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Norsk Festival for Dans Og Film 2012

"We drank wine, watched porno films, danced as though we were dancing contact improv or working for Forsythe, Kylian, Anne Teresa de Keersmaker, " said the charismatic dancer Jordi Cortes Molina about his collaboration with Daniel Munoz in the making of COUP DE GRACE based on two men whose friendship was brought to an abrupt stop - only to be tested again after 40 years. "We tried everything to get to all the layers of the friendship of these two men with their long long history together. Every day, we'd improvise, sometimes for 3 hours straight, continuing until one of us called to stop."

Molina was a font of information and insight about the challenge of making dance films in our Artists Chat, here in the charming city of Haugesund, pop. 25,000, in the Norsk Festival for Dans og Film. Now in its third year, this dance film festival has the distinction of being developed with the support, from its inception, with The Norwegian International Film Festival now in its 40th year. Anne Jorunn Salhus and Rikke W Lie started their Dans Og Film Festival in 2010, but sadly Anne passed that year. The screenings were primarily on the 4 screens of Edda Kino as well as the Maritim Hotel. This year's festival had the distinction of presenting 4 Norwegian premieres with the opening film being KON TIKI.


12249544870?profile=originalThe screening in Haugesund of COUP DE GRACE directed by Clara van Gool, shown at Dance on Camera Festival 2012 in NYC, was a highlight of Dans Og Film, along with the screening of other old favorites such as HORIZON OF EXILE, ONE FLAT THING RE-PRODUCED, and a new short involving a staggering about of post-production from USA,  SOLIPSIST by Andrew Thomas Huang, noted by Creativity Magazine as a Director to Watch. Jordi revealed how close he was to Clara van Gool, with whom he had made 6 films. When he worked for DV8, he made 2 films with David Hinton, STRANGE FISH and TOUCHED. Quite relaxed and warm in person, Jordi often appears imperious and domineering on screen. He confided that he had to learn to do much less for the camera and slow everything down. He currently is fascinated by the idea of body memory, exploring fossils as a catalyst for a new project. He begins in September to direct a documentary in Barcelona about his work with the disabled.

Dans og Film Festival ran August 19-21, 2012, offering screenings, 4 day workshop with Peter Jasko and Milan Herich from the Brüssels based Les Slovaks dance collective, artists chat, and the lecture/screening of my "100 Years of Dance on Camera."

For more information, see

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The dance solo called Paces is part of the Antibodies Cycles, in which Petra Zanki and Britta

Wirthmüller deal with the bodies that “fall through the matrix of what is normally accepted or

valued as possible.” The project focuses on those marginal bodies that are, like some sort

of a Minotaur, pushed far away from the view of others and into the labyrinths of the society,

in order not to disturb the existing social/market/political systems. Thus, the Antibodies Cycle

explores bodies without a defined sex, abandoned bodies, or bodies that suffer violence by

seeking to understand their mode of existence through changes in their own principles of

movements and bodily concepts.


Paces are taking place in the achromatic space of a white studio (as I wached it in rehearsal studio of Zagreb Dance Center), with a dancer dressed in grey. A few plumes of smoke are sufficient to question the visibility of things, to shift space and dissolve the body. Semitransparent projection of a landscape shot through the leaves of grass quivers lightly on the wall, and in its reflection in the mirror. In the second part of the performance it is the minimalist music by Phill Niblock that repeatedly fills the space.


Choreography takes the form of sequences and slight variations of the simplest possible

movement – the sway. At first, it is a slight transfer of weight in which arms are introduced

gradually, followed by the dancer circling around her bodily axis. Upon

exhausting its momentum, the sway moves on to another part of the body, to the arms, the

hips, or the head; at certain moments, it experiences gradation as it draws in the torso and the




The sway and its variations are performed mechanically, in an abstract manner, analytically. Visible, almost tangible is deep and almost mystical concentration of Petra Zanki, who never abandons herself to the movement, allows the movement to take her further into space or into emotion. The pure and precise structure of the choreography remains perfectly minimalistic, even poetical in all its purity and the discreet presence of the dancer.


What is initially experienced as mechanical movement, through duration and

the architecture of sway is transformed into the permanent instability of the visible. In a paradoxical manner typical of minimalism, the alternation of variations and repetitions, brings to the surface, the essential quality of humanity that lies behind the performance.


Paces can be viewed as a work of pure choreographic formalism, or as audio-visual installation,

but also as a performance on the politically engaged subject of body vs. antibodies. But

whatever starting point we may take, Paces always returns to its source, which speaks of the intelectual discipline of authors, and the complexitiy of its approach.  

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Symposium of Practices

Practice Symposium

September 2012, 29 (14-20h) & 30 (10-16h)

@ The Swedish Arts Grants Committee (Konstnärsnämnden)

Maria Skolgata 83, Stockholm

Practice Symposium uses the academic framework of a symposium in a different way by proposing practices instead of papers.

International and Swedish practitioners in choreography and performance are invited to share practices with each other and outside participants:

Eleanor Bauer, Valentina Desideri, Juan Dominguez, Nilo Gallego, Rosalind Goldberg, Sandra Lolax, 

Stina Nyberg, Halla Ólafsdóttir, Petra Sabisch, Manon Santkin and Mårten Spångberg.

The event is open and free for professionals after sign up.

The Practice Symposium gathers practitioners in the field of choreography and performance to share practices with each other and the public. Set up as an encounter of different practices, the Practice Symposium uses the academic framework of a symposium in a different way by proposing practices instead of papers.

In the recent years the notion of practice has frequently occured within the field of choreography, especially when insisting on a development achieved through continuity, a specific form of producing work and sharing experiences as much as a way of challenging knowledge. A practice addresses a particular idea or problem through a process of repetition. Emerging from specific defining parameters, sometimes in view of method, practices produce a know-how that cannot be separated from the particularity of the practice. This particularity arises from its being implicated into a specific materiality: there is no idea without a material expression, as much as there is no knowledge unless it is practiced. Engaging in these experience-based and usage-oriented practices allows for a cooperative knowledge production, where learning, doing and thinking intertwine.

With the guiding idea that each practice produces an intrinsic knowledge by being practically involved in its doing, this symposium of practices invites practitioners in the field of choreography and performance to share their practices.

The two-day Practice Symposium (29-30 September 2012) will take place in the studios at Konstnärsnämnden in Stockholm and consists of two parallel panels of practices. Based on the idea that a practice is done repeatedly, the second day of the symposium will consist of the exact same panels as the previous. Thus, during the symposium, you can either choose to partake in all practices or to do some of them twice.

We invite everyone interested to take part in the Practice Symposium. It is favourable to join the whole weekend but also possible to take part in specific panels. A more detailed program will be published on the website soon.

In order to participate, please sign up by sending an e-mail to including name and a short statement of interest. Please wait for a confirmation.

 The Practice Symposium is hosted by Stina Nyberg, Zoë Poluch, Petra Sabisch and Uri Turkenich in collaboration with The International Dance Programme at The Swedish Arts Grants Committee (Konstnärsnämnden).

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Improvising Androgyny

There are several reasons why the performance Insignificant Others (learning to look sideways) by young Austrian dance artist An Kaler was worth seeing, even twice.

For the start, it is performed by three dancers (Antonija Livingstone, Alex Baczynski-Jenkins and An Kaler herself) whose skills as dancers are outstanding. By skills, I don’t mean only control of the body, but the physical and emotional investment in their physical actions, what as a result takes this performance to the more complex level than its initial structure proposes.   Watching for an hour three persons moving the way those three move, was captivating and inspiring.

The format of this work offered an authentic experience: the starting point for the audience wasn't the starting point for the performers. At first we hear their footsteps as they run towards the stage door. They storm on the stage, visibly exhausted and sweaty, and they slowly calm down, facing each other, always looking sideways. They take their time.

The flow of the performance and its dynamics were slowly picking up to the maximum and dissolving again into almost nothing, to rise again to the extreme intensity. There were several endings and long periods of hesitation. The code of choreography is not very complex – dancers share the space, but they don’t watch each other. They improvise alone, but always in relation to another. Sometimes they take movements from one another as an impetuous; sometimes they share the energy, and the other time the stillness. Nothing much happens, but intensity of being together is another memorable premise of Insignificant Others.

The „choreography“ was improvised what resulted in the feel of suspense. The concentration/awareness/presence that was needed to deliver improvised movement on this level of speed, energy, clarity and aesthetic coherence is an evidence serious intervention during the rehearsal period. The alertness of performers was transferred to the spectators thus nobody in the room knew what is going to happen next. And yes – there were some unexpected, risky, quite impressive instant movement solutions going on.

The question of androgyny, much talked about in relation to this work, is the point where this performance becomes more than well done movement research. How is that achieved in an abstract movement improv? (Most people wear jeans, t-shirts and boots, but they don't make gender trouble.)

My suggestion is that the androgyny in Insignificant Others was constructed primarily through the movement material and use of space; while Antonija Livingstone tends to use more compact movements, throws and head swings, Alex Baczynski-Jenkins insists in extreme turned-out leg work, beck bends and long and open lines of the arms. (Whether these movement choices are intentional or not, is irrelevant). In the way our culture works long limbs, flexible hips and light body are perceived as „feminine“ categories and athletic, compact, direct body as “male”. I am not trying to say that he “danced as a woman” and she “as a man”, but that the gender identity can be manipulated in such a marginal thing as the difference between parallel or turned out position and corporeity of a dancer.

The other point is the way dancers positioned themselves towards each other in the space. Most of the time (at the first performance in ImPulsTanz Vienna 2012) Livingstone and Baczynski-Jenkins appear to be the driving force, both of them performing with self-assurance and strong personal style. As the “third”, An Kaler was hiding from the „spotlights“. As much as her energy and dancing skills were equal to the others, her movement was more inward orientated, her presence was demure, and she was using rhetorically „weaker“ spaces on the stage, as if she was hiding. That intentionally understated presence, combined with aggressive even self-destructive movement style, boyish costume and haircut, underlined the gender play.

And the last point –

although they didn’t look in the eyes of each other,

although they danced isolated from each other,

although they didn’t touch or do synchronized sequence,

they were together.

The performers of Insignificant Others (learning to look sideways) created deep connection with each other  and that connection, that feeling of caring for the person moving next to you is something worth seeing and keeping in the memory.



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Moving into Jitter

After 12 years in audio-only apps for end users, I'm moving over into multimedia, which is a new field for me. Previously I had written here on the difficulties of programming MAX/MSP Jitter, for which now there are a wide number of University courses now (including ones taught by my younger brother). It's possible you could find what you need there, but if not, and you're seeking video effects for your dance recordings, I'll be glad to hear from you.

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