), Collectif Loge 22 (Lyon), de facto (Zagreb), DansCentrumJette (Brussels), DAN.C.CE/Dance Cultural Centre (Athens), LaborGras (Berlin). Together they will execute a unique platform entitled SPIDER EXPAND!: An Itinerant Artistic Manifestation.

At the heart of the project is the “Itinerant Artistic Manifestation” which takes various forms: SPIDER RES (performance residencies and research), SPIDER EVENT/GATHERINGS (performance gatherings of international artists, workshops, showings of residency results), SPIDER TALKS (a public debate in Brussels and other int’l presentations, and meetings of project participants). For every manifestation, whether big or small, the project seeks ways to connect artists/artworks/cultural workers with the broader local and international communities through artistic creation and education, performance and work-in-progress presentations, exchange of knowledge, experiences and ideas and commitment to building new working relationships.

The project invites performance and movement artists from all over Europe who are committed to the research and development of performative expression and wish to jointly go beyond current production and festival formats to explore new formats methods for performance creation and presentation. SPIDER EXPAND! endeavours to resonate deeply in the artistic, social, political, economic life of the communities it inhabits.

The project is built upon values like mutual respect and shared responsibility – the preconditions for true collaboration and artistic innovation. SPIDER EXPAND! engages people who, despite their diverse approaches, share a belief about the essential components necessary to create art in 21st century Europe: daringness, enthusiasm, brilliant ideas, dedication, hard work and vision.


We conceived the Spider Project as an Itinerant Artistic Manifestation; an independent nomadic laboratory comprised of an eclectic group of artists who, moved by a common idea, endeavour to weave a thread of innovation and imagination through the heart of Europe. Spider is not an artistic movement as such but a clockwork of interconnected individuals. Each artist’s statement is autonomous yet vitally connected to the whole, creating a collective of singularities manifested through the force of a communal direction. Concerned primarily with contemporary dance, Spider is a dynamic meeting point between different artistic process and practices.


With Spider, we attempt to create a temporary zone of encounter between each of the participants in the festival, no matter their role. Contributors are moved to carve out a space in which they are able to reflect on their own process of creation. The inclusive nature of Spider then allows this reflection to produce lines of influence between the artists, the public and other participants, giving rise to a collective expression of concepts, ideas and choreographic proposals. As a result, the artists involved in Spider (dancers, choreographers, musicians, visual artists and authors) are simultaneously participating in themanifestation and responsible for it’s shape and function.


Due to our differing economic necessities, Spider is conceived as a cooperative; a collectivization of means, a prototype of artistic exchange that includes both production and presentation of work. In this way each piece presented is open to appropriation, modification and reinvention by us or other structures without copyright. This communion allows us an autonomy through which we may dictate how and to whom we present our work. This cultural recoup by and for the artists is essential to opening new possibilities of presenting and experiencing performance in the artistic landscape.


We endeavour to curate a bold and audacious program that is both a look forward and a dynamic Act. Spider is Actual as it engages itself with the
problematics of perceiving the contemporary world which surrounds us; tracing the cracks and highlighting its incongruences and anomalies. Each participant
in Spider is effectively taking part in a subversive movement concerned not only with innovative artistic practice but also with the re-contextualization of the means of artistic production itself. This collective process of creation and presentation becomes a vehicle in which a fundamental re-appropriation of life and art can be approached.

Spider takes the form of a festival where artists and the public can meet in an environment of performances, workshops and discussions. Spider’s primary concern is exchange without the banality of “community outreach”. The festival strives to establish a dialogue with its hosts regardless of class or professional status. We believe that the specificity of each venue, viewed through the lens of each participating artist, choreographer and performer makes Spider a remarkable and unique artistic manifestation.