Archive: Research Studios 2017-2018
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P.A.R.T.S. Research Studios 2017-2018 was a full-time programme dedicated to intensive artistic investigation and creation. It was aimed at dance-makers, both choreographers and performers who wish to engage in an intensive activity of creation in collaboration with others.

Between 2015 and 2018, P.A.R.T.S. has been experimenting with pilot projects of various lengths to define a new structure and approach for the Research Studios. In 2017-18, this has been in the form of a 13-month programme that ran between September 2017 and the end of September 2018.

From 2019-2020 onwards, the Research Studios program will be replaced by the Studios programme.

Research Studios 2017-18: movement x sound x word

The crisscross of sound, word, and movement has had a substantial legacy in 20th century experiments in music, performance art and dance. More recently, poetry has re-emerged in dance and visual art in various anti spectacular expressions in which the poetic use of language has renewed imagination beyond an instrumental trade in ideas. Comparably, contemporary music explores a new imaginary of sound through the ethnomusicological study of tuning, reinventing instruments and situations in which sound and bodily movement are composed in studio. Thus, current experiments in music and poetry converge in listening, in both literal and figurative senses of the word: in temporalizing perception and thought, opening up an attitude of reception, and delving into what is not immediately given, into what is opaque or ambiguous, or requires closer inspection and longer reflection.

How do we envision relationships between choreography and text today? Between choreographed movement and composed sound? What are the current experiments involving spoken word, gesture, voice, sound, music and movement in performance? What is the allure of poetry today and how does poetry pierce contemporary dance? How can we re-imagine and re-tool more exacting relations between movement and sound, sound and word, movement and word? How to mobilize the experimental legacy of ethnomusicology in shaping music and sound together with movement? Does the dancing body have the expressive power to speak and tell beyond itself? What do we mean when we perform in the first person singular, and what do we stand for when we say the plural “we”? These will be some of the questions in the focus as we investigate reflective orality/aurality.

The coordinators of this programme, the performance theorist and musicologist Bojana Cvejić and the musician and dramaturg Alain Franco have devised a one-year long trajectory of research inputs from a number of guests invited to give workshops, seminars and lectures. Among the invited choreographers, dancers, composers, musicologists, philosophers and writers are Michael Beil, Jonathan Burrows, Mette Edvardsen, Tristan Garcia, Mette Ingvartsen, Janne-Camilla Lyster, Luk Vaes, Kristien Van den Brande, Myriam Van Imschoot & Marcus Bergner, Daniel Linehan & Stefan Prins, and François Nicolas. Each guest will unfold a particular approach, a set of ideas and materials. In addition to the collective research practice they will carry out, Cvejić and Franco will maintain the consistency and continuity of the collective thematic platform in which the research projects of the participants are embedded.

Candidates are invited to apply on the basis of specific artistic interest in exploring choreography/dance/performance in relation to experimental music and poetry. Their research projects should be thematically linked and sourced from the investigation of reflective orality/aurality. The aim of the programme is to provide an opportunity for an in-depth investigation of a choreographic and performance problem related to the topic of study. Thus, the programme extends the research phase prior to production in order to sharpen the focus and investigate thoroughly the possibilities the artist will later realise in creation after the end of the programme. The outcomes of the research could be one of the following:

- material propositions with respect to the formulated research questions/problems;- a lecture-demonstration;- a written account (diverse textual formats, essay, scores and so on);- a presentation in another medium than live performance (e.g. sound, video);- a short, small-scale piece as a first step in the creation of a performance.

Practically, the programme is organised on a weekly basis into workshops and seminars (3-5 days long) and open research periods of open research during which the content and practices of the workshops and seminars can be digested and transformed into self-directed individual or collective research. Participants are strongly encouraged to collaborate with each other in order to make efficient use of the available studio and working time. The coordinators divide the task of supervising individual/collective research, accompanying and supporting the participants over the entire period. The supervision also includes studio visits by the invited guests. The time for the completion of the final outcome is extended over summer, allowing the participants more extracurricular time, mostly outside P.A.R.T.S., for their research work. The programme is concluded in the final presentations and feedback sessions in September 2018.

Coordinators of the Research Studios programme 2017-2018: Bojana Cvejić and Alain Franco

Bojana Cvejić
, born in Belgrade (Serbia), is a performance theorist and performance maker based in Brussels. She is a co-founding member of TkH editorial collective with whom she has realized many projects and publications. Cvejić received her PhD in philosophy from the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, London and MA and BA degrees in musicology and aesthetics from the Faculty of Music, University of the Arts, Belgrade.

Her latest books are Choreographing Problems: Expressive Concepts in European Contemporary Dance and Performance (Palgrave, 2015), Drumming & Rain: A Choreographer’s Score, co-written with A.T. De Keersmaeker (Mercator, Brussels, 2014), Parallel Slalom: Lexicon of Nonaligned Poetics, co-edited with G. S. Pristaš (TkH/CDU, Belgrade/Zagreb, 2013) and Public Sphere by Performance, co-written with A. Vujanović (b_books, Berlin, 2012). She has been (co-)author, dramaturge or performer in many dance and theater performances since 1996, with a.o. Jan Ritsema, Xavier Le Roy, Eszter Salamon, Mette Ingvartsen, and Christine De Smedt.

In 2013, Cvejić curated the exhibition Danse-Guerre at Musée de la danse, Rennes (in collaboration with C. Costinas) in the frame of which she made videos two videos …in a non-wimpy way (with Steve Paxton) and Yvonne Rainer’s WAR (co-authored with L. Laberenz). In 2014, she devised a choreography and lecture program titled Spatial Confessions for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.

Cvejić teaches at various dance and performance programs in Europe and has been recently appointed as Professor of Philosophy of Art for the doctoral studies at Faculty for Media and Communication, University Singidunum in Belgrade. Her current research focuses on social choreography, technologies and performances of the self, and time and rhythm in performance poetics and Post-Fordist modes of production.

Alain Franco studied music at the conservatories of Brussels, Liège, Antwerp and achieved a DEA master in Music and Music history of the 20th century at the IRCAM-EHESS Institute in Paris. From 1989 until 1993 Franco was the permanent conductor of ensemble Champ d’Action and collaborated with Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt), Ictus (Brussels), the National Orchestra of Belgium, the Orchestra of Lyon’s Opera House and Ah Ton ensemble (Oldenburg), among others. He collaborated closely with composers such as Karel Goeyvaerts, Hugues Dufourt, Philippe Schoeller, Serge Verstockt, Kaija Saariaho, Heiner Goebbels, Jonathan Harvey, Enno Poppe, Benoît Mernier, Kris Defoort, Denis Bosse, Walter Hus, ...

In addition to his practice as a musician he developed an original reflection on theatrical issues regarding stage representation and practice, which lead him to collaborate with performers, theatre directors and choreographers, such as Dito'Dito, De Parade, Needcompany, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Meg stuart, Romeo Castellucci, Isabel Schad, Loïc Touzé, Etienne Guilloteau, Benjamin Vandewalle, Deufert & Plischke and others. He co-authored the piece 'Zeitung' with Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker in 2007.

He has been teaching at the Akademie der Künste and HZT in Berlin and at P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels.

In 2014-2015, he worked on a 5-part lecture performance series for the Volksbühne Berlin, the performance of the entirety of ‘Das Wohltemperierte Klavier’ of JS Bach, and different other projects in Brussels, Berlin and other places.