Empowering // Balanced // Generous // Inclusive.
These are some of the words used by lab participants to sum up their impressions after
Choreolab Europe – Basel 2017.
The four day program consisted of four labs (each guided by a choreographer with a specific creative question); a lecture on the poetics of contemporary dance in the present, changing frame of Post-modernism into something unknown; a workshop by the Basel-based Bufo Makmal Collective and several slots of playground time where the ideas brought to the fore by the participants could be addressed briefly in the form of debates or short sessions of movement research.
If we evaluate on the Basel – Lab as organizers, we go home with the positive affirmation of two aspects of our mission we are especially proud of:
Overall, the Fall lab in Basel was a success. It would be unjust not to acknowledge and thank the people present for it. The openness, curiosity and willingness to jump on board from all sixteen participants was there from the start. Also, we need to thank the choreographers Lillian Stillwell, Pablo San Salvador, Sandra Kramerova and Sanne Clifford for four well organized and well-timed labs; and Rosie Terry Toogood from Bufo Makmal Collective for her ability at creating a valid, personal cadre for Authentic Movement Research in only one hour and a half.
Regarding the specific content of the labs, please read more about them here.
If you want to see some pictures of how the Basel - lab went, check out our Facebook page and like it to always be up to date on our activities.
The 2016-2017 season of Choreolab Europe consisted of two 4-day intensives: the Barcelona Fall Lab in November 2016, and the Lisbon Spring Lab in May 2017.
As we explained in our last entry, the Barcelona lab inaugurated the four day structure – during our first season we organized three day intensives instead – and after Lisbon we can say that the 4-day plan is a keeper for the seasons to come.
The Lisbon lab was organized in collaboration with Polo Cultural Gaivotas Boavista and the dance platform Compota, an open group of interdisciplinary artists who revolve and act upon dance through guided jams, creative processes with stage presentations and other activities. For the people in Lisbon, check out their activities!
The Lisbon Lab was a success story in many aspects: our network grew, and on organizational level we managed to create an open environment where everybody was able to express themselves while offering at the same time a very diverse and full program. Dance & choreography were addressed from many a different point of view in guided labs and theory-based lectures. Among others:
As a platform, Choreolab Europe also took note of highly valued feedback. There was, in the end, a certain feeling among some of the participants of being overwhelmed by the amount of diverse points of view, ideas, physical approaches and strategies provided. More so because we were working on a tight schedule, there was a feeling of not having enough time to process it all.
The space for playgrounds, where everyone can choose how to fill in their time, will therefore probably gain in protagonism and be organized in smaller but daily timeframes in the schedules of the labs to come. This way, every day we will have a moment to reflect individually or in small groups on the ideas that appeared during the day.
The next lab is taking place in Basel, Switzerland, from 19 to 22 of October 2017, and we are happy to announce that this time we count with the support of the City of Basel, Migros Kulturprozent and the sponsorship of Edorex.
We grow, we move forward, and we want to keep improving. What started out as a small group of collaborators with the wish of trying out some ideas in a studio now has become a truly open and international platform for choreographic research with a wish to grow. Growing also entails being more aware of the positive echo our activities bring forward. Not only for participants, also for the local dance scenes of the cities that host us. Taking this into account, the 2017-2018 labs will introduce some novelties on content level. For example, we will:
The global aim remains unchanged: to offer dancers and dance-practitioners tools for personal and artistic growth in a safe environment surrounded by peers who, like you, enjoy giving and receiving constructive feedback while researching on dance from different points of view.
Do you want to join our network? Inscribe yourself for the Basel lab, reply to our Open Call or just contact us to say hello!
The Fall lab 2016 was the first one in which we tried out a new structure of 4 days. We changed the structure from 3 to 4 days after evaluating the feedback received over the course of the previous labs. Having 4 days offered us the possibility to schedule more time on the common playgrounds. In Barcelona, we also secured new cooperation contacts with local institutions and events to strengthen our link with the contexts in which the labs takes place.
In this sense and thanks to a very open collaboration agreement with Fenòmens Festival – taking place during the same weekend in Barcelona – we were very happy to have Manuela Calleja from the Austrian company Helène Weinzierl (performing during Fenòmens) to give a lecture on her experience in Vienna. She also told us about the ways in which Weinzierl challenged a long-standing choreographic practise in search for the new/the unexpected in her work.
On the other hand, we signed a collaboration agreement with the Institut del Teatre which allowed us to use their facilities during the weekend in exchange for scholarships for some of their advanced and Erasmus students. This positive experience brought us to consider contacting other schools and conservatoires in the future to offer similar win-win agreements.
The better balance between guided labs with a specific idea and the open playgrounds was felt from day one. Some of the participants found a thread of research in which they invested the playtime of all four days. They ended up presenting a sketch based on multiple possible ways in which a body is shown/modified by means of a mobile phone, questioning how they could condition the what/when/how of the act of looking at the piece by the audience through a Smartphone. Others tried out new ideas at every playground session instead, especially reaching a very diverse palette of resources in a quick carrousel which took place on the last day: It consisted of a challenging cycle of 20minutes per idea that imposed a rhythm and the need to not over think, resulting in very spontaneous and fresh developments for everybody involved.
Next to the playgrounds, the rest of the labs developed successfully. You can find more info on the specifics of each lab here and should you have any questions you can always contact us here.
The overall feedback we received for the Barcelona fall Lab 2017 was rewarding and eye-opening. If one side it reassured us that a 4 day structure is a good measure for our endeavour, on the other it taught us that by gaining weight within the global, the playgrounds should be better explained to the participants beforehand. This way the expectations can be better set for the activities at hand, and the participants can eventually prepare questions or ideas for research. One should ask him or herself: what is my interest in choreolab? How would I like to be part of it? Would I like to offer an idea for a specific research, and if yes, which one? Or would I prefer to be challenged by the ideas of others? Everything is possible, but it is important to be aware of it in order to make the most out of your own experience during choreolab.
On our side, we were again amazed and thankful for the openness and generosity of all participants, and we are already looking forward and preparing for the Spring lab 2017, organized in close collaboration with Compota. Save the date! Lisbon, 4 to 7 May. You can find all the details about the Spring Lisbon lab here. Join before March 7th to get an early bird discount, and see you in the studio!
CHOREOLAB EUROPE started as a pedagogical & choreographic exchange between Sanne Clifford and Anja Gallagher. After their first meetings during 2014, they decided to open up this relationship and offer other choreographers the space and possibility to try out their ideas or methodological research.
Thus, CHOREOLAB EUROPE was born as a platform where the participants would be offered the possibility to physically and mentally share in the interests and questions of others, in a peer-to-peer setting. Not merely as a choreographic workshop, but rather as an open space where every participants ideas as makers could be challenged, reflected upon and further developed thanks to the feedback of other colleagues. We all row in the same boat.
During this first season three labs where organized. CHOREOLAB EUROPE has grown and better defined itself while happening, and with this post we want to summarize some of the key ideas that will help us shape the labs of the future. If you want to know more about how the labs of last season went, check out the articles about the FALL, WINTER and SPRING labs.
Read further if you want to have more insights on how CHOREOLAB EUROPE will look like in BARCELONA or LISBON during season 2016 - 17!
With this in mind, CHOREOLAB EUROPE has already begun setting up shop for next season!
We are going to be in BARCELONA in November and in LISBON in Spring – for more info click here.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any question. You can do so by clicking here.
The Spring Lab – Last edition of CHOREOLAB.EU of this season – took place in Berlin between 26 May and June 1st.
The third lab of the season was inspirational for everyone. The participants where challenged and challenging; and the peer to peer setting we aimed for in the first place became a fact: the channels of communication were guided and organized to avoid falling in endless discussions, but nonetheless there was space for everyone to take the lead and share their interests and the questions they were facing in their present day and time.
Actually, one of the great rewards of this lab was receiving the overall feedback that a couple of days more would have been ideal to deepen into the questions and experiences lived during the sessions!
The guided labs brought us in touch with many a different concept:
Next to the labs, the pedagogical sessions and playgrounds opened up space for debates and exchange amongst participants and choreographers alike: Everyone could share his or her question and each of us had something to offer as well. Teams were organized, and off we went. Even though time was of the essence and we had the feeling of it not being enough, several topics where addressed: different methodologies and approaches to solo and group work, different ways to communicate with a group of dancers as a dance makers, how to compose a piece based on a very personal and intimate memory and emotion, and have the essence of it still remain in the final work without falling in the obvious, etc.
The overall feeling was of success, we as organizers are happy with the feedback we received and look forward to the set up of the next season!
In 2016 – 17 we are going to BARCELONA and LISBON. Click here for our latest updates!
The Spring Lab 2016 is coming closer!
ChoreoLab Europe is getting ready for the Spring Lab in Berlin!
Today we share the latest news about the activities we have planned for the 28th, 29th and 30th of May. For more detailed information on the lab, click here.
The Spring Lab will be organized around three kinds of events:
At the end of each day, we will have time to give feedback to each other, share reflections, thoughts and questions.
Stay tuned for the publication of our full schedule, and for future posts introducing the labs and more details about the participating choreographers!
There are still some spots available, so if you are interested to join us in Berlin, click here!
After the fall lab in Bern (read about how it went here!!), Choreolab gathered again in Amsterdam in January 2016.
The group was different than the one gathered in Bern, bigger and more diverse. Different backgrounds and personal parcours posed a challenge to the choreographers but offered also an opportunity for all to really get in touch with very, VERY diverse approaches: from Korea to Finland, from Theatre Practices to Argentinean Tango, there was room for it all. As one of the participants would share at the end of the lab: “Choreolab has given me the opportunity to better understand how dance is approached in the West”. Cross-cultural mingling: check!
The winter lab had a slightly different structure. Besides the choreographic sessions where one maker could try out his or her ideas on the bodies of the others present, we decided to add to time slots with a more pedagogic approach towards the art of making dances. First, this was done in the setting of a Choreographic Carrousel: The dancers would create material based on images, text or movement qualities. Then, this material was coached and modified by the inputs of all choreographers, 10 minutes each.
When under this kind of methodological, time-bound pressure, many aspects of oneself as a maker and as an interpreter are touched: the ability to let go of one’s first ideas, seeing one’s own movement through the eyes of many others, sharpness and adaptability as an interpreter, the ability to “own” your stuff as you are making and modifying it on the way. Etc.
In a second session, dancers where given the choice to continue working on the material found during the Carrousel, or rather further discuss on a one two one setting with one of the choreographers: be it to engage physically and more deeply into the proposed ideas during the labs, or just to enter in discussion about any question that remained unclear. For example, to address one of the themes dealt with during the theory-introduction lecture.
The dance-theory lecture during this lab versed about the complex relationship between dance and narrative; on how the dance tells itself in mysterious ways; and what the poetic capabilities of its handling can entail towards a viewer. Topics like Truth, Storytelling or Choreographic Dramaturgy were some of the many that where approached.
At the end of the lab, a final session of global feedback allowed all participants to engage in sharing their thoughts about their experience. Some of the feedback we received was encouraging!
“I am very grateful for participating in the ChoreoLab. It was really for me a 'revitalizing' experience in many aspects as I explained to Eve, it is nice to share with other colleagues who are in the same level of interests, research and (+/-) experiences. I am 100 % positive about it.”
"The Winterlab was a fun and intensive three days. It was great to get to meet and work together with different people from different backgrounds. Feeling inspired and motivated!"
It was an intense weekend for all indeed! Thanks to all participants, and see you in Berlin! (for more info on the Spring Lab 2016 in Berlin, 28 – 30 May, click here)
Which ideas laid behind the physical tasks you proposed during the Fall LAB in Bern?
The aim of my lab was to find out how to get a primarily emotional response in an observer. More specifically the interest was in finding how to ENGAGE, invite and include the observer to the shown movement material, and to nudge him or her into thought. What kind of choreographic approach will get me there?
The goal was to state a thesis for a specific approach, and test its value through movement experiments. The thesis was: “movement that comes from an actual lived and experienced incident is the most likely to trigger an emotional response in the observer”. Observers were shown movement material in two versions that had been created using different tasks; then they were asked about their level of engagement for each version presented.
In one of the experiments the dancers were asked to create a phrase connected to some meaningful incident they recently experienced, which comprised sample version A. The generated material was then artificially emotionally colored by picking a feeling from a chart of 23 basic human feelings. This led to sample version B. Both versions were then presented to the audience.
Another experiment was to present the observers a “neutral” previously taught dance phrase, which in another version was then transformed applying emotional ranges and intensities such as worry into fear into panic.
How did dancers relate to the task, what was their attitude? Was the outcome what you expected?
The dancers were very generous in diving into this personal process of creating material. This in itself was very inspiring to withness. In almost all cases, the “artificial” emotional coloring samples did not engage the spectator as much, whereas movement samples comprising authenticity of truly lived experiences and emotions brought the desired result of an engaged observer.The lab experiments confirmed my thesis and built the base of how I will continue with my choreographic work. Thank you for having been such fun, engaged and fearless “labrats”!
Where am I?
Hello! Here you will find the latest news about the upcoming events organized by Choreolab, reviews and reflective articles on the labs that already took place, and more insights on the work and thoughts of the participating choreographers. Stay tuned!