Tag Archives: research

LONDON CONTEMPORARY DANCE SCHOOL LAUNCHING NEW MA IN SCREENDANCE

London Contemporary Dance School is launching a new Master of Arts programme focusing on the artistic practice, curation and scholarship of Screendance. As the only MA in the world that currently specialises in Screendance, the programme offers a much needed arena for further exploration by practicing artists already making work for screen who are seeking to develop their practical, professional and creative skills.

The programme will be delivered by a leading practitioners in the art from including Gitta Wigro, Lucy Cash, Claudia Kappenberg and course leader Gabriella Tropia. The MA is subject to validation by the University of Kent. The course will commence in September 2018 with applications opening end of January 2018.

London Contemporary Dance School is part of the creative powerhouse for new dance The Place, which is located in the heart of London’s Knowledge Quarter an area of one mile radius that is home to 75 academic, cultural, research, scientific and organisations including British Library, Central Saint Martins, UCL, Crafts Council, Sadler’s Wells and Google.

Clare Connor, Chief Executive of The Place said about the programme; ‘As the leading home for new dance we are pleased to offer this trailblazing MA course that will nurture innovation and entrepreneurship for artists who seek to lead and shape this flourishing art form.’

For more information about the course and how to apply. www.lcds.ac.uk/screendance

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OPEN CALL: Maya Deren 100 Wuppertal, Germany, June 16-18 2017

allsoulsinvited“Unstable Equilibrium / Instabiles Gleichgewicht” Maya Deren 100

Symposium/Screenings/Interventions  June 16-18 2017

Location: Neuer Kunstverein Wuppertal e.V., Wuppertal, Germany

Call for papers: submission deadline: 5 December 2016

For enquiries please email the curators of the symposium Claudia Kappenberg (C.Kappenberg@brighton.ac.uk) and Florence Freitag (florence.freitag@gmail.com)

2017 marks the year of Maya Deren’s 100th anniversary. Born in 1917, the Avant-Garde filmmaker, dancer, poet, writer, anthropologist and catalyst for what is called Choreo-Cinéma, has influenced artists and thinkers from different fields, in particular those interested in experimental film and in the intersection of film and dance. In 2017 her work is still relevant in terms of the images it offers, the stories it tells and the questions it asks about individual experience, communal traditions and our narratives. The interdisciplinarity of her work marks her as a pioneer of hybrid visual languages and has much to offer to contemporary artists whose work increasingly negotiates between different practices, languages and traditions. Whilst being highly refined and specific Deren’s work claims a “touche-à-tout”. This event will reflect on Deren’s work from several perspectives, to re-examine not only her films, but also her writing and her anthropological research into Haitian rituals and voudoun. Maya Deren 100 will run over three days and in three parts, with a symposium, a series of screenings, and interventions by contemporary artists.

Maya Deren – REpositioned aims to historically review and contextualise her work, her principles, aesthetics and methods from diverse contemporary perspectives. Engaging with Deren’s artistic, theoretical and pedagogical discourse, the symposium aims to foster discussions on choreographic, visual and performative languages, on the role and potentiality of narratives, on collaborations and on the idea of metamorphosis or change as suggested by Deren’s notion of Unstable Equilibrium. Furthermore, proposals are invited that examine Deren’s writings on ritual, her concern with time, space and matter, as well as those engaging with dialogues between (digital) screen bodies and live bodies, screen space and narrative time. Finally, Deren’s output as both female artist/auteur and as the main performer in her work is to be re-examined from today’s point of view.

Papers and project presentations may include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

→ Film & digital bodies vs live bodies

→ Choreo-Cinéma as/vs live performance

→ Film & poetry (e.g. vertical and other narratives)

→ Film & ritual, ritual and play

→ Anthropology as practice

→ Relation to time, space and place

→ Film and dance and relevant hybrid language

→ Documentation as practice (including the subject/object in front and behind the camera)

→ Instability, hybridity and continuity in the arts

Proposals should be no more than 300 words and must include:

  • Presentation title
  • 300 word abstract, to include a brief description of the questions, concepts and topics to be explored
  • Preferred presentation format/approach
  • AV requirements
  • Short biography

Maya Deren 100/Unstable Equilibrium is a project produced by Tanzrauschen e.V. (Sigurd-Christian Evers and Kerstin Hamburg) and Neuer Kunstverein Wuppertal e.V., organized in collaboration with initiator/artistic director Florence Freitag, as well as curators Claudia Kappenberg (University of Brighton, UK, International Journal of Screendance) and Dr. Elinor Cleghorn.

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Email and ipads in ancient Rome?

I spent a day with IT4Arts, the London City-based Worshipful Company of Information Technologists (a Guild) which provides free advice and training for non-for-profit Arts organisations such as the Screendance Journal, but also big established institutions such as, the Roundhouse, the Royal Albert Hall, Tate, and BBC etc.

A most fascinating talk was given by Tom Standage from The Economist, author of Writing on the Wall (2013). Applying current, social media vocabulary to the means of communication amongst the Romans and in the Middle Ages, he argued basically that they had networks of communication that functioned much like our social media, with messages and news that were sent from person to person, and with news that were trending across networks and others that faded away quickly.

According to Standage there are three phases of media development, with Really Old Media from 60BC through to 1833, Old Media until 2000, and New Media since then. The Really Old Media included paintings as a form of selfies, letters on papyrus delivered by slaves and copied to others as a sort of email equivalent, a whole system of messengers (tabelari) as broadband, and a culture of copying books and adding books to personal libraries as an equivalent to person to person distribution. An example of a social media savvy person as suggested by Standage is the Evangelist Paul, who wrote letters to key churches, such as his letter to the Colossians, knowing that they would be copied time and again until eventually every church would hold a copy and hear about his ideas. Strategic blogging and tweeting, in other words, is not exactly a new idea.

No doubt there were significant changes with the invention of the Gutenberg’s printing press with movable types in around 1450, but the changes were gradual. Initially any printing was small scale and served mainly to amplify the person to person distribution. For example, when Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, in protest against the Pope’s selling off of indulgences – which supposedly saved people from going to purgatory and which Luther saw as a complete con – he discovered the power of printed distribution. His first theses were written in Latin, addressing the more learned people and thereby limiting the readership. Noting the considerable interest in his theses Luther then translated them into a form of German, and it took a mere two weeks for the theses to be distributed around the whole of Germany. (A little side effect was that this nationwide distribution established a common German language.) According to Standage, Luther’s thesis can count as an excellent example of peer-to-peer distribution.

As Standage proposed, later historical social media phenomena were, for example, the coffee houses of the 1600s, which acted as debating chambers and thrived on the buzz created by the newly imported coffee. The Tudors had a thing called the commonplace books, which were personal diaries of sorts and used for noting poems and ideas. The commonplace books were shown to friends for the purpose of sharing inspiration and for copying. Occasionally, Standage added, they were circulated amongst several authors as in the court of Anne Boleyn and served to speculate and to ‘gossip’ on who was whose lover etc.

Only in 1833, Standard argued, did the press achieve the kind of mass distribution we know today, which established a radically different, controlling, and top-down circulation of the news. While in Luther’s time small printers would print, for example, a 1000 copies and remunerate the author by handing him 100 of those, from the 1800s the press was owned by the very wealthy who impose their own version of the news, temporarily overriding social media circuits.

Standage concluded that the social networks of the Really Old Media had essentially allowed for the same kind of synchronisation of opinions we experience today with twitter, blogging and Facebook, and which underpin events like the Arab Spring. Hence, the ‘new social media’ must be considered as a revival of ancient horizontal distribution systems. Current social media have amplified the reach and speed of communication  through new technologies, but they are not a new phenomenon as such. The old coffee houses – hotbeds of ideas and centres of innovation – meanwhile morphed, over time, into new kinds of businesses like insurance brokers, and fuelled collaborations and scientific discoveries.

All of this reminds me that getting together, talking and sharing ideas is absolutely vital for any culture. That was precisely the situation at the beginning of the screendance venture, when Doug Rosenberg, Katrina McPherson and I secured the funding from the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for an international Network in Screendance. The Network fund allowed us to gather a set of key people and to meet twice a year, either in the US or the UK, and to spend a few days together talking. Most crucially the Network fund had not required us to predetermine what exactly we were going to do together! Out of these intensive encounters then came the idea, that we needed a dedicated platform for the publication of debates in the field of Screendance, and that led, a mere six months later, to the launch of the Screendance Journal. It is a great shame that nowadays days most funding proposals require a fully formed plan of action and a whole set of outcomes before one has even started meeting. This disregards how ideas are formed, and how people become productive. Three cheers for the AHRC for keeping up the Network Grant.

For videos of the IT4Arts talks see Information Technologists

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UK Screendance Salon 6/7 April 2016

6 April | CCA, Glasgow and 7 April | Out of the Blue, Edinburgh

Screendance Salon (6-7.30pm) £5.00

A workshop for professionals interested in creating dance works for screen. Join artists and filmmakers involved in Scotland’s growing screendance community. Share your ideas, work-in-progress or completed films and take part in peer-to-peer discussions led by Independent Dance Co-Director, and renowned curator and programmer, Gitta Wigro. To submit a work, please email info@screendance.scot.

Screendance Cinema (8-9.30pm) £5.00 – free for Salon attendees

A screendance cinema curated by Gitta Wigro featuring internationally significant and single screen works. Currently Co-Director of Independent Dance, London, Gitta has curated many international film festivals, including Video Dance Italy, Movement on Screen and VideoDanza,  as well as working in artist development for over 15 years. The evening will finish with a post event discussion and a chance to meet the curator.

For more info, please tel +44 (0) 1309 691661 or email helen@bodysurfscotland.co.uk.

Further INFO @ Bodysurf Scotland

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AFTER DEREN

After Deren is the 3rd issue of the International Journal of Screendance.

It is published by Parallel Press and available online.

Hardcopies have also been printed and can be purchased here;

For any other questions leave a reply here or email:

Claudia Kappenberg, C.Kappenberg@brighton.ac.uk

Douglas Rosenberg, rosend@education.wisc.edu

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Report on 24hr Dance Hack

 

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If one has 24hrs it doesn’t matter if technology fails at some point, as there is plenty of time to fix it. With 24hrs there is  little pressure to ‘perform’, because there enough time for ideas to emerge and things to happen. There is also a chance to get to know the people who have come together, and one can begin a conversation, continue a few hrs later and resumer the next morning over a cup of coffee. There is even enough time to take a nap, and to come back and see where things are at.

It is not surprising that the the digital community has taken a linking to this sort of working; it is communal, fun, enterprising, supportive, and low pressure.

We started at 7pm on Saturday eve and by Sunday morning there were new hacks to explore, responsive systems that could be interacted with and tested through movement, to find the strange edges where it would kick in, or drop out. It was interesting to see that the hacks would initially encourage movement and lots of it, while over time the same hacks could also be explored as to their potential to slow down and to minimise activity. The different possibilities lead to  specific and precise dialogues between technology and body(ies).

This encounter between technologists and movers seems very timely, as otherwise how will we comprehend,  explore and advance was has already become an ubiquitous feature of the everyday, the interactive screens on which we are represented.  Highly recommended.

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24 Hour Dance Hack

I would like to draw your attention to this 24hour Dance Hack on the 21st/22nd September. The event is a collaboration between the University of Brighton and South East Dance, and  part of BRIGHTON DIGITAL. We will have a large theatre space for 24hrs to hang out, think, collaborate and explore . The event will be streamed live via youtube, so you can make and stream work, stand on your head or sit back and observe. We will provide food and drink and a few bits of technology. You can of course bring your own laptops, cameras and other such gadgets.

21st – 22nd September, 7pm to 7pm

University of Brighton, Faculty of Arts,

Grand Parade, Brighton BN2 0JY

Go to BRIGHTON DIGITAL for more info and to book a place.

Hope to see you there.

Claudia Kappenberg

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More Filmaktion at Tate Modern

Horror Film 1

Malcolm Le Grice, 1971, 3 screens, 14 min. performed as part of Filmaktion, The Tanks, Tate Modern, London UK

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Screendance Network meeting, West Philadelphia June 2012

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On the occasion of a conference by the Society of Dance History Scholars (SDHS) in Philadelphia’s Centre for the Arts the Screendance Network met to do some blue-sky thinking for future projects and finding bids, exploring possible activities, residencies, partnerships, symposia and conference interventions, as well as other  publications that might complement the journal. The network was hosted by Ann Cooper Albright at a beautiful old farm, which offered plenty of room for debates, ambling and diversions.

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