We are pleased to invite you to a workshop on Gifts, Inheritance, and Passing Things On, which is being hosted as part of the Performing the Archives program at Dansens Hus.
No previous dance experience required. Just bring an object that you feel you have inherited. We will be working practically.
Workshop leaders: Kate Elswit and Rani Nair
Invited guest speaker: Donatella Bernardi artist and professor at the Royal Institute of Art, Kungli. Konsthögsholan in Stockholm
Date: Friday at 9 –13, on the 7th of March at Dansens Hus, Lilla scenen
Address: stage entrance of Dansens Hus, Wallingatan 19.
Kate Elswit is an academic, choreographer, curator, and dramaturg. She holds a Lectureship in Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Bristol. Previously, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in the Humanities, and she has also taught at CalArts, Laban, and the University of Cambridge, where she received her PhD. She has won two major awards for her scholarship, the Gertrude Lippincott Award from the Society of Dance History Scholars and the Biennial Sally Banes Publication Prize from the American Society for Theatre Research. Her essays appear in Theatre Journal, Art Journal, Performance Research, TDR: The Drama Review, Modern Drama and in the edited collection New German Dance Studies. Her book Watching Weimar Dance is forthcoming in 2014 from Oxford University Press. She is committed to multiple possibilities, both implicit and explicit, for working between dance practice and dance research.
Rani Nair works as a dancer and choreographer, concerned with ideas of post-colonial conflicts and social bindings. She is based in Sweden, currently a Mejan Resident at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, but works internationally and has performed and made research in countries such as, Syria, Iceland, Morocco, Mexico, etc. Her interest in various body practices has resulted in many trips to India where she has studied Yoga, Bharata Natyam and Kalarippayatu. Rani Nair is a collaborator of the network Sweet and Tender Collaborations, Ful – an artist collective working with queerfeminist and post-colonial aesthetic and We Insist – a nomadic trio with Norwegian dancer Mia Habib and French sound-artist Jassem Hindi.
Performing the Archive, 10 – 15 March
is a week of conversations and performances at the House of Dance focusing on how we can dance and its own specific knowledge to rethink history.
During the last couple of years we’ve experienced a huge interest among contemporary dance artists to look back at and work with historical dance pieces. Why do we turn to the past? What does it give to the future? What are the different means through which performance can engage with the past?
At the centre of this week we find two new works by Olga de Sota and Rani Nair, both dealing with works by the legendary choreogragher Kurt Jooss, de Soto working with the masterpiece The Green table (1932) and Rani Nair dealing with the minor and least known work Dixit Dominus created in the 70s. When we experience these two pieces next to one another for the first time, what might emerge?
To quote Anna Ångström, Svenska Dagbladet Scenvår 19th of February 2014, where she mentions these performances and finishes with the sentence, “Scenkonsten lever i nuet, men skulle vara fattig utan sin historia.”
Future Memorya performance by Rani Nair
14 – 15 March Lilla scenen, Dansens Hus
What does it mean to inherit a dance? German choreographer Kurt Jooss made his last piece Dixit Dominus in 1975 as a gift for Swedish-based Indian dancer Lilavati Häger, who gave it to Rani Nair to reconstruct in 2003. Future Memory (2012) returns to Dixit, this time focusing not on the choreography but on the stories around it. It is a second-order performance — a performance about a performance — that uses the personal responsibilities of inheritance to move towards larger questions of history, memory, and legacy. A review from the premiere described it as combining “Humor, warmth, and intellectual sharpness, all in one.” With a combination of gentleness and challenge, Future Memory embraces the possibility of an alternative history, one in which a “minor” dance takes ten years of another artist’s life, and where insider and outsider are more complicated than we might think. Here both identity and dance history are understood not in terms of Indian versus Western European, but in a hybrid way that uses real and imagined archives to allow for shades of Indianness, Swedishness, and Germanness.
Nair’s one-hour solo uses dance, spoken text, film, and singing in more and less spectacular forms. There are moments when audiences are invited to touch and smell. And there is a duet between a hair-dryer and a costume that was never worn in performance.