Playing and Working Slow Dance Writing – The Grand Finale of Dance and Performing Arts Criticism in Europe

Dance and Performing Arts Criticism in Europe, an international project strengthening dance criticism, will culminate in a playful critical writing seminar and panel discussion on slow work in art criticism at the Norwegian dance festival Oktoberdans. 

Playing and Working Slow Dance Writing – The Grand Finale of Dance and Performing Arts Criticism in Europe

Playing and Working Slow Dance Writing – The Grand Finale of Dance and Performing Arts Criticism in Europe

Between 20 and 24 October 2022, a seminar for emerging dance critics called Playing Dance Writing will take place in Bergen, Norway, as part of the Oktoberdans dance festival, rounding off a series of events that have been running for two years thanks to support from EEA Grants 2014-2021. During these events, European critics were able to exchange experiences through workshops, roundtables and panel discussions. 

From a large number of applicants (over fifty responded to an open call!) six participants were selected from different parts of Europe and with different experiences in the dance field - as active artists, theorists or producers. Together they will discuss traditional and alternative formats of art criticism, the dramaturgy of the text and last but not least the performances they will see and reflect on during Oktoberdans. The final texts will appear on the English version of the webzine Czech Dance News after the festival. 

"Writing about dance should be fun and enjoyable. It's a creative process where you try to put into words an experience that is full of emotions and rarely relies on more than your spectator´s experience," says Lucie Hayashi, one of the lecturers and initiator of the project, who was also behind the birth of Czech Dance News fifteen years ago. 

"Above all, many of us needed encouragement, opportunity, a sense of an open door and kind supervision in the beginning. And that's what we want to give to other authors," explains the second lecturer, Petra Dotlačilová, who divides her rich European career between dance historiography and active journalism. 

A panel discussion on Working slow in art criticism as a core practice will be open to the public at Oktoberdans, which will be attended by Lydia Wharf from the UK and Lena Megyeri from Hungary. The debate will be moderated by Norwegian critics Anette Therese Pettersen and Hild Borchgrevink. The panel discussion will also continue at the festival in a closed roundtable format, to which colleagues from the Springback Academy, which will take place in Bergen at the same time, will be invited. This is a unique opportunity to exchange experiences on the professional position, job description and valuation of critics in different European countries, and to discuss strategies for the sustainability of the profession.

The project of Czech Dance News and Performing Criticism Globally / Performing Arts Hub Norway is thus coming to a grand finale. It has brought many challenges to overcome during these two years, which have always in turn strengthened the common motivation for its mission. The whole team has encouraged a broader European discussion of the position of dance criticism within a social context and has struck a spark for further collaborations.


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