East Asia – Form and tradition


Rethinking Form and Tradition
All artistic disciplines develop in complex ways, pushed further by contrasting and opposite forces, in an irregular progression whose trajectory can be explained only in retrospect.
Amongst these forces, the tension between innovation and conservation is a constant pattern and, at its centre, lays “tradition”: what has been passed on to artists and they are expected to pass on; also what they crave to break free from, dismantle, tear down, rediscover, reinterpret, reinvent. In the context of dance, it is mainly “Form” (rather than “Content”) to be the vessel in which tradition is transmitted.
The cyclical, intermittent disposition towards Tradition and Form displays different features in different contexts: geographical, cultural, historical. One generation of dance artists can rebel against their Tradition for specific reasons, only to invert their direction later in their career. Dance artists from specific areas or cultural backgrounds may hold on to a certain Form as a statement, while others may feel squashed or hindered by the same Form.

Starting from the theme of form in relation to tradition, the path is divided into a first part consisting of a participatory workshop (from June to September 2020) which brings together artists from Italy and East Asia. The work between Francesca Foscarini and Giovanfrancesco Giannini (Italy), Er Gao (China), Noel Pong (Hong Kong), Jereh Leung (Singapore), Anindita Gosh (India), Albert Garcia (Macao), followed by junior operators Fabrizio Massini (dramaturg) and Giulia Poli (tutor) and senior operators Antonella Cirigliano (Lis Lab) and Simonetta Pusceddu (Tersicorea), takes place remotely using tools such as Zoom, WhatsApp and Google Drive.
The artists involved are invited to a conversation that takes ‘tradition’ and ‘form’ as starting points for a transnational dialogue, aware that these two terms, while being central in all contexts, assume vastly different meanings, roles and influences in each of them. By inviting artists to share their own artistic research and, at the same time, contextualising it within their personal training and cultural milieu, we intend to create a “shared lexicon” to communicate with each other. Like observing a prism from different angles, we aim to have a wider perspective on these key concepts, and thus enrich everyone’s artistic and expressive vocabulary.
In addition to this online shared work, artists will also be asked to work individually for the production of other material (short videos, texts, etc.) which will be shared with the group and will form an “archive” for the development of the project.
At the end of this remote work, each artist will produce a final work which will include a short choreography but other media and forms are also welcome.
In the second part of the path, the artists will present their works live and share their laboratory experience.














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