07.12.23 – 09.12.23, Towards Documentary Choreography
A three-day symposium focusing on the intersection between embodied and documentary practices, reflecting on new choreographic articulations of sociopolitical issues.
In recent decades, there has been an increasing interest in embedding elements from reality into performance. The testimonial plays of Lola Arias, the lecture performances of Rabih Mroué and Hito Steyerl, or the hybrid installations of Walid Raad propose complex dispositives and dramaturgies that question our modes of engagement with factual information.
While the field of contemporary dance is known for its critical experimentations, the inclusion of factual information in its practice remains largely uncharted. Choreographers often use documentary elements such as texts, photographs, or videos as sources of inspiration in their artistic process, but few of these items remain visible in the final stage work. The intersection between embodied and documentary practices, however, opens up possibilities for new choreographic articulations of sociopolitical issues of various sorts and alternative ways of engaging with such matters. It results in what art philosopher Frédéric Pouillaude calls “factual representations” that consequently lead to a “poetics of factuality” (Pouillaude 2020).
For this symposium, which follows from his practice-based PhD research, choreographer Arkadi Zaides invites various practitioners and scholars to reflect collectively on the notion of “documentary choreography”. By looking at concrete case studies and by proposing various theoretical lenses, the participants will explore the strategies used by artists when combining embodied and documentary practices. Through different formats, they will consider the potentiality of such blending not only to challenge the boundaries of contemporary dance and documentary theater, but also to engage critically with social and political issues.
This event is made possible with the generous support of: Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts (ARIA); the Flemish Government; the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy of Ghent University; the Faculty of Arts (Department of Literature) of the University of Antwerp; CoDa | Cultures of Dance – Research Network for Dance Studies (funded by the Research Foundation Flanders - FWO). It is organized as a part of Arkadi Zaides’ practice-based PhD in the Arts at the University of Antwerp, Royal Conservatoire Antwerp, Ghent University, KASK & Conservatorium and his active membership within the CORPoREAL research group at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp and the research center S:PAM (Studies in Performing Arts & Media) at Ghent University.