Spot on: TQW Body & Performance Practices

Linda Samaraweerová
Linda Samaraweerová

Body & Performance Practices – formerly known as Training & Workshops – is not only open to all local professional dancers and performers, but artists from other disciplines as well as enthusiasts and amateurs are also welcome to join. This new training concept expands the ways in which dance and performance can help us see and explore different forms of knowledge, generating a space for contemporary artistic and methodical discourse. An active place of possibilities to experiment, analyse, research, dream, discuss, take risks, realize, construct and deconstruct. 20th century dance and body techniques are already well-known and widely taught. However, many contemporary choreographers have developed elaborate methods during their research process – making them the techniques of the 21st century. For this reason, Body & Performance Practices wants to create a space for applied artistic knowledge exchange and production – to experience contemporary body and dance practices first hand.

Finding the right contemporary dance and performance training is an individual quest. There are so many possibilities to choose from, but this also requires us to focus. Inspired by the special TQW event series 20 Years of TQW – Past / Present / Future, Body & Performance Practices will therefore focus on selected approaches in September and October. Which contemporary movements demand attention and require research, discussion and practice? Why bother to dance at all? Which physical and conceptual approaches are currently being explored by local and international choreographers, dancers and performance artists? Which are the most ‘moving’ new trends and ideas and why do we create and follow them? Additionally, theorists and academics will also be invited to be part of and explore the complexity of current dance and performance processes and debates.

On 20 September, our training programme will kick off with a Festival of Intentions, including workshops by choreographers and performance artists Krõõt Juurak, Lisa Hinterreithner, Manuel Pelmuş, Robert Steijn and Stav Yeini, among others. Dutch performance artist Robert Steijn will launch our training season on 20 September by hosting a five-day, three-hour-a-day workshop in which he will share his artistic vision. His current artistic practice focuses on the concept of prayer and he will gently guide us through unchartered territory in a search for ourselves and the universe. In praying while dancing, Steijn softens the contours of the highly charged concept of prayer and explores a new, interesting and playful approach. Engaging with social and psycho-philosophical questions in a unique way, his approach will lead us to unexpected and profound depths. “We create a prayer of different intentions: a dance of gratitude, a dance of compassion, a dance of connecting with nature, a dance of connecting with a community, a dance of celebrating gender, sexual identities, the non-binary body, a dance of emancipation, a dance of resistance … For me, it is important to pray when I dance, because I am no longer critically aware if I dance well. I am practicing devotion – to become devoted to the spiritual expansion of movement.”

In October, Austrian choreographer Lisa Hinterreithner will address the inner workings of our social lives. Corporality will be thought of as a psycho-philosophical field to be intentionally ‘drained’ or ‘recharged’. Around the same time, internationally renowned Romanian performance artist Manuel Pelmuş will provide us with insight into his artistic practice in a two-day workshop. Pelmuş can be regarded as a key representative of the ‘new performance turn’ – artists who have redefined performance in the context of the visual arts. His projects have been presented at institutions such as Tate Modern in London, Centre Pompidou in Paris or the Museum of Modern Art in Salzburg. He also represented Romania at the 55th Biennale in Venice together with Alexandra Pirici. Vienna-based Estonian performance artist Krõõt Juurak will share her approach to Performance Therapy over two weeks in October: “We will work partly in the studio, partly field research and partly as a party. A great emphasis will be placed on deprofessionalisation. No previous experience with performance or therapy necessary. Wear whatever, not necessarily comfortable.” Meanwhile, choreographer and performer Stav Yeini, who trained at P.A.R.T.S., will represent the new generation of young Belgian artists. Other workshops that are being planned also include the dream practice of Slovenian choreographer and dancer Mala Kline, and the music-based research methods of choreographer Jonathan Burrows and Bojana Cvejić, who will join us in December.

We invite everyone – including amateurs and enthusiasts – to join us every Wednesday evening for our workshop sessions with Austrian-based Russian choreographer Oleg Soulimenko: “This training is open to everyone who is interested in the practice of performance and dance and who is looking for sources of inspiration to expand and reflect their own creative process.”