Cologne – June 2011, Journal Hochschule für Musik und Tanz

“55 Students from three educational institutes, Instituto Superior De Ensenanzas Artisticas de la Comunitat (ESP), Art EZ Hogeschool voor de Kunsten (NL) and the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz (DE), will participate in a six week rehearsal process during the summer semester of  2012, in conjunction with two choreographers from Germany and Spain. The choreographic work they create will be toured throughout the Netherlands, Spain and Germany.

Two emerging composers from Spain and the Netherlands will compose the music for this creation. Experienced composers from their respective countries will mentor them throughout the creative process

Five coordinating meetings have been planned between May 2011 and November 2012, in which to prepare the project activities as well as to organize the exchange between the participants. These meetings will be led by Gaby Allard (NL), Julia Grecos (ESP), Pierre Geurin (ESP), Prof. Vera Sander (DE), and Pilar Marti (ESP).

The rehearsal will take place in each participating institution. In this manner, the students, artists and teachers will be afforded a glimpse of the structure and procedures in each partner school and therefore will be able to glean more from this unique exchange experience.  Collective discussions, attendance of performances, excursions into the city and local area, as well as visitations to relevant cultural institutions will be included within the framework of the program as means of expanding the experience.

The artistic process will be bolstered by a series of theoretical presentations under the theme of artistic work and the holistic project. Prepared seminars will be held in each institution, with the help of guest speakers and Prof. Dr. Yvonne Hardt (Professor of Applied Dance Studies at HfMT Cologne). Ideas that will influence the artistic process and intercultural exchange will be introduced and considered with regards to the needs and specializations of the participating students. Themes covering cultural hybridization and gender studies will be discussed and clarified. In Cologne, this seminar will be interconnected with the choreographic conference “Choreography-Gender-Media”, held during July 2011.

Throughout the working process, a framework of dance theory will support the participants. They will be given constructive feedback and an outside perspective to aid them in further developing their understanding of dramaturgy. The themes in the seminars will be connected to the working process, allowing each to grow and develop with the aid of the other. To further support this process, academic instructors specializing in the fields of choreography and gender studies will regularly visit the rehearsals.

The content of the seminars and the rehearsal process will be documented and published in a book. Included in this book will be relevant texts and materials from invited guests and teachers from the three institutions, as well as comments and feedback from the participants. To insure that the information and experience garnered throughout the process is available to future participants, a brochure and a DVD will accompany this book. They will be published in multiple languages to guarantee accessibility to as many people as possible. Furthermore, the project can be followed and interacted with online via its website (created in conjunction with the Masters program in dance studies) its Facebook page, extensive press releases and the websites for each respective school. During the closing event in Cologne, the book and DVD will be presented to the public, and the participants will have a chance to reflect together over their collective experience. The interdisciplinary project invokes artistic and theoretical questions which are formulated in the competing interests of art, civil society and the audience/the public and require active and passive encounters.

Working on the project will be artists, scientists, students, and audience members from multiple countries. The hope is that the participants will be able to focus on intercultural parallels within art and develop a stronger international network. It is also desired that the program itself stimulate exchanges between artists and scientists, and between varying art forms. Indeed one of the primary and overarching rationales for the project is the reinforcement of intercultural dialog and exchange.

Cooperative research strengthens our multifaceted understanding of our world, and helps us to exceed the limitations of a narrower world-view, where we are allowed to leave numbingly comfortable space and walk across exciting new terrain. Through the common investigation of each others respective art form, the understanding of cultural contexts, and a communal reflection over artistic methods, students will develop the tools necessary to enhance their own creative spirit and reflective thinking.

This interdisciplinary venture, an exchange between artists, theoreticians, students, teachers and the public from Spain, the Netherlands and Germany, is an ambitious undertaking in intercultural teamwork. Within the realm of this venture it is important for us to discover how much the participants will directly learn from each other. It is also imperative that we fabricate new viewpoints, become acquainted with alternative approaches to art, and become conscious of how complexly bound all of these elements are to the artistic process. The willingness to engage openly in dialog over foreign topics, themes and experiences, and the readiness to develop a common artistic language in which to engage these differences, are unconditionally necessary for any successful interdisciplinary convergence.”

cologne – summer 2011