Nationalist questions have been addressed regularly in performing arts over the past years. Etcetera asked curators Nat Muller and Sandra Noeth to enter in conversation about the connection between the body and identity politics. During the editing process Tunde Adefioye, member of Etcetera’s circle of advisory editors made some notes alongside this dialogue.
The lack of black choreographers/ black voices in Contemporary Dance has created a large gap in the understanding of blackness, allowing that label to be thrown at any choreographer who bears the racial marking of being black. In the solo work Mercurial George by the Montreal-based choreographer Dana Michel, she confronts this racial imposition heads on, creating an anarchist ecology of things where identity and blackness can emerge in this illegible yet affectively charged mode of experience.
The American director Annie Dorsen has been working for some years on a series of projects she calls ‘algorithmic theater’. Etcetera asked Dorsen to ellaborate on this notion. What inspires her? What problems or questions arise when working with algorithms?
Choreographer and dancer Daniel Linehan places dancers in a hyper-structured environment. In this way, his performances investigate how society conditions us and puts our bodies and psyches under pressure. His most recent work, Flood, takes a step beyond the establishment of this condition and for the first time short-circuits this structure.
In Begüm Erciyas’ Voicing Pieces my voice initiates and becomes part of a complex theatrical apparatus, staged for one person: myself. My voice causes sheets of text to move, lights to fade in and out and change their direction. This theater enables me, visitor and performer all at once, to experience and encounter myself as a multiplicity, a ‘we’; the boundaries between the speaker, her voice and the ‘voice’ of the text subtly disappearing.
The Swiss dramatist Milo Rau is causing quite a stir with his unique form of ‘research theatre’. He does not hesitate to recreate historical events as faithfully as possible, or to play around with notions of factuality, reality and representation. In what follows, we will take a closer look at three strategies Rau and his actors use to force entry into reality, along with the viewer.
From the ‘crisis play’ to the ‘memorial play’ to the ‘Syria play’. Current affairs are doing well in theatre. And yet this is not a matter of course for a medium that likes to invoke its slowness with regard to the flow of information that washes over us daily. But perhaps today, argues Kristof Van Baarle, we have a greater need for stories than for information.