PARTS Research Studios is a fulltime program dedicated to intensive artistic investigation and creation. It is aimed at dance-makers, both choreographers as performers who wish to engage in an intensive activity of creation in collaboration with others.
Between 2015 and 2018, PARTS has been experimenting with pilot projects of various lengths to define a new structure and approach for the Research Studios. In 2017-18, this has been in the form of a 13-month program that runs between September 2017 and the end of September 2018. The description of that program can be found below.
From 2019-20 onwards, the program will find a new and stable definition with a fulltime curriculum of two years, destined to young choreographers and makers who have just finished their BA or MA and/or have a limited professional experience. More details about this program, its student profile and its admission procedure will be published in the course of the Fall of 2018.
Research Studios 2017-18: movement x sound x word
The crisscross of sound, word, and movement has had a substantial legacy in 20th century experiments in music, performance art and dance. More recently, poetry has re-emerged in dance and visual art in various anti spectacular expressions in which the poetic use of language has renewed imagination beyond an instrumental trade in ideas. Comparably, contemporary music explores a new imaginary of sound through the ethnomusicological study of tuning, reinventing instruments and situations in which sound and bodily movement are composed in studio. Thus, current experiments in music and poetry converge in listening, in both literal and figurative senses of the word: in temporalizing perception and thought, opening up an attitude of reception, and delving into what is not immediately given, into what is opaque or ambiguous, or requires closer inspection and longer reflection.
How do we envision relationships between choreography and text today? Between choreographed movement and composed sound? What are the current experiments involving spoken word, gesture, voice, sound, music and movement in performance? What is the allure of poetry today and how does poetry pierce contemporary dance? How can we re-imagine and re-tool more exacting relations between movement and sound, sound and word, movement and word? How to mobilize the experimental legacy of ethnomusicology in shaping music and sound together with movement? Does the dancing body have the expressive power to speak and tell beyond itself? What do we mean when we perform in the first person singular, and what do we stand for when we say the plural “we”? These will be some of the questions in the focus as we investigate reflective orality/aurality.
The coordinators of this programme, the performance theorist and musicologist Bojana Cvejić and the musician and dramaturg Alain Franco have devised a one-year long trajectory of research inputs from a number of guests invited to give workshops, seminars and lectures. Among the invited choreographers, dancers, composers, musicologists, philosophers and writers are Michael Beil, Jonathan Burrows, Mette Edvardsen, Tristan Garcia, Mette Ingvartsen, Janne-Camilla Lyster, Luk Vaes, Kristien Van den Brande, Myriam Van Imschoot & Marcus Bergner, Daniel Linehan & Stefan Prins, and François Nicolas. Each guest will unfold a particular approach, a set of ideas and materials. In addition to the collective research practice they will carry out, Cvejić and Franco will maintain the consistency and continuity of the collective thematic platform in which the research projects of the participants are embedded.
Candidates are invited to apply on the basis of specific artistic interest in exploring choreography/dance/performance in relation to experimental music and poetry. Their research projects should be thematically linked and sourced from the investigation of reflective orality/aurality. The aim of the program is to provide an opportunity for an in-depth investigation of a choreographic and performance problem related to the topic of study. Thus, the program extends the research phase prior to production in order to sharpen the focus and investigate thoroughly the possibilities the artist will later realize in creation after the end of the program. The outcomes of the research could be one of the following:
- material propositions with respect to the formulated research questions/problems;
- a lecture-demonstration;
- a written account (diverse textual formats, essay, scores and so on);
- a presentation in another medium than live performance (e.g. sound, video);
- a short, small-scale piece as a first step in the creation of a performance.
Practically, the program is organized on a weekly basis into workshops and seminars (3-5 days long) and open research periods of open research during which the content and practices of the workshops and seminars can be digested and transformed into self-directed individual or collective research. Participants are strongly encouraged to collaborate with each other in order to make efficient use of the available studio and working time. The coordinators divide the task of supervising individual/collective research, accompanying and supporting the participants over the entire period. The supervision also includes studio visits by the invited guests. The time for the completion of the final outcome is extended over summer, allowing the participants more extracurricular time, mostly outside P.A.R.T.S., for their research work. The program is concluded in the final presentations and feedback sessions in September 2018.
P.A.R.T.S. is not part of the regular education system and therefore it cannot issue a legal diploma. However, experience learns that many former students have been able to let their experience in the P.A.R.T.S. programs count as equivalencies (as formal qualifications or as competences) in order to access MA or PhD programs. Detailed records can be delivered after completing the course.