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Creative Practice for Contemporary Dance

This six-day online workshop brings together emerging choreographers interested in broadening their understanding of composition and choreographic thinking, and mid-career makers looking to refresh their practice in an environment of shared learning.

Amid the global pandemic, this workshop will take advantage of both the restrictions and benefits of online art-making, using practical experiments, discussion and targeted research to support the deepening of each participant’s artistic practice.

The workshop will examine choreographic thinking as a continuum of actions and assumptions shared by both choreographers and performers. Participants will take on both roles on a daily basis, choreographing and performing every day, working quickly and intuitively and taking advantage of the specifics of our current living situations. Participants will share their work with the group and join in giving and receiving mutually supportive feedback.

Working in a spirit of rigour that includes lightness and play, the goal will be to bring intuitive knowledge, and curiosity, into an easy dialogue with a critical mind.

The workshop is hosted by faculty, including veteran choreographer, Christopher House, outgoing artistic director of Toronto Dance Theatre and co-director of Banff Centre’s biennial program, Choreography Across Disciplines.

What Does the Program Offer?

Areas of focus will include:

  • Editing, distillation and enhancing specificity
  • Remixing and adaptation
  • Resurrecting the exhausted
  • Developing written scores
  • Expansion within limits
  • Choreographing with objects
  • Relationships with sound
  • Foreground/background: space as poetry
  • Playing with anticipation
  • Who is this for?
  • What can dance express?
  • Stealth counterpoint
  • Foregrounding liveness
  • First thought, best thought?

To support our research, we will engage with readings and performances available online as examples of diverse compositional and philosophical approaches. Participants will be encouraged to engage one-on-one or smaller group online dialogue with others outside of the official meeting hours, and the program director will be available for individual appointments.

A shared online document will serve as a bulletin board and a place to collect questions and further observations on each topic. We will address issues such as the ethics of representation; the pressure to innovate; the traps of self-sabotage; and the social and political questions of this extraordinary moment in our world.

Against this backdrop, this workshop will engage with an evolving list of compositional considerations derived from film, music, architecture, literature, visual art, theatre, and choreography; participants will be encouraged to add to and personalize this list in support of their own practice.

Who Should Apply?

This program is open to artists worldwide and will be conducted in English. Emerging choreographers interested in increasing their compositional awareness and broadening their definition of dance, as well as mid-career makers looking to refresh their practice by questioning assumptions in an environment of shared learning, are encouraged to apply.

Program Dates: September 28 – October 3, 2020
Application Deadline: September 2, 2020

For more information or to apply online, visit banffcentre.ca.

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