The Fleeting and the Constant in Dance : Newsroom : Universität Hamburg

Photo: Evgen Rom With dance, the artwork vanishes the moment the performance end
Photo: Evgen Rom With dance, the artwork vanishes the moment the performance ends. The Material Goods conference aims to illuminate this phenomenon from a scholarly and artistic perspective.

From 2 to 4 Februar 2023, the Cluster of Excellence Understanding Written Artefacts at Universität Hamburg illuminated the role of written records for the transient art of dance. Artistic performances, lectures, and audience discussions were open to the public.

Dance cannot be preserved like a painting on canvas or a novel between the covers of a book. With dance, the artwork vanishes the moment the performance ends. At the same time, material goods in the form of notes, sketches, and recordings are created before, during, and after a performance. What is the relationship between these documents and dance itself? This is the question that the Material Goods conference at Kampnagel will look at, from both a scholarly and artistic perspective.

The program covers performances, academic talks, and audience discussions. The event will begin with a keynote speech by the cultural studies scholar Aleida Assmann, who was awarded with, among other distinctions, the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade and the First Order of the Federal Cross of Merit for her work. She will then lead a panel discussion with Johannes Odenthal, founding of the dance journal tanz.

At the conclusion of the 3-day conference, there will be performances that focus on the role written artefacts have to dance: The choreographer Sash Waltz developed In C using experimental forms of collective rehearsals during the pandemic; Rewriting and Science Fiction, a 2-part evening by the choreographer Jonathan Burrows and the composer Matteo Fargion, stages sketches of unrealized art projects.

-Despite the availability of analog and digital visual media such as photography, video, and smartphones, hand-written recordings play a major role in the development of choreographic numbers,- says Gabriele Klein of Universität Hamburg. Klein curated the event. -In Hamburg, there is a notable example: From the very beginning, John Neumeier made sure to make notations and extensively document his work. Archiving dance and the relationship between performance and recording are topics that we want to address at our conference.-

The entire program is accessible on the event’s pages (PDF).

It is free to attend the talks or take part in discussions. You do need to register, however, at ( franz.cramer "AT" uni-hamburg ) . You can get tickets for the evening performances directly at Kampnagel.