Theory Editorial May/June 2022
What else could theory look like? From lectures and panel discussions to workshops, from analog cartography to a radio show: the theory programme of TQW has opened a space for work in dance and performance theory beyond academia, fostering its multimodal, collaborative forms. What else could theory look like? In pluralizing its formats, the TQW programme sees theory as a framework for meeting and exchange: coming together to ask questions, discuss, share knowledge or communally produce it.
The May/June 2022 programme opens with a lecture by the U.S. American dance scholar Imani Kai Johnson. Drawing from her long-term research into hip-hop (dance) cultures, Johnson’s talk expands the limits of dance theory beyond genres presented on the stage and normatively legitimized as art, opening a reflection on under-theorized practices marked by race and class. In June, we are happy to host a lecture by performance theorist Rebecca Schneider. Looking at the kinetic phenomenon of gesture throughout different media and moving agents, Schneider rearticulates the fields of what she calls the “time-based arts”. Imani Kai Johnson and Rebecca Schneider’s lectures will take place online, to honour a commitment to represent international dance and performance theory at TQW in a sustainable way. Two parallel projects then invite to in-person gatherings in TQW Studios. Olivia Jaques and Marlies Surtmann’s Research Affiliation continues its practice of mapping, indexing, and documenting the local performance scene in embodied ways, turning the document itself into a process-oriented, lived experience. And Salon Différance, curated by Rosemarie Brucher, brings practitioners from different backgrounds together to interrogate performances – and excesses – of masculinity in an open discussion. In virtual transnational communities or in-person local ones, we hope to see you there.
Anna Leon (TQW Theory)