There is lots to be discussed while diving into the notion of equity. But how does it take shape in practice?
During a three-day Atelier (17-19 May), part of the European Dancehouse Network programme, we explore different attempts at approaching equity as an integral part of dance practices. Dance artists Connor Schumacher, Jija Sohn and Aleksandra Lemm, and Christian Guerematchi each curate a day and were given the opportunity to invite other artists. The Atelier focusses on sharing embodied practices and tools for working from a (more) equitable ground. During the Atelier the invited artists will share their tools in practising and embodying equity - e.g. in the way we organise ourselves professionally and in artistic choice making. During the course of the three days, we will awaken our soft skills and explore through them tools for inviting and exercising equitability in the context and relation of our moving bodies before arriving into our own bodies and artistic choice-making.
For this Atelier we invite dance artists as well as cultural professionals working in the performing arts to actively participate in these shared embodied explorations.
The practice of Opening and Closing - 17 May 12:00-18:00 @Dansateliers Rotterdam
May 17th the day is co-curated by Connor Schumacher. We will start from his vision on dance and how he sees the findings of the European project Empowering Dance to base, a seed, of practicing equity on the dancefloor. He will lead us through a guided rave towards the principles and tools he applies in his practice, which are related to the training of soft skills. Once we have warmed up to the state of dance, we will continue into a choreographic dialog constructed by Connor moving through the personal, social and political.
Connor is also inviting Joy Mariama Smith to share their own choreographic dialog on the topic of equity. Performance, installation, and movement artist, and educator Joy Mariama Smith’s work focuses on issues related to visibility, projected identities, and self-representation in different contexts, and investigates the interplay between the body and its cultural, social, and physical environment. In their* dance, performances, and installations, they create spaces in which the distinction between spectator and participant becomes blurred and visitors are encouraged to reflect on the ways in which they deal with space. When they facilitate, they actively try to uphold inclusive spaces.
*they/them/their - used as a first-person gender-neutral pronoun in English.
Read more about: Empowering Dance - Soft Skills in Dance Guidebook – how to enhance your practice.
The practice of Relationships - 18 May 10:00-17:00 @Dansateliers Rotterdam
On 18 May, we will give space to the vision and practice of Jija Sohn and Alexandra Lemm. From core values of care and vulnerability, they question our working conditions and shape human relationships. Together, they are building a movement that questions the preconditions for professional cooperation, thus tilting the position of the artist in relation to for example institutions or funding bodies.
Jija is also one of the participating choreographers in the European community-building project Performing Gender, Dancing in your shoes which also questions positions and power relations and she took part in the residency program Crowd – for community engaged dance artists.
The practice of Decolonisation - 19 May 10:00-17:00 @ ICK Dans Amsterdam
On 19 May, Slovenian/Central African dance maker Christian Guerematchi will co-curate the day in Amsterdam. Christian's work starts from the black body in relation to western cultural and social structures. After a brief introduction, the day is opened by Iranian dance maker Roshanak Morrowatian, who will share her physical practice. Her choreographic work embodies, both physically and spiritually, the multiplicity of human beings and proposes a contemporary inclusive dance that celebrates the power of the collective. Afterwards, artist/curator Richard Kofi, whose work and research looks at unfinished histories of the past and gives them speculative futures, will lead an interactive panel. Richard Kofi is an expert on Afrofuturism and will lead the interactive panel on equity from this perspective together with Christian Guerematchi. Finally, through physical practices by both Christian Guerematchi and researcher/dancer Suzan Tunca, we will zoom in further on the state of bodies and how we can turn inwards through our skin and move closer to equity in dance practice.
The Atelier is co-organised by Dansateliers Rotterdam and ICK Dans Amsterdam and takes place both in Rotterdam (17+18 May) and Amsterdam (19 May). EDN Atelier participants will travel from Rotterdam to Amsterdam by train after the session on May 18th.
All participants are invited for the opening night of the Moving Futures Festival in Amsterdam (Dansateliers and ICK-Artist Space are both a partner of this network) during the evening of 19 May, with performances by Emma Evelein & Remy Tilburg, Nick Deroo, and Shelfish/Veerle van Overloop.
Dansateliers and ICK Dans Amsterdam would also like to direct your attention to the possibility of joining the international visitors program at CaDance Festival at Theater Korzo in The Hague. This will take place during the morning of Saturday, 20 May.
If you have any questions regarding the EDN Atelier, contact EDN's Activities Coordinator Christoph Bovermann (email@example.com) or team ICK Dans Amsterdam through firstname.lastname@example.org.