NOTTDANCE DEBATES: MUSEUMS

NOTTDANCE DEBATES: MUSEUMS

Documentation
Choreographer Matthias Sperling, curator and host of the Nottdance Debates series, offers a summary of the content from the event, that took place on Friday 10 March. Time signatures indicate their approximate location in the footage for navigation.

Introductions of the speakers begin and Matthias introduces the provocation:

What future visions do we want to propose for the interaction between dance and museums? Do we want to envisage dance entering not only into museum spaces but also museum collections? What would best support the future of dance and choreographic practices?

10:00 - 15:30  Dancer and choreographer Lucy Suggate reflects on her experience of participating in the international partnership project ‘Dancing Museums’, and imagines what kinds of institutions we might want to rebuild if all of our current museums crumbled.

15:30 - 23:16 Architect and academic Jonathan Hale compares museum and theatre environments in terms of how they physically stage the encounter between audiences and artworks, and asks what might stand to be gained and lost when dance happens in the museum.

23:16 - 29:39 Dramaturg, writer and performer Martin Hargreaves focuses on the legibility and legitimacy of dance in museum contexts, using these two concepts as lenses through which to describe relationships to curatorial practices and notions of value.

29:40 - 40:52 Choreographer Joe Moran describes some of the reasons why dance artists may want to go into museums, and reflects on how the relationship between dance and museums, particularly in the UK, has evolved in recent years.  Pointing towards ways forward for these concerns, one of the potentials he imagines is the creation of a national archive for independent dance and choreography.

40:52 - End In the collective discussion that follows, questions that arise include:

  • How can a choreographic work be collected and what precedents are there for this?
  • What reasons are there to resist the idea of collecting dance works?
  • When we archive dance works, what are we archiving them for?
  • Who would decide what goes into a national archive of independent dance works?
  • What are the differences between archiving and collecting?
  • If we want the legacy of dance works to be taken care of, is the contemporary art market the right place to look to for that?
  • Might illegibility and illegitimacy be things that we want to strive for?