“Developing a living-room within the modul-dance frame”. By Tina Tarpgaard

In May 2011, Tina Tarpgaard published this article in one of the modul-dance newsletters. How does she work as an independent artist in Denmark?

Tina Tarpgaard_Living Room_photo Søren Meisner 1In the fall 2011 I will start the first residency as part of the modul-dance project. Together with my group of dancers and software artists (recoil performance group) I am invited to spend two weeks in the excellent facilities at the Tanzhaus NRW in Düsseldorf. Later we will travel to Ljubljana to spend a week researching in collaboration with the innovative dance house Kino Siska. Both giving us a great opportunity to work focused with the concept we have developed as a base for our new production Living-Room. The performance will be produced at Dansehallerne in Copenhagen with the premiere on March 10th 2012.

The advantages of moving yourself and the group you are working with, to a place “away from home” are many. I think most people know the feeling of the intensity that can buil within a group when you not only work together, but also have a mutual experience of new sorroundings, finding your way together, get lost together, dining together. etc.

It amplifies that feeling of a journey and ties connections that are priceless in a working process – at least to me.

But of course you don’t move yourself just for the comfort and team building. The challenges and inspirations are equally important. So the prospect of meeting professionals from different arts communities is exciting, both professionals I usually work with but also to meet different approaches.

For example: The way our support system in Denmark is put together (as well as the habits and traditions I suppose) makes it quite rare that choreographers have the means for close collaboration with dramaturges. I believe that this can be unfortunate for the artistic processes and eventually for the performance that is presented to the audience. I am therefore excited to have the chance to meet and collaborate with with dramaturgical professionals at Tanzhaus NRW. In Ljubjana I will have the chance to meet and collaborate with local dancers, a great source of inspiration for me and the group.

Recoil performance group, with whom I usually work and create performances, has a quite specific interest in the collaboration between dance and software art. The amount of work that goes in to this collaboration is usually quite substantial and of high significance to our productions. Therefore I am hoping, that besides meeting dancers, choreographers and dramaturges, I will have the chance to meet professionals from the visual art, video and software art communities. More over I hope to get the artist from the different ways of creating performing arts, to meet each other. This could be in showings, roundtable meetings or other situations that could facilitate dialog, exchange of experience and ideas etc.

Already being part of the initial meeting in Lyon, late summer 2010, it struck me (not surprisingly) that the production habits, economical support structures, level of intervention/collaboration between dance houses and artists etc., are significantly different in between the European countries represented in the modul-dance project. I hope that by visiting both Tanzhaus NRW and Kino Šiška I get at chance to get a deeper understanding of the structures there and how it affects the work of the artists, the audience building and the general working and presentation frame of performing arts.

Working as an independent artist in Denmark has caused me to raise a number of questions to how our structure is put together. For me the participation in the modul-dance project is a great opportunity to seek inspiration and exchange experiences with houses and artist communities on both the creative process as well as the structures that we as independent artist are surrounded by. Especially as the project spans over all the different steps of creation: research, residency and production/presentation. I find this very valuable and hope to exchange constructive ideas that can facilitate the development of artist communities as well as personal development as a performing artist.

Picture: © Søren Meisner

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