The three theory curators bring different perspectives to the table: in addition to a choreographic-analytical approach, a pop-culture outlook critical of society and a queer/feminist perspective are increasingly taken into account as well. Some of the theory programme is thematically linked with TQW’s performance programme, but besides that it also investigates essential issues in the fields of choreography and performance, or, more generally, major concerns of our time.
The lab programme regularly held at the TQW Studios is dedicated to exploration and exchange between local as well as international artists and experts. Unhampered by the customary pressure to produce and present, the participants can explore general topical, specific or utterly unusual aspects of contemporary choreography and performance. Some of the subjects addressed relate to the contemporaneous performance programme at Tanzquartier Wien to enable a closer examination. However, the labs also provide those interested with a platform to inquire into urgent issues of our time, irrespective of TQW’s programme. Experts or artists curate and run the labs.
Imagining otherwise – Erfindung der Gegenwart (Research series)
“I turn to the black hole of the theatre as a space […] to negotiate the past in order to make another future possible.” – Ligia Lewis
For generations, performance artists have imagined different ways of representing social conditions and movements and have created utopian and dystopian worlds, but always in the knowledge that the actions on stage do not simply mirror but also shape the present.
The research series Imagining otherwise – Erfindnung der Gegenwart takes a close look at contemporary and historical artistic strategies that were successful in inventing and changing the idea of the present. This series combines the fields of research, choreography and performance as a means of subverting political debates and overcoming social injustice, instead of reproducing it. Inspired and influenced by current debates on anti-racism and post-colonialism, transformative strategies will be developed and tested on the basis of the interplay between different artistic and theoretical approaches.
In November, Tonica Hunter will explore an aesthetics of resistance in order to create alternative spaces and communities through her art. In January, based on their performance Make Banana Cry, Andrew Tay and Stephen Thompson will develop performative strategies that will subvert the power structures of the art world. In March, the lab research into the artistic biography of choreographer Nyota Inyoka will inform a new post- and decolonial theory and practice. This special lab session will be part of a collaboration between the Centre National de la Danse in Paris and the Department of Music and Dance Studies at the University of Salzburg. Finally, in April, Ligia Lewis will raise questions concerning the representation of Blackness in theatre, based on her new ensemble piece Still not Still. In all our artistic labs, small groups of local artists, theorists, activists, cultural workers and others will work for an entire week without any pressure and without the expectation of a final product.
In consultation with the artists, the research output will be made available in different forms (texts, videos or live events).
Andrew Tay and Stephen Thompson
+++ Postponed +++
In relationship to their performance of Make Banana Cry, Canadian dance artists Stephen Thompson and Andrew Tay will host an artistic laboratory to collectively think about critical art making and embodied politics. Attempting to playfully navigate the slippery territory of “how we perceive ourselves” vs “how others perceive us”, the laboratory seeks to utilise these questions as exciting material for the body. They hope to imagine performance strategies collectively that are critical of the various power structures that underpin the contemporary art system.
The lab will give time for dancing and physical work, as well as deep chats and hang outs. Through the exchange of practices and reflection on how our political ideologies can be reflected in the ways that we work together, Thompson and Tay will create a space for dialogue around the kind of work we are hoping for in the future.
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