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Every Tuesday between 16 October and 27 November, the Crossing Borders talks feature practitioners whose work understands movement and embodiment through a variety of different forms. This year we invite two speakers in conversation to share their process and practice in relation to the notion of making change: how we acknowledge the past whilst imagining the future.
16 October | Invitation to Begin (Again) | Lucy Cash and Fiona Wright
How to begin? Or begin again? How to work with just the right amount of freedom from what has come before and what may well come after? How to take time and timing as material to work with, how to practice without expectation, to find clarity within uncertainty?
Invitation to Begin (Again) will roam across these ideas, probing and playing with art-making as forms of resistance and resilience; constraint as a creative catalyst. The artists will combine talking with doing, offering reflections on their own work and that of others. The intention is to share the room and make space for contemplating practices which embrace impermanence. “Everything we do is done by invitation. That invitation comes either from oneself or another person.” John Cage.
23 October | Maintaining spectacular non-progress | Heni Hale, Marina Collard and Nicola Conibere
Discussions about time, waste, visibility and cleaning, following two very different projects.
Marina and Heni question how the mundane everyday maintenance of our lives can become reframed within a practice of artistic enquiry. They discuss Dream Clean Clean Dream focussing on cleaning, its choreographic and aesthetic potentials as well as the inherent gendered political issues of an unseen workforce. A video project that examines the running of a B& B in France they aim to raise questions, such as where does the dirt go, how much of ‘clean’ is an illusion, are we erasing traces of previous lives?
Nicola introduces House Services, a research project inspired by the body in states of excess, created at a time of national austerity. Working with a range of collaborators, her research has led to questions about acts of maintenance, wasted energy and proposals for not progressing.
30 October | Choreo-reading: between knowledge and life | Efrosini Protopapa and Susanne Foellmer
If choreography is usually perceived as an act of writing (dance), what does it mean for making to be understood through the notion of reading? How does the choreographic engage in the present with what is already there, the past, the historical, but also the forgotten or irretrievable?
Taking our cue from Friedrich Nietzsche, who wrote on the positive dimension of forgetfulness, we will attempt a performative dialogue that explores choreography’s potential to playfully oscillate between the remembered and the irretrievable, the unforgettable and the inaccessible. How could a purposeful confusion of temporalities through choreo-reading encourage an active forgetfulness, per Nietzsche’s provocation, which actually enables some sort of historical understanding?
We will engage with these ideas by bringing into the space fragments from our own and others’ work, combining showing and telling, reading and reflecting.
6 November | Don’t stop ’til you feel it: explorations in environmental empathy | Kat Austen and Rosemary Lee
Kat Austen: “For almost my entire life, I have been perplexed at my/our inaction towards climate change and what we couch as environmental damage. Inundated with scientific data, reportage, an overwhelming scientific consensus of not only the phenomenon, but also our part in it, I wonder about why we are not only reluctant to act, but incapable of it. My work focusses on aiming to answer the question: when we know so much already, what do we need to know in order to live more compassionately with/in the world and, most importantly, how do we need to know it?
To this end, I am particularly interested in the role of emotion in our relationship to climate change. One of the ways in which I research this is to focus on modes of engendering empathy, particularly in terms of acting with and upon the body. I create musical, sound and sculptural works and participatory practices that intervene with the minded-body in different ways, aiming to generate new types of empathy with that which we consider “other” to ourselves – be it another species or another ecosystem.”
Rosemary Lee: “Often rooted in our relationship to landscape, my practice of care and empathy has a deeply human focus. I am curious about the individual and the ensemble or collective, the creating of a community and illustration of it in the works themselves, the way the work engages a knowing audience in comparison to someone who stumbles across it, the responsibility I have for the casts and the audiences experience, the role language plays in facilitating movement and how our physical and sensorial knowing of the world shapes language. An embodied understanding of our environment, whether through touch, sensory activation or or re-imagination is a form of gentle radicalism -politically and artistically. I am curious about care as a state, a felt experience and how imagination, thought, opinion and action might be affected by it. I suggest that care is infectious and familiar and can be awoken in us at any moment, how to value it and hold onto it is the challenge.”
13 November | We Are Fucked | Jo Bannon and Maddy Costa
Delving into questions and provocations from from the origins of Jo Bannon’s latest project We Are Fucked we will discuss what it means to be a heterosexual woman, and consider Jo’s experiences as a disabled person, as the lens through which she looks from within in a patriarchal society. How do these concerns sit within our currently changing political climate: living with a Tory government; Brexit; looking at the changes to reproduction rights that are happening in America and lots of other places?
Gradually the project has become about this idea of relentless penetration; on a personal, bodily and intimate level but also on a wider political level. Are we equally penetrated by our Facebook feed as we are by a dubious sexual encounter? We’re living in an age of being so permeable and so receptive to our exterior context and environment that it’s like a relentless onslaught into our personal identities. So it has moved into a bigger question of what penetrates us socially, personally and politically.
20 November | Shaking/Crossing/Weaving |Thomas Kampe and Simonetta Alessandri
Thomas Kampe and Simonetta Alessandri will talk about their experiments in negotiating borders between their work as Feldenkrais practitioners and dance artists. Drawing on experience of working in choreographic and educational contexts, they propose an unruly and nuanced practice of developing presence and the ability to question and re-form behaviour as a creative process of embodied inquiry. Their dialogue will address a thinking about emancipatory somatic/dance histories, and issues regarding embodied agency and dignified personhood embedded in the Feldenkrais Method that inform their dance practice.
27 November | Moving Kinship: choreography, performance & the politics of everyday life | Beatrice Allegranti and Jon Silas
This conversation presents interdisciplinary choreographic, dance movement psychotherapy and neuroscientific practice, research and activism with people living with young onset dementia, their families and the artistic team Beatrice Allegranti Dance Theatre. Informed by feminist new materialism and cognitive neuroscience, we will explore the ethics and politics of creating dance not only for an audience but with and through audiences. As such, we propose ‘moving kinship’ as an integrated artistic practice that enables us to think about human and more-than-human-bodies and worlds simultaneously. We will include performative vignettes as ways to think through kinship with/in the choreographic process, performance and, for the living of everyday life.
Crossing Borders began in 2009, and has been running annually ever since. To listen to previous talks, by artists and scientists including Raimund Hoghe and Franko B, Ros Warby, Tim Ingold, and Eva Karczag, visit our audio recordings collection.