Theory Editorial October–December 2022
How does loss lodge itself into the body? How can plants help us rethink choreography? How do new technologies transform our bodies and thoughts? In October, theorist and dramaturge Guy Cools opens the TQW lecture series for the 2022/23 season with a lecture performance reflecting on the embodied experience, expression and witnessing of mourning, followed by a reading from his latest book, Performing Mourning: Laments in Contemporary Art. In November, dance scholar Felicia McCarren focuses on the ‘plant turn’ in the humanities and its migration towards the analysis of dance, discussing choreographic works where plant life gains an active role. In December, theatre and media theorist Maaike Bleeker ends the series of lectures for 2022 by discussing her seminal concept of ‘corporeal literacy’ to understand how entanglements with the non-human shape our bodies and our minds and how dance stages these entanglements.
In continuity with the Tashweesh Festival’s interrogations of intersections between European and SWANA perspectives on feminism, the first TQW Research Affiliation for this season hosts Qalqalah, a collectively run editorial and curatorial platform whose work approaches language – notably Arabic – and translation as situated, politically engaged, performative practices. Represented by Salma Mochtari and Virginie Bobin, Qalqalah will explore, from November 2022 to February 2023, how language is enacted and embodied and how it circulates between fiction and truth, turning speculation into a strategic tool for political action.
Behind the scenes of the public programme, two important initiatives continue. Motivated by a commitment to facilitate and foster trans-local alliances in Vienna’s regional context, an online network has been established since last year, allowing local thinkers and artists to branch out to professionals in proximal cities. Anyone based in or around Vienna and interested in dance and performance theory can participate in monthly, online informal meetings. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to join the group.
The project Doing Things With Theory also continues its engagement to provide frameworks in which students in dance- and performance-related disciplines come in contact. In November, students from mdw (Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien) and VŠMU (Academy of Performing Arts Bratislava) will work together in a workshop facilitated by performer and researcher Pauline L. Boulba.
To move through and with words and to speak about and with motions, in lectures or workshops, in person or online, we look forward to having you with us.
Anna Leon (TQW Theory)