Widening the Field
Choreographic production programme developed in partnership between Nowy Teatr and the Poznan Art Stations Foundation
So we too are finally experiencing our own choreographic boom! However, even if a call for choreographers can be heard more clearly and more frequently, is it actually a call for Choreography itself? Is the long-awaited revolution changing anything in the status of the art form itself? Is it a chance for its insightful recognition? And how to engage with it effectively, as it constantly broadens its scope and resolutely evades definitions? Especially in a country where, for decades, the idea of dance on stage was associated with the notion of “dance theatre”, and where (pretty) dance and movement composition was blindly considered to be the same thing – is it possible to effectively achieve (and maintain) independence as an autonomous art form? Finally, is it possible without (re-?) constructing one's own (choreographic) identity and the critical confrontation with it? And perhaps not only basing on effectively popularised, and yet powerfully simplified, post-modernist narratives? And if so, then perhaps rather the narratives which follow Dance is hard to see – a famous proclamation made by Yvonne Rainer, who makes the problematics of looking at dance and its perception one of the main motifs of contemporary choreography practice?
As to “see” is in fact to “understand” – to perceive in all its complexity. This specific tactic of manifestation (not limited solely to re-definitions of the medium itself) seems today to be the most interesting sphere of choreographic explorations. This strategy of simultaneously exposing the stitches and revealing the underlying structures of composition; a strategy of operating with movement material removed from its natural context and subjected to special organisation, but still easily recognizable, common to everyone, colloquial – in order to produce physical as well as visual metaphors diagnosing effectively the individual and collective condition. This artistic and critical transformation of the multidimensional reality which surrounds us in order to make visible and seen (capable of being perceived and understood) the mechanisms which govern it. This is also at the same time a call for the practice of counter-visualising, creating new ways of seeing and being seen, the political (in the Rancièrean sense) practices of “unseeing” imposed upon us externally, and artificially naturalised, ways of perceiving the body and the world to create new representations.
These are practices situated in the crack between visual arts and traditionally understood dance as Trisha Brown said about her choreography of 70s. And in our Polish context it may not be possible to avoid adding also: and between theatre. In the cleft we could inhabit and make all the more visible (and seen) space of autonomous art of choreography. In the gap which since then has managed to broadly widen and thus reveal choreography operational field – territory where choreography consciously and to a great extent draws upon other disciplines, constructing its own practice and discourse and demands its own mapping.
It is to this widening and recognition that we dedicate our choreographic production programme developed in partnership between Nowy Teatr and the Poznan Art Stations Foundation:
- widening the field which moves choreography from literal and metaphorical peripheries into the very centre
- widening the field allowing the celebration of the INBETWEEN space so natural to it
- widening the field of its perception (for although it seems now to be seen, it already demands to be “unseen”)
- and finally: widening the field of battle over its artistic autonomy.
The Nowy Teatr motto WALK. LOOK. THINK. which drives all its activities seems in this context to be a perfect starting point for such choreographic scores.
Programme curator: Joanna Leśnierowska
Nowy Teatr Guests
Nowy Teatr Guests