[dance-tech] Re: reviews and reports

  • From: Simon Biggs <simon@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 11:33:35 +0000

So far as contributing a report goes...Sue Hawksley and I are working on a
text dealing with, amongst other things, aspects of the work undertaken in
Nottingham and in due course that will be available.

A couple of weeks after the Nottingham event I had the pleasure to attend a
not dissimilar event in Sydney at Macquarie University titled Workshop on
Interactive Systems in Performance. It was not a workshop but a straight up
symposium with 23 presentations over two days. It was not focused on dance
but performative disciplines in general (this taken to include works where
the audience are the performative element, so interactive installation also


Key presenters included dance people such as Michael Montanaro (Hexagram),
Chrissie Parrott, David Pledger, Sarah Rubidge, Mark Seton, Hellen Sky and
Kim Vincs, composers such as David Birchfield, Joel Chadabe, Roger Dean,
Robin Fox, Garth Paine (convenor) and Atau Tanaka, performance people such
as Keith Armstrong, Margie Medlin, Yuji Sone and Stelarc as well as a number
of theorists from the arts, humanities and sciences. So, quite a range of
practitioners and researchers.

Most of the presentations focused on the practice based research of the
participants (plus ca change) but these were augmented by some presentations
from experts in the cognitive sciences, seeking to synthesise work in the
field through this "other" lens. Whilst artists usually bridle at any
attempts to contain what they do within qualitative or quantitative
analytical frameworks this aspect of the event was handled with some
sensitivity and thus proved a useful platform for enlivening debate in
territories rarely visited, which was of interest.

Of course during this aspect of the symposium I was thinking of Scott's work
with Random at Cambridge, with its emphasis on neuropsychology and notation.
The main thing here is that we are not just talking about the hybridisation
of the utility of our practices (that is, the adoption of new tools and
technologies along with some of the methodologies associated with their
origins) but a situation where profoundly distinct disciplines are being
brought together. The outcome of this might eventuate in further new
technologies and approaches, but more importantly there are the likely
questions raised about value and purpose...questions that often demand
fundamental revision of established practices. Personally it is when I feel
challenged in this way that things start to look exciting.



On 18.01.06 23:17, "Birringer, Johannes" <johannes.birringer@xxxxxxxxx>

> hello all:
> we didn't hear much response to the question I raised the other week
> (regarding reports about events, workshops, new productions), so I gather it
> might mean that we are already too inundated with reviews, emails,
> correspondences, etc.
> On the other hand, it might be interesting to ask around,  what do members of
> our community read/hear (regarding concerts, new workshops, research projects
> going on in other parts of the world, etc).? where to they gather information,
> and how can our list contribute to such information sharing?  how useful are
> blogs, and what blogs to you read?  how are "local" dance communities
> organizing themselves? or connecting dance resources to digital media practice
> resources?   I found it interesting, returning to Houston for a while, that
> the dance-makers locally tried to "organize" their own newsletter, and a
> service organisation (Houston Dance Source), which also publishes reviews (as
> the newspaper cut their dance reviewing down to the occasional piece on the
> ballet, while I saw that the Village Voice ran a protest letter as well,
> choreographers expressing outrage over the cuts in dance coverage (down to
> what, half a page?).
> Well, if you are interested, my little review on "M saudade"  appeared on that
> "Dance Source" :  http://www.houstondance.org/reviews.html
> and here;s an item of information about bthe ongoing lab/workshop "" FACETS
> 2006   International Choreography Laboratory ""
> at Attakkalari Movement Centre in Bangalore:
> http://www.narthaki.com/hplinks/ataklri2.html
> It is noteworthy that Attakkalari's artistic director, Jayachandran Palazhy,
> announced during his residency at the Digital Cultures Lab last December that
> his Center is about to implement the first dance & digital technologies
> Masters Program in India, and I believe the first course starts in the spring
> of 2006.  Congratulations go to Bangalore!!
> regards
> Johannes Birringer
> Talking about songs, I saw a terrific dance concert Thursday night, "M
> saudade,"  created collaboratively by three young dancers from Bill Forysthe's
> company and directed by Ayman Harper, who were hanging out in Houston and
> found time to make a piece with some friends, including digital film sections
> by Tobin Del Cuore (Hubbard Street Dance Chicago) that left me breathless.  I
> will try to sketch some impressions of the piece and its conceptual core in a
> later mail, and I do encourage members of the list to send in occasional
> reviews or comments on new work, so that we can keep up with creative
> manifestations as they occur around the world. >>>>>>
> regards
> Johannes Birringer
> Mother Dog Studios
> Houston, TX
> www.aliennationcompany.com
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Simon Biggs

Professor, Art and Design Research Centre
Sheffield Hallam University, UK

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