East Asia – Form


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.

As part of CRISOL, this participatory workshop gathers artists from Far East Asia and Italy. We invite 6 artists to join a conversation around Tradition and Form as a departure point for transnational dialogue. We recognise that these 2 terms, while being central in all our milieus, assume vastly different meanings, roles, and influence 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 aim 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.
This process will, in turn, constitute the basis for the following steps of CRISOL. With the long-term goal of discovering different modes of co-creation, and produce transnationally-informed, yet locally-grounded, contemporary dance work.


Workshop Overview
June 2020 – March 2021

The workshop will be managed using the following tools: Zoom (for plenum and working sessions), WhatsApp & E-mail (for regular communication within the group), Google Drive (to upload and share content with the group).

Plenum session (on-line): 2 hours
In the first half of this introductory session, the project’s partners and the dramaturg will welcome the artists, and together we will discuss expectations and wishes for the project. In the second part, dramaturg and artists will discuss the workshop’s structure and working mode.

Working sessions (on-line): 6 sessions, 2 hours each)
Sessions will be divided in two parts. During Part 1 of each session, one artist will briefly introduce their artistic research, creative method, and current area(s) of interest; the group, in an open discussion, will ask questions and provide feedback. During Part 2 the group, facilitated by the dramaturg, will explore the main theme of the workshop (Form & Tradition) discussing different topics in each session. The three aspects (artist presentations, main theme, specific topics) will not be treated independently but in relation to each other.

Individual work (off-line)
Between each session, artists will be asked to work independently. The dramaturg will provide in advance some selected material (study-pack) introducing the topic to be discussed in the following session. Other individual work includes the production of material (i.e. short videos, writing, etc) that can be shared with the other artists, or activities (i.e. tasks, exercises etc) that can be performed online during the working sessions. This material, besides guiding us forward through the workshop, will create a “reservoir” which will be most useful, for both documenting the project (on-line archive) as well as laying the ground for future developments (i.e. co-creations/co-productions).

Final work (on-line)
Each artist will be asked to produce a final work as the result of their research within the workshop. In general, the work is expected to include a short choreography (max. 10 minutes), but other media and forms are also welcome; its form will be discussed between artists and the dramaturg.

Gathering & public activities (on-site)
Live gathering, the location and time of which will be decided by the project partners in the upcoming months. During the live event, the artists will be asked to present their final works, and to share their experience of the workshop in an event open to the public. Other activities can include round-table discussion between the artists, open discussion (moderated) with the audience, live streaming of the event.







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