PSR Temporary Creative Platform – Homo Saltans
This PSR was a reaction on the pandemic, where many artists did not accquire for the financial support from the Ministry as they earned too little money in the year before the pandemic. As many projects were cancelled, the opened calls for project were postponed and cancelled, the performances did not happen in venues, we felt an obligation to react. First, we invited most of the NGO’s and public institution that programme, produce or curate dance and ask them if they would be willing to share part of their yearly budgets with those in needs but not just giving but engaging them in a research process that could contribute to more sustainable future. As after two months of meetings, there was no positive results or better not much happened, we decided to invest money into app. 10-20 artists that we knew have been in difficulties, but also found them interesting for research processes and work. In that sense, the programme with very basic name that we supported from various fundings was a reaction and as a research and creative platform it was foreseen as a programme line of PSR.
The invitation and frame were presented to each individual/artist separately and then again in April in the studio space, where all the invited artists and the team met for the first time. We presented our idea and frame, in which people would research modes of sustainability in dance, working in tracing ‘affective’ and effective choreographing methods as well as the form of dance in the public spaces. We did not want to enforce anything; however, the initiators were invited to further coordinate and be present with the selected team due to our more profound knowledge on the selected topics and aims they envisioned.
At the end two groups (first consisting of Ines Šimunić, Bor Pungerčič, Rok Vevar, Petra Weber, Liza Šimenc, the second gathered Nina Meško, Ajda Tomazin, Dejan Srhoj, Andrej Pezelj, Beno Novak, Urban Belina and Jasmina Založnik) were formed with an aim to do research and bring whatever presentation/product until the end of November.
The first group decided to exchange their notebooks, in which everyone would reflect upon the process of their work – envisioned as dance and architecture; public sculptures; bodies in public sphere etc. – and would on weekly bases exchange with others in the team. At the end 5 artist books would be created in which scores, reflection, poetry, drawings would appear. The second research topic was dedicated to the plastic art and sculpture in the public space that would reflect a moving body/body in motion. The group went around Ljubljana and also visited some known partisan sculpture/monument, made photos and comment on the spaces they visited. As a final product, due to the pandemic restrictions, the team created a video-essay, a poetic movie in English.
The second group decided to work in couples and trios on various topics and formats. Andrej Pezelj, a sociologist, historian and artists started to trace the reasons why dance was not integrated in schools’ curriculums as other art form were in the 18th century and gave at the end a very short lecture on the topic. Urban Belina dug deeper in somatic practices and its history, trying to find a link and possibility that the knowledge of somatic practitioners coming from the field of dance could be included in medical centres or on-line application for healthy life. Unfortunately, he was rejected by two organizations that earn money with such application, hiring doctors and other professionals but did not find dancers a reliable source of information. Nina Meško and Jasmina Založnik researched Slovenian dance history, tracing studio spaces, apartments and presenting venues of the contemporary dance pioneers. As the tour was impossible to organize due to pandemic they created a short quiz for the audience and this by engage them in historic knowledge on dance. Beno Novak, Ajda Tomazin and Dejan Srhoj decided to interview 20 different non-professionals of various generations/age, who are attending dance classes to reflect on their view of dance, not only how they perceive dance, but rather what the dance do to them. The results were similar in a way, opening up range of positively effecting the non-professionals (from solving their health issues, creativity, freedom, positive emotions and attitude, connections with other, somatic awareness, openness, relaxation, improvement of their short- and long-term memory etc.). Unfortunately, the interviews created by Ajda Tomazin disappeared as her computer broke down.
Despite the pandemic, the results were diverse and potent in their content and forms. They need to be shown and shared with wider audience hopefully already this year.
Every human is a homo saltans. We invite all people with bodies to join us in this presentation of diverse aspects of contemporary dance practices in a broader social context. After a short introductory somatic tuning, which will help us feel our body and ground ourselves, we will focus on the influence of dance, movement training and contemporary dance practices on creativity, well-being, personal development and other aspects of everyday life.
We will present direct insights of a wide range of profiles on the benefits of physical training in other aspects of everyday life, statements from interviews with participants in movement training under the guidance of choreographers and dancers and a group of older retired participants involved in a staging project. How useful is dancing as a training of physical expression and cultivating a high-level physical awareness for other career profiles? How useful is it in the third age? How useful is it in the education system? Could we lean on it even more?
To shed light on other aspects of the mysterious progression of contemporary dance, we are also preparing reports from historical sites and a presentation of a set of research fragments on the history and emancipatory potential of dance in education. Dance, with its »detrimental« and »seductive« arrangement of bodily configurations in space, is at an early stage considered to be one of the factors that erode the moral uprightness of society.
The presentation will be carried out by members of the group Contemporary Dance Practices in a Broader Social Context: Ajda Tomazin, Andrej Pezelj, Beno Novak, Dejan Srhoj, Jasmina Založnik, Nina Meško and Urban Belina
Technical assistance: Matej Marinček, Saško Gerkšič
Production: Nomad Dance Academy Slovenija and Kino Šiška