Between September and March, members of the Dance Action Group animate a series of public discussions of specific works seen in Calgary, selected topics of dance aesthetics and creative practice, or featuring a specific artist.
The two-hour dialogue events are co-hosted at a pop-up venue by Artistic Director Davida Monk and a member of the Dance Action Group. The events are open to the public and everyone in attendance is encouraged to take part. Dancers’ Studio West provides drinks and nibbles. Typically, the event hosts a group of 8 to 14 people and is comprised of members of the artistic community and members of the public.
The Dialogues promote a deeper understanding of the art form, develop a shared language by which to discuss contemporary dance, stimulate curiosity, open the mind and nurture the desire to see more dance.
How is this accomplished?
First, every effort is made to schedule the dialogue up to a week after the performance has taken place. This ensures time for reflection for all involved. It allows the artists to recover from the performance state. And, it also guarantees that those who make the effort to come consider it an important thing to do. Together, these factors help to set the tone for the exchange.
Second, the format proceeds with one-on-one discussion of 10 minutes duration until every participant has had a chance to speak to every other participant. This encourages an open exchange between participants from different backgrounds and different levels of experience, as well as it is those who might feel shy or reticent to speak their minds in a larger group. The one-on-one format encourages an easy friendly atmosphere.
After everyone has had the one-on-one discussion, the Artistic Director guides the group discussion by re-posing a question that has arisen consistently in the one-on-one exchanges, a brand new question, or in some cases, asking a feature guest a series of questions.
Third, the setting is accessible, convivial and informal, usually a coffee shop. Participants are treated to a drink and snack of their choice and enter into the spirit of breaking bread together.
The first in this year’s four-part series was held Saturday, September 24. It focused on the works of this year’s festival, The Leap: Bold Moments in Time.Keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for the second event.
UNDRESSING THE DANCE PODCAST LINKS:
Undressing the Dance is created and hosted by Mark Ikeda.