Launch of the Special Edition 2023 in Ostrava with British critic Jonathan Gray
This year's Special Edition, the sixth in a row, focuses on the theme of Dance and Words. It presents a diverse mixture of different views and opinions of both Czech and foreign authors on the subject, and for the first time also presents a section of peer-reviewed studies. The official launch will take place on 8 October at 14.00 as part of the discussion Echoes of Dance Criticism in Regional Media at Ostrava's MOVE Fest, and will be graced by the renowned British publicist and critic Jonathan Gray.
“The theme of the sixth annual Special Edition of Taneční aktuality seemed to request itself,” says Lucie Hayashi in the opening Editorial, and she continues: “We live in a society that ascribes the greatest value to information and words, however dance art often often defies words and maintains its independence from verbal expression. Nevertheless, the main outcome of the numerous global dialogues on dance and writing, on theory and practice, led by artists and critics in recent years has been a simple insight: dance and its cultural influence and sustainability can be enhanced by a professional attitude and mutual respect from both sides.”
The Czech writers of the Special Edition articles Aneta Krejčík Plšková, Dominika Vašíčková, Lucie Štádlerová, Marie Niček and Lucie Kocourková cover a wide range of topics from literature, criticism and terminology to sign language and dance therapy. Following previous year's contributors from abroad, Becka McFadden and Sanjoy Roy give readers a glimpse under the surface of their creations and work with words in dance. This year, the section of peer-reviewed studies will also be presented for the first time.The authors of the pilot article are a pair of Czech authors Michaela Raisová and Bohumíra Eliášová, who focus on the issue of terminology in the question of real time choreography on stage. As usual, the whole publication is opened by a trio of summary articles on the previous theatre season in the world of ballet, contemporary dance and new circus and non-verbal theatre by Roman Vašek, Daniela Machová and Hana Strejčková.
The international reach of the Special Edition is supported not only by its traditional bilingual edition and the involvement of authors from abroad, but also by this year's patron, the British writer and critic Jonathan Gray, former editor-in-chief of Dancing Times magazine, whose articles have appeared in The Guardian or Financial Times. He will also lead workshops and a discussion on the topic of Sustainability of Dance Media at the MOVE Fest in Ostrava, together with Nina Hümpel, publisher of the German website tanznetz.de and Sanjoy Roy, one of the authors of this year's Special Edition.
"Sustainability is a topic that has been discussed a lot recently, and it also concerns the production of our publication," says Zuzana Rafajová, editor of the publication. This year, the Special Edition team asked its readers in a survey about their preferences and requests regarding the book's format. "Although we are on the threshold of an almost exclusively digital age, a majority of the respondents (52%) still consider themselves to be primarily readers of printed publications, and only a slightly smaller group (46%) would like to keep the printed format for years to come," Rafajová outlines the results. For more than a third of the participants, the bilingual form of the entire publication and all of its articles is also essential, which makes the Special Edition unique in the Czech Republic.
"We consider publishing articles in both Czech and English to be one of our main strengths. This year we have for the first time started publishing peer-reviewed studies, thereby expanding the platform for writers from the academic world," explains Lucie Hayashi and Zuzana Rafajová adds: "We see the new section as one of the key steps for the journal's further growth and thus better sustainability in the future."
The Special Edition 2023 Dance and the Words will be officially launched on Sunday, the 8th of October 2023 at 14.00 in Ostrava as part of the discussion Echoes of Dance Criticism in Regional Media. You all are cordially invited!
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