Posts about dans

Danslab symposium

november 17th, 2009

Talking about dance and choreography and writing about the resulting discussion, is similar to dance itself: a continuous process.  This process-like quality of dance and theatre is what distinguishes it from other media and art forms that seem to be more ‘product’ orientated.  on the 4th and 5th of July danslab organized the third symposium for choreographers on choreographic research. danslab proposed the body as the subject for this symposium, or to be more precise: ‘Choreographic Bodies: Approaches and Potentials’. lectures by Rob van Kranenburg, Michael Kroes and the host Helena De Preester were scheduled, accompanied by ‘brainstorming’ sessions, which took on differing form. I took the idea of the ‘processing body’ and two questions concerning this idea as a starting point to write about the symposium, not to come up with an answer but to continue the discussion of the symposium:

1. Is a choreographic body a processing body?
2. Is the rol of the body in contemporary art process filled, or is the body merely a subject and thus a product?

My reflection can be read together with some considerations of dancer/researcher Joa Hug and dancer/choreographer and member of Danslab’s artistic team Jack Gallagher in the 7th newsletter of Danslab.

Research Jack Gallagher

november 6th, 2009

From November 10th untill December 20th I’ll be working with choreographer and dancer Jack Gallagher on his research at Danslab.

Jack Gallagher on the Danslab website:

In Danslab I aim to find some missing links between the communication rules we traditionally come to expect in public space and the language of dance. I will focus on the gap between dance practice and the expectations of an audience who are not immediately privileged to the dance culture. A new ground zero for the performative mover. I want to develop a new line from the Counter Technique, developed by Anouk van Dijk during the past 12 years when I was a main proponent, with expert contributions from linguistics/psychology/philosophy. I will draw a new map for my composing method using Performative Speech Act Theory, Peter Sloterdijk’s spatial modeling & Lacan’s logic of discourses. The main question from Performative Speech Act Theory is -What do we do by saying? I will turn this around- What do we say by doing dance? I’m looking to materialize my hunch about the dialectics of dance between body and meaning. Through Lacanian theory, I will tackle the issue of how dance often says too much!

Matthew Kelly Roman (dancer)
Diane Elshout (research assistent)
Jochem Naafs (dramaturgy)
Derrick Brown (advisor)

More information will follow soon.

Binnenkort online en/of gedrukt

oktober 20th, 2009

Binnenkort verschijnen drie artikelen over dans van mijn hand. Naar aanleiding van Frame 3: Choreographic bodies: Approaches and Potentials schreef ik The Processing Body. Dit artikel gaat in op de manier waarop het lichaam in dans omgaat met informatie en op de manier waarop dans tot stand komt. “Processing dance is […] the act of processing the knowledge of movement with (through/via) the body [and] it is an infinite dance, perpetually changing; it is dance in process”.

In dit artikel ga ik in op de volgende vragen: “Is a choreographic body a processing body?” en “Is the role of the body in contemporary art process filled, or is the body merely a subject and thus a product?” Het zal in de volgende nieuwsbrief van Danslab verschijnen.

Voor de nieuw te ontwikkelen website van het tijdschrift Volume van theater Frascati heb ik een artikel geschreven naar aanleiding van vier solovoorstellingen die in april dit jaar in Frascati te zien waren. In Een solo voor twee handen en zijn schaduw ga ik in op de machtsverhoudingen tussen performer en publiek tijdens een solo. “Eerst moeten we samen zijn. Vervolgens kan één van ons uit de groep stappen en solist worden. Deze solist kan spelen met de macht die hij verkregen heeft, maar kan zich ook verloren voelen tegenover de groep”.

Springdance legt op dit moment de laatste hand aan een publicatie over Europe in Motion. “Een tweetalig boek met diverse verslagen, artikelen van journalisten Ingrid van Frankenhuyzen en Jochem Naafs, evaluaties en veel foto’s en reacties van deelnemers. In totaal 36 jonge choreografen namen in drie landen (Groot-Brittannië, Roemenië en Nederland) deel aan speciale Dialogue sessies; daarna presenteerden ze hun werk aan het publiek” ( In deze publicatie verschijnt mijn column The extra stranger.

Introduction to Beginning, Middle, End

april 23rd, 2009

This is an introduction I was asked to make for the performance Beginning, Middle, End by Andrea Bozic, Julia Willms, Madalina Dan and Michael Pinchbeck. In November 2008 Michael asked me as a dramaturge for his part of a performance: End. End was only to be one third of the whole performance and while reading the proposal that was send to Springdance I wondered how I could ever be a dramaturge for only this part…

After last year’s Dialogue (this years Europe in Motion) Springdance commissioned for a collaboration by three former participants from three different countries to make a performance for this year’s festival.
Andrea, Madalina and Michael decided to propose a performance, which would both allow collaboration and autonomy. The title of this performance, Beginning, Middle, End, refers both to the structure and concept of the work and to the structure of the working process.

The working process of six weeks was preceded by virtual contact in which the idea was worked out. There were three periods with actual contact: 4 days in March (beginning), 4 days in April (middle) and 4 days in this week (end). In these week they were showing each other what they have been working on and figuring out how these three parts fit together to form one performance. The remaining time each maker worked on his or her own part. But they kept looking to each other’s parts, via skype and live. This looking played an important part in the process.
The three parts were allocated alphabetically: Andrea Bozic asked her long time collaborator Julia Willms to work together to make Beginning, Madalina Dan worked on Middle and Michael Pinchbeck worked on End.

So this performance started out of 3 words, both as form and content: beginning, middle and end. The question is what it means to have such a structure for both the making process and the performance you’ll see tonight. Next to collaboration and autonomy this structure also provided content. What is beginning? What is ending? What is it like to be in the middle? And how do a beginning, a middle and an end relate and interact?

In the end this last question is perhaps the question I was thinking of as a problem in the beginning while reading the proposal. Now I would rather see it as a challenging idea to work from rather then a question that needs to be answered. I would like to end my introduction with the following quote, which can be seen as a starting point for this collaboration:

Every moment has a beginning, middle and end, then dialogue will have meaning.

I wish you a pleasant performance.

An artist and his review

april 23rd, 2009

My press kit inside the artist goodie-bag I got yesterday seems to represent my split personality during Springdance. On the one hand I am being the objective journalist, writing my columns about the programme, atmosphere and side programme. On the other hand I am the dramaturge for Michael Pinchbeck’s End. Considered an artist, at least according to the batch I received with my goodie-bag, I morphed into another person in a split second. And is it not the task of the artist to present a subjective perspective on this world?

Of course two issues come to mind straight away. Can I be objective whilst being commissioned by Springdance to write about Springdance? How can I be critical about my own commissioner? The other issue is the question what it is to be a dramaturge. Does my subjective view matter for the artist I am working with? Or should I be able to objectify my own perspective on the performance. Should I try to represent the audience that will come and see the show?
In the end I prefer to mix up a clear subjective view with some elements, which I think are more objective. I try to use this approach in my writing, my research and my dramaturgical practice. Alternating in describing the subject matter and my own position in relation to that.

I can’t help thinking of Simon Ellis’s Down (working title). Ellis, one of the participants in Europe in Motion, not only presented his solo performance, he also provided the context of this performance. From the introduction, where I imagined myself in his place, having just introduced Beginning Middle, End myself an hour earlier, to the reviews, audience reactions and even the specifications for touring.

As an artist Ellis took the liberty to be lecturer, choreographer, dancer, critic, audience and PR assistant in one. Criticising both dance and the dance community, he shows, as the devil’s advocate, the ‘like knows like’ existence of this dance community. He left his audience powerless. Everything was already said. Interesting enough Ellis manages to represent several of my positions during Springdance & performance festival. And by doing this he got me thinking about my position(s) in this community.

In a way Ellis covers himself against any criticism from others, wrapping his entire performance. I could write a review on Beginning, Middle, End today…

Beginning, Middle, End by Andrea Bozic, Julia Willms, Madalina Dan and Michael Pinchbeck tonight (April 23), 19.00h in Theater Kikker.
More Europe in Motion: April 23 and 24, 20.30h in Theater Kikker.

A look back // Into the future

april 18th, 2009

Written for Springdance

Next year Bettina Masuch will do her speech in Dutch, she promises just before the world première of Jérôme Bel’s Lutz Förster. I’m not sure if that is the best choice if your want to get your message across in such an international festival, I’m writing in English for a reason, but it is a nice gesture.

Enter Lutz Förster. A personality, that’s for sure. The peaceful and gentle way of walking to a chair in the wings, and back with the chair, onto the stage, tells me that already. Bel gave Förster the opportunity to tell his professional life’s story on stage to an audience. And Förster likes to talk. He discovered that early in his professional life when he danced and talked in one of many performances by Pina Bausch. His talking in this biography is only now and then alternated with short dance scenes.

Förster doesn’t get too personal, he doesn’t do too much. He is just there, taking some of the viewers back in time and presenting others a short lesson in dance history. I must admit I belong in the second category. My knowledge of Förster’s work was close to nothing. And I had a good time, I wasn’t bored for a minute, I laughed, admired, enjoyed. But I do wonder, as did others, what Bel’s role was. In Pichet Klunchun and Myself the dialogue between Klunchun and Bel was brilliantly staged. They challenged each other, and the audience, to rethink the history and the aesthetics of dance. The performance <i>Lutz Förster</i> is only about and with Lutz Förster. Where is the other? Where is the mirror to reflect? Reflect both movements and words, both history and present? Let’s leave it at that question.

Springdance’s slogan is ‘A look back into the future’. Lutz Förster gave me ‘a look back’. If I want, I can now go ‘into the future’. This weekend is a weekend for new style; contemporary and modern dance, hip hop, flamenco, butoh and street dance.

The extra stranger

april 16th, 2009

Written for Springdance Stage

Last Tuesday Europe In Motion started as a meeting between “total strangers”, as moderators Igor Dobricic and Nicole Beutler prescribed it. On Wednesday I enter this dialogue as yet another stranger. Simon Ellis, Rui Catalão and Tom Dale present their work today, based on the question “what is central to your work as a choreographer?”.
As mornings go it takes a while to get started. I notice that the atmosphere is comparable to last year’s sessions, with the ‘Romanians’ being late, the ‘British’ ready to get started and the ‘Dutch’ walking up and down between kitchen and the kleine zaal in Theater Kikker.

Read more »

Beginning, Middle, End

april 7th, 2009

Currently I am working with Michael Pinchbeck, a Nottingham based writer, live artist and performance artist. Together with Andrea Bozic and Madalina Dan he makes the performance Beginning, Middle, End. The startingpoint is that every artist takes one part. Andrea takes Beginning together with Julia Willms, Madalina takes Middle and Michael takes End. Michael asked me for dramaturgical advise for his part. The performance will première at Springdance on April 22 and will also play on the 23rd.
For more information visit their blog.

Beginning, Middle, End – Andrea Bozic / Madalina Dan / Michael Pinchbeck
Three artists meet for the first time. They make a performance about the beginning, the middle and the end of an encounter. This is the beginning.

Andrea takes the beginning, Madalina takes the middle and Michael takes the end. The beginning is about a beginning, the middle is about a middle and the end is about an end. This is the middle.
They play with threes. Three dances. Three artists. Three countries. Three bears. Three ways to tell a story or to sing a song. Three in One. They make three entrances and three exits. This is the end.

Andrea Bozic (HR/NL), Madalina Dan (ROU) and Michael Pinchbeck (UK) took part in Springdance Dialogue 2008. They proposed Beginning Middle End for Springdance 2009 to enable both a collaboration and an important sense of autonomy. They identified many intersections in their work; shared interests in absence and presence; issues of embodiment and self-referentiality; fictionalising personal life and personalising fictional life. Beginning Middle End has been built around the artists’ presence and absence in each other’s creative processes. Interested in the connections between their practices and the space between their practices, the artists asked how they might inhabit each other’s work and exit their own.

Production credits:
Concept and performance: Andrea Bozic, Madalina Dan, Michael Pinchbeck
Live drawing (Beginning): Julia Willms
Dramaturgical advice (End): Jochem Naafs
Produced by the Springdance Festival (in co-production with Theater Frascati), financially supported by the Europe in Motion project.

Springdance Stage

maart 31st, 2009

For this years dance and performance festival Springdance launched a community website. Please join Springdance Stage and get in contact with dancers, choreographers, makers, journalists, other visitors et cetera. I will keep all visitors of Springdance (Stage) up to date with a number of columns I will write before, during and after the festival. But the website also features videos, pictures and reviews from both makers and visitors. And you are welcome to share your own expectations and experiences too.

Visit and join by hitting the sign up button!

Ave Nue: hail, walk, watch, bow

februari 20th, 2009

In three weeks Steve Paxton re-envisioned his performance Ave Nue together with 10 SNDO (School for New Dance Development) students. A very short period for such a project. So what did it bring us? The starting point of Ave Nue was not the movement, it was the space: a long hallway dissected in parts by pillars. Colourful pillars. Paxton decided that in stead of a gradual green-to-white hallway, which was used in the original piece in Brussels, he wanted the pillars to have the colours of the rainbow. This is the first major difference between Ave Nue 1985 and the re-envisioned Ave Nue 2009.1

I visited the performance twice, during the dress rehearsal and the premiere. This article reports my experience of the piece by reflecting on both these performance and the rehearsals I visited in the weeks before. My aim is not to compare the two performances I saw, or to compare the 2009 version with the original one. I will try to give an overview of what Ave Nue was and has become.

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