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Research Studios - general overview
Research Studios is a program for choreographers, performance makers and dramaturges, who wish to research and develop their choreographic language, ideas and skills.
In this program, individual work and collective research are linked. The participants follow a common program with workshops, seminars and masterclasses, which take up approximately 40% of the working time. Next tot his, they have time and space to develop their own research and creation and get mentoring support.
Each edition of the Research Studios has a general theme, which is developed in three separate blocks of 4 months each, where a duo of coordinators formulates a research question and organizes a program around it with a series of international artists, researchers and scholars, who come to work with the participants for periods between 1 day and several consecutive weeks.
The research topics are meant to feed the individual and collective artistic practice of the participants. These practices do not become artistic examples or applications of the research topics, but they will inevitably enter into dialogue with them.
Next to the common program, the participants can work on their own creations and research. In the weeks with common program, they can use studio time in the mornings, evenings and weekends, and during each block there are 4-5 weeks, which are completely dedicated to creation work. The coordinators are the main coaches for the development of the full artistic trajectories of the participants.
The program does not offer a separate track for dramaturges. The dramaturges are engaged in all the activities, but with their specific perspective and methodologies, except that they can collaborate with the choreographers in the creative work, rather than author their own performances. Research Studios is an environment that offers space for dramaturgical reflection and the development of dramaturgical practices.
Research Studios will work with a group of 12 participants, 9-10 choreographers and performance makers and 2-3 dramaturges. We aim at people who have an MA diploma in dance/choreography/performing arts /dramaturgy/performance studies and/or have started their professional career.
PARTS is looking for people who value experimentation and collaboration, who are interested to associate their own research and questioning to the topic proposed and the research of the other participants.
The Research Studios pilot #2 takes place in three blocks of 4 months each, with 6-8 weeks time off in between the blocks. During these periods, it is a fulltime program with approximately 40% of masterclasses/ seminars/ workshops… (usually in the afternoons, 4,5h per day) and 60% of individual working time.
In the periods between blocks participants can continue working independently on their projects in the PARTS studios.??
The program does not include dance training classes, but participants can join the morning classes of the Training Cycle if they wish.
Research Studios Pilot #2: Choreography - performance - sound - music (August 24, 2015 -> December 15, 2016)
The program of pilot#2 consists of three clusters of 4 months each. Each cluster starts from a specific research question introduced by the coordinators, approaching the broad field of choreography and music from historical, compositional, metaphorical, philosophical or creative perspectives.
Each cluster consists of workshops, seminars, master classes and lectures by the coordinators and invited choreographers, theoreticians, composers etc., and provides ample studio time to develop choreographic practices close or less close to the research topic. Generally, every afternoon has 4,5 hours of workshop or seminar, while the rest of the day can be used for preparations, development of own work, etcetera. Each cluster has 4-5 weeks which are completely free for the development of personal work.
The final cluster will be concluded with public presentations of works created throughout the programme.
Cluster #1: Polyphony of voices, polyphony of spaces, polyphony of fields - conceived and guided by Alain Franco and deufert&plischke (August 24 - December 18, 2015)
Cluster #2: Time and rhythm - conceived and guided by Bojana Cvejić and Tom Engels (February 1 - May 27, 2016)
Cluster #3: On the musical body - conceived and guided by Tom Pauwels and Gabriel Schenker (August 22 - December 15, 2016), with the partiicpation of the students of the Advanced Master Contemporary Music of KASK, Ghent.
Every art domain has its History, its Historicity and its specificity, and the academic studies have been of course reflecting this evidence over the past decades for modern art forms as it has over the past centuries for the more established ones (f.i the concept of « Fine Arts »).
But as soon as we dig into the history of Music, we need to acknowledge developments that – to say it in one sentence – have put a question as to repetition and stability in the first place.
The autonomisation of composition (i.e of Art altogether) has relaunched many questions as to the heritage and the relevance of Fine Arts. I want therefore to focus primarily on the conditions of dance and music in the perspective of autonomy and mutual influence and this is by the way something that has been practiced intensively in music : it was called « counterpoint » and has been one of the essential tools to develop polyphony.I would like therefore to « recycle » that appellation and use it as a generic term for my seminar that would like to announce as follow : "Polyphony of voices, polyphony of spaces, polyphony of fields"
More information will be added later
TIME OF DANCING - TIME OUT OF PROGRESS - TIME AND POP - TIME-IMAGES IN CINEMA AND DANCE - SOCIAL CHOREOGRAPHY OF RHYTHM - DURATION AND RHYTHMANALYSIS
Hit me with your rhythm stick / Hit me slowly, hit me quick./ Hit me… Hit me now…
The counterpart of the spatial dimension of figure in a geometrical approach to dance are time and rhythm, often foregrounded as the defining characteristics of dance in its dynamic dimension: the rhythmic pattern of the moving body. In the first place, dance owes its conception of rhythm to music: the organization of patterns comprising strong and weak beats within a pace of the flow of time (metric pulse, tempo). The exploration of rhythms and tempi from within time which is regulated by music is then composed with the biological sense of corporal rhythms (e.g. breathing in release technique, walking in pedestrian movement). While it traditionally harks back to the historical marriage between music and dance, rhythm affords an instrument for a study of the parameter of time in a broad, expanded and transdisciplinary sense of artistic practice and critical analysis. For the performing arts as time-based arts, rhythm and time are a matter of composing and manipulating attention and experience; they refer to the relative sensation of time accelerated, contracted or condensed, expanded or dilated, as if time in a metaphysical sense didn’t exist.
Two additional lines of thought intersect in the problem of rhythm in a wider sense. Firstly, it is the ancient Greek etymology of rhuthmos as “a form of moving” together with the social anthropological perspective of “man as a rhythmic animal” (Marcel Mauss). Secondly, it is “the inextricable link between power and rhythm. What power imposes in the first place is a rhythm (rhythm of everything – life, time, thought, discourse)” (Roland Barthes). Thus, an investigation of rhythm from the viewpoint of bodily movement doesn’t stop at the aesthetic play of sensations in the creation and the spectator’s experience of a dancing body. It passes through all other domains in which the manner of flow – of bodies, language, images, events, noise and intensity – can be observed. Throughout the 20th century, a characteristic expression of homorhythmy has been registered as the blueprint of modern industrial capitalism, most prominently the rhythm of the “human machine” in Rudolph Laban’s study of effort after Taylorism, or the theory of managing workers’ movements on the assembly line.
Today both performance and work are far from stomping unisono in the same rhythm and cadence. Working and performing in post-industrial post-Fordist society resembles more an attempt to dance ¬ex tempore and conceal a choreographic script or score in improvisation as a form of individuation. The virtuosity of multitasking and nomadism in life and work styles parallels the sophisticated forms of polyrhythmy in contemporary dance and performance.
We don’t know enough about the rhythms in which we dance, produce, consume, or gather today. It takes a transdisciplinary effort from a heterogeneous set of perspectives to study temporality and develop rhythms beyond those we are familiar with. Therefore, the bloc TIME AND RHYTHM is conceived as an intensive period of research in theoretical study and practical experiment with artists and thinkers who have explored a variety of expressions and problems of time and rhythm in their work. It includes
- seminars in the theories of time and rhythm: “time out of progress” (on labor and projective time, with Bojana Kunst, Giessen); social anthropology of rhythm (Pascal Michon); time in the philosophy of pop culture (Diderich Diderichsen); time-images in contemporary dance, performance and cinema (Bojana Cvejić, Brussels)
- workshops and collective studio sessions with choreographers (Eszter Salamon, Nikolina and Goran Sergej Pristaš, Mårten Spångberg, composers (tba) and theatermakers (Tim Etchells)
- creation time of students (5 weeks without curated program)
…time accelerated anachronous circular contemporary contracted dead delayed diachronic dilated disrupted fragmented heterochronous historical hypersynchronized linear ontological organic out-of-joint projective psychological synchronous…
In recent decades various choreographers have become interested in musical notation as a means for developing new methodologies. In the opposite direction, composers within 'New Music’ have increasingly been engaging the music-making-body, incorporating physical movement as a material for composition. Given that we now that have a significant body of choreographic works engaging notation and likewise a significant body of music work engaging movement, we can now ask: what can musicians learn from the way choreographers approach notation, and what can dancers learn from the way musicians approach movement? And as choreographers/dancers and composers/musicians are often working together in creating interdisciplinary works, another question is: does the performance of such new works need a new type of performer with skill sets from both mediums? We will explore such issues, investigate a number of works and frameworks, which will serve as the starting point for the creation of new interdisciplinary work.
In his book 'Composing under the skin, The Music-making Body at the Composer's Desk' (Orpheus Institute Series, 2014) Belgian composer Paul Craenen argues that in classical music the body of the musician, the music-making-body, finds expression through the instrument at the same time that it searches for the expression of the instrument itself; a double sort of expression. states: “The performative dimension of the classical music performance unfolds at the intersection of an expressive extension of the music-making body by means of an instrument, and a music-making body that seeks intimacy with the instrument: a body that wishes, as it were, to make the instrument itself resound optimally". Later on, and of particular interest to us, he writes: "If the performative aspect of playing music should indeed partly be sought in the tension described between expression and appropriation, the resistance of the instrument is no longer to be considered interference to be neutralised: on the contrary, it forms a basis that helps to inspire musical action and reaction." These are thoughts that emphasize the importance of musical performance for the development of compositional praxis insofar as they include a new dimension to the above mentioned double expression: the bodies of the performers.
Craenen’s book traces recent approaches to work focussing on the body within new music composition:
A vast array of contemporary choreographers have been producing work that questions anew the old relationship between choreography and music, between movement and sound. The approaches are extremely eclectic in kind and aesthetics. In Xavier Le Roy’s work on Helmut Lachenmann’s music, the musical performance becomes abstracted into a gestural one. In Thomas Hauert’s collaboration with composer Dick Van Der Harst, dance becomes the score for musical composition. In the work of Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion, their bodies often perform in the edge between musicians and dancers bodies. Such choreographic approaches, in combination with approaches coming from new music, redefine the borders and open a new field of relations between movements of sounds and bodies.
This cluster will be developed in collaboration with the Advanced Master Contemporary Music of the Ghent Conservatory (KASK) - it is a joint trajectory for choreogrpahers, dramaturges, composers and musicians.
More information will be added later.
Research Studios – first pilot program (February – June 2015)
From 2017 on, PARTS redefines its Research program into Research Studios, an advanced education project for young choreographers and dramaturges/theoreticians. In 2015-2016, the program will be split up in two independent pilot projects: Pilot #1 is a 4-month project on the study of the choreographic work of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (February – June 2015). Pilot #2 is a 12-month program investigating the possible relations between choreographic writing and music and the development of the personal work of the participants (August 2015 – November 2016).
Although they share a focus on choreographic composition and music, both pilot programs are independent. One can apply for both, but they have a separate selection process. The selection for pilot 1 happens in October-November 2014, for pilot 2 January – March 2015.
The PARTS Research Cycle under its previous definition was active between 2000 and 2014, as a program that connected directly to the PARTS Training Cycle (then 2 years), but also open to people who had obtained a BA degree elsewhere.
The new Research Studios program aims for participants who are already a few steps further in their development: they have finished their main studies on MA level or they want to deepen their creative tools in an educational program after having worked professionally for some time. Whereas the previous Research Cycle engaged both dancers/performers and choreographers/makers, the Research Studios program wants to focus on choreographers/makers, and also attracts a small number of dramaturges/theoreticians.
Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, who is the founder and director of PARTS, has been active on the professional dance scene since 1982, when she debuted with Fase. Four movements to the music of Steve Reich, which is seen as one of the cornerstones of the then fresh genre of contemporary dance in Western Europe. She quickly broke through internationally, and has been touring the world with the Rosas company which she founded in 1983 (to produce her second piece Rosas Danst Rosas). More than thirty years later, her oeuvre counts almost 50 works, from solo to large-scale ensemble pieces. (for a full overview, see www.rosas.be)
Almost all of this work is built on a profound connection with and detailed study of music, ranging from the medieval Ars subtilior over classics such as Bach and Mozart to contemporary composers, and touching on pop music, jazz and Indian classical music.
A second general trait of her work is the intricate and detailed composition of her choreographies – often in close connection to the musical composition it relates to, but also referring to many other compositional tools and systems.
Since 2012, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Bojana Cvejic (dramturg, theorist, theory teacher at PARTS) have published three volumes in the book series ‘A Choreographer’s Score’. This is a book and dvd collection in which De Keersmaeker unfolds the composition and working methods of some of the key works in her career. The first book focuses on the Early Works from the 1980’s. A second book was published on En attendant/ Cesena, a diptych on medieval music created less than 5 years ago. The third book is published in September 2014 and dives into the major group pieces Drumming and Rain on the music of Steve Reich, created about 15 years ago.
Following the intention of this book series, the program of the Research Studios Pilot #1 seeks to give a detailed insight into a body of work, and to experiment with ways these tools can be activated/re-used/transformed in other artistic practices, other artistic visions. The Research Studios Pilot #1 program is not a repertoire project where one learns to perform the works. The Research Studios is a program which aims to do a detailed and critical study of the work of De Keersmaeker, with the intention to activate its tools in other contexts, so that they can feed the processes of the artists who participate in it.
The program of Pilot #1 will be divided in six blocks: four blocks revolve around the study of a certain cluster of Rosas works, a fifth one is a philosophical seminar that broadens the question of dance, history and creation, the final block is aimed to round off the personal transformations and inspirations of the participants.
The first three blocks will have a similar structure. Each block consists of approx. 15 sessions. In each block, 5 sessions of each of the following perspectives are offered:
- lecture and discussions on the compositional methods and their contexts as presented in the book series presentations
- discussions and masterclasses related to the relevant music of the works studied, including study of the scores and contextualization
- studio sessions where a number of the compositional tools are put in practice and experimented with.
The fourth block has a similar structure, but takes as starting point the project Work – Travail – Arbeid, an exhibition project in which De Keersmaeker transposes the recent work Vortex Temporum to the museum space, which take place during the pilot project in the Wiels contemporary art center, very close to PARTS (see www.wiels.org).
In the fifth block, philosopher and dance researcher Franz Anton Cramer will lead a theoretical seminar tackling the questions of history, the archive, dance and performance today. Developing a theoretical background for the study of past work and how it can relate to contemporary and future creativity.
In the sixth block, the participants have time to pull together a number of threads they will have started developing during the previous sessions, and create a sketch of an artistic and of a theoretical work, which they will present and discuss in the final week.
Next to this program, there will also be one-off lectures, performance visits and discussion panels.
As an extra (not part of the curriculum), there is the opportunity to go to Paris in the last two weeks of June, where the Centre National de la Danse organizes a two-week gathering of students from different dance schools in Europe, where they share their work and thoughts about artistic practice.
Most artists who will lead the sessions at the Research Studios are dancers, choreographers, composers and musicians who have a close and active relationship with the work of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and develop their own artistic practice next to it.
So far, the following people have confirmed their participation:
Bios will be published soon on the teachers page.
New names will be added as they are confirmed.
The three main goals of the project are UNDERSTANDING – HANDLING – POSITIONING, and feature in different ways throughout the different workshops and seminars.
Understanding: developing knowledge of the concepts and practices at hand and their concepts
The working sessions take the form of seminars, masterclasses, workshops and invididual work and group work. In most sessions, a certain preparation from the participants’ side will be assumed, and tasks will be given to develop for the next session (reading, writing, choreographic development).
The collective work sessions take place in the afternoon between 13.30 and 18.30.
In the mornings, the participants have time to prepare for the afternoon sessions or work on tasks with a longer deadline or participate in the dance classes of the Training program.
In the last three weeks of the project, participants will work on finishing the tasks and developing a final presentation that weaves different threads together, putting the insights developed during the program at the service of their own artistic work. Because the creation period is short, the outcome might be sketches and models of performances, rather than full productions.
In the final week, the results will be presented internally and discussed among the participants and the artistic team of Research Studios.