The independent Norwegian companies lend vitality and originality to the Norwegian performing arts sector.
The main venue for experimental theatre and dance in Oslo is the Black Box Theatre, which consists of one large, and one small stage. In Bergen the major venue is BIT-Teatergarasjen (Bergen International Theatre Garage), while in Trondheim it is the Teaterhuset Avant Garden (Avant-Garden Theatre House). Together these three collaborating venues have established a performing arts network that showcases Norwegian as well as outstanding international companies in all three cities.
The Norsk scenekunstbruk network is a national touring network for the independent performing arts in Norway. The network is run by the Danse- og Teatersentrum (National Association of Performing Arts), and cooperates with 16 counties. The network plays a key role in bringing professional performing arts to all of Norway through the Cultural Rucksack scheme.
In recent years there has been closer contact between the theatre institutions and some of the more experimental companies, a development that has been encouraged by the Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs. Many institutions either collaborate with the independent companies or invite them to play in their houses.
Senter for Dansekunst (the Norwegian Center for the Art of Dance) has been instrumental in the establishment of a Norwegian Dansens Hus (House of Dance), where independent dance groups showcase their work. The Norwegian Opera and the National Ballet will inaugurate their new performance centre in 2008. This centre will have several stages, at least one of which will be designed for more experimental contemporary dance and opera.