Europe, an artist’s-eye view: City Guides collection

IMG_4164One of the modul-dance project key elements is the promotion of mobility, so that artists receiving its support follow itineraries across Europe to develop their creative work and present it to different audiences.

Modul-dance presents a collection of modul-dance city guides. Each of the guides in this collection shows a city from the viewpoint of a local artist, who proposes his or her own particular route to artists in transit, seeking to put them in connection with their host city. While these city routes share some basic features, each one is different and in their differences lies a wealth of gazes, aesthetics, approximations to the local and much more. In a word, they form a mirror of the diversity that modul-dance has always fostered. Athens, Barcelona, Bassano del Grappa, Dresden, London, Stockholm, Vienna, Toulouse, Paris and Poznań ready to be discovered.

The ten city guides are available from this link: http://issuu.com/moduldance

Modul-dance experience. By Lili M

Lili MHow did the following aspects affected my work:

General:
What has affected my work more than anything in modul-dance could be summed up with the word “tailoring”.

As I have joined modul-dance a little less than 2 years ago my main topic (apart from my project proposal) was how to tailor this opportunity to my real needs. I suspect modul-dance as a supporting network is introduced differently to different artists depending on their own home venue by which they were suggested and the role and the production conditions of that venue. In short, an interesting realization was that artists adopt the kind of approach to this opportunity that is suggested or presented by the home-venue. I am mentioning this as my situation was a bit different – suggested by Plesna Izba Maribor as my motherboard organization, yet based in Germany, in Frankfurt at the time of being introduced to the network. Read more of this post

Modul-dance experience. By Emma-Cecilia Ajanki from The Mob

Modul-dance offers selected dance artists the time, space and economic structure to develop their work. Modul-dance has decided that the creative processes they encourage artists to embark on consists of four chapters; research, residency, production and last presentation. Each chapter with it’s own structure and economics surrounding them.

I didn’t get to do all modules within modul-dance, but none the less, I kept the form that was suggested to me to create within. The piece The Mob developed through modul-dance is called BABY IT’S YOU NOT ME. Having only premiered the piece less than a month ago, I will try to sit here and contemplate my experiences.

Trailer for Baby it’s you not me from The Mob on Vimeo.

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What next? By Emma Martin

Emma Martin_Tundra © Ros KavanaghConceiving and creating a new work is like capturing the detailed minutiae of a dream, except it’s in the future… I don’t think we surrender ourselves to the wild plains of our imagination enough. Art is about creating an elemental experience of life, which the audience is invited to participate in along with the performers.

Within modul-dance, I’ve had research modules at Art Station Foundation in Poznań, Poland and at Plesna Izba in Maribor, Slovenia; and residencies in CSC Bassano del Grappa, Italy and CDC Toulouse in France.

In Poland, in March 2013, I spent half of my time in Poznań, writing, working alone in the studio, chatting to other artists and spending time with an enthusiastic ethnography student from Adam Mickiewicz University, listening to polish lore and folk stories; and the second half in Warsaw, dwarfed by the wind-chilled, wide grey boulevards, and felt the constant shadow of Stalin’s Palace of Science and Culture, absorbing the vibrations (and -8 degrees celsius temperatures) of this multi war surviving “phoenix city”. Read more of this post

Meeting the ghost. By Antje Pfundtner

Antje Pfundtner_Nimmer for kids © Anja Beutler (2)When I first heard about modul-dance and realised that 20 European dance houses would be taking part in this project I thought I’d struck the jackpot.

However, on a personal level, modul-dance remained a ghost in my eyes. Indeed, I did have my 3 partners with all of whom I had shared unquestionably fruitful experiences.

But somehow it was still a mystery to me how this huge network could have really worked between us all and how we could communicate. Meetings with my partners were on a one-to-one basis when I visited them. I choose the word “visit” as I was not seeking a residency but instead opted to visit them and engage in a number of experiments at their destinations or their festivals that were linked to my research at the time. Hellerau was the “only” partner who was able to handle the “presentation-modul”, and I am delighted and thankful for that. I say “able” as I have realised that the people involved in the modul-dance project like to make reference to the “weak” or “strong” partners one comes to rely on. I discovered that Hellerau constituted a strong partner as they were able to back the artistic project with funds. Perhaps I have won the jackpot after all? (not to say that I, personally did not find my other partners strong as well). Read more of this post

Modul-dance experience. By Sofia Dias & Vítor Roriz

satélites©s&v - Versão 6When José Laginha, from Capa/Devir (a cultural structure in the sunny south coast of Portugal) introduced us to modul-dance network we knew very little of it, except that some other Portuguese choreographers (Tânia Carvalho and Cláudia Dias) had also been supported by it in the previous editions.

The meeting in Barcelona, in November 2012, was the first moment we got to grasp the dimension of this network. It was surprising to see the variety of artists, programmers and their specific projects/contexts of action. Although big in scale, the meeting seemed to have the right balance of formality and informality for an actual exchange to happen, and we were caught by its intensity and the way everyone was focused to make it significant and useful. Read more of this post

Modul-dance experience. By Tina Valentan

Delovni naslov @ Move to MariborI was recommended by Plesna Izba Maribor as one of the modul-dance artists in 2012. They also promised to be the main producers of the performance and cover the premiere, so all I needed to get on board were at least three partners. I was seducing them in Barcelona and gave it all to catch their attention, which was not easy. It felt like I was a product on sale and they are buying. There was no big interest but in the end I got what I wanted; three research spaces/residencies, one in Portugal, one in Denmark and one in Slovenia. They offered working space, accommodation, travel costs and per diems, so all the basic needs were covered and I could focus on work, away from trivial obligations in my home town. Therefore going abroad seemed very beneficial for developing work and growing as an artist and as a human being. Read more of this post

Modul-dance experience. By Perrine Valli

Perrine Valli_Je pense comme une fille enleve sa robe © Dorothée Thébert (2)My experience with modul-dance began in 2010 at the first meeting held at the Maison de la Danse in Lyon. A group of about forty dance artists and professionals gathered there to get acquainted with each other. As opposed to what often happens, modul-dance endowed itself with the means to create a “true network” by inviting all these people to meet. Occasions rarely arise to create strong ties between structures and artists, and modul-dance came to allow just that.

What immediately struck my interest was the European dimension of this project. My company is based in two countries: Switzerland and France, and my work is deeply marked by this artistic “double life”. In each project I ask myself how these two countries, these two cultures, these two artistic worlds will influence my work. Even if they are neighbours, the politics, codes and ways of thinking of these countries differ, and this has enriched my artistic research. For example, Je pense comme une fille enlève sa robe is a piece that reflects on prostitution since this activity is legal in Switzerland and forbidden in France. In my research, I have met prostituted persons and worked in associations in both countries to understand how their practice is influenced by the political and cultural context of the countries where they live. Consequently, far from being provocative, this piece simply poses some questions and shows how the body and ways of thinking are highly subjective. Read more of this post

Shimmying with Friends and Strangers. By Fearghus Ó Conchúir

In September 2011, Fearghus Ó Conchúir wrote the following article focused on his experience during the research he developed at Dance Gate Lefkosia Cyprus.

My abiding memory of the research time I spent in Nicosia was of the last evening spent with some of the delegates of the Dance/Body conference on the Turkish side of the city. We followed the academic Stavros Karayanni there to a cafe in a beautiful old square that once a month hosted a ‘pink party’ for gays and lesbians. There, Stavros danced a delicious, friendly belly-dance and I felt in that moment the embodiment of the conference theme: Dance/Body at the Crossroads of Culture.

Here was dancing where politics, gender, sexuality and ethnicity shimmied and swayed. And it felt good to be there. Read more of this post

Modul-dance experience. By Helena Franzén

In 2011 I was privileged to be selected by modul-dance to create the performance Slipping Through My Fingers which premiered at Dansens Hus in Stockholm in September 2012.

In this project I deepened my collaboration with three dancers I have worked with for some years now; Katarina Eriksson, Moa Westerlund and Aleksandra Sende, but I also introduced a new dancer to the group; Elizaveta Penkova.

By my side was also Jukka Rintamäki, the composer I have worked closely together with for the last nine years. This time we were happy to invite Johan Skugge, a composer collaborating with Jukka. The duo performed live on stage, playing lap steel guitar and piano, combined with pre-recorded sound.

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