2010: Dance dramaturgy

On January 19, 2010, the Dutch Society for Dance Research (VDO) organised an afternoon seminar on the subject of dance dramaturgy. In November 2009 Danswerkplaats Amsterdam (DWA) had already held an extended seminar on this subject. By way of that well-attended meeting it became especially clear that this subject preoccupied many in the dance field and that it warranted additional discussion. It was determined that VDO, in coordination with DWA, would organize a follow-up meeting. Pursuant to this decision, VDO invited BIT (the Utrecht platform for emerging dance dramaturges) to present before an expert audience. This group, comprised of five women and one man, became responsible for the content of this meeting. Their presentation was delightful and fresh. Bart van Rosmalen, the relaxed and accommodating moderator, facilitated a dialogue between choreographers, (dance-)dramaturges, students and other interested persons, which lasted for two hours.
Translated by: Jaap  Blokdijk,  editted by: Marc Arentsen

2008: Self Reflection in dance education

Under the title “Self-reflection in Dance Education; Using the Computer as a Tool”, VDO (the Dutch Society for Dance Research) organized a special afternoon seminar for practitioners in professional dance education on Saturday November 1, 2008. In professional dance education, reflection and self-reflection are important skills. To be able to observe one’s own achievement and limitations is an indispensible tool for further development as well as for achieving one’s highest potential. In this process the computer can be of invaluable help. During the seminar two research projects were presented, which focused on the use of the computer in the praxis of professional dance education.
Äli Leijen (researcher at Viljandi Culture Academy of Tartu University in Estonia) spoke about “Supporting students’ reflection with streaming video”: This presentation is based on an evaluation case study carried out in a dance academy in The Netherlands. In this study the focus was on the experiences of 15 students and 2 teachers using a video-based learning environment, DiViDU, to facilitate students’ daily reflection activities in a composition course and a ballet course. The following questions are addressed: Why is it useful to incorporate streaming video for supporting students’ reflection? How does streaming video support students’ reflection activities? What should an educational institute consider before/while implementing streaming video?
Margot Rijven and Elisabeth Boender (project leaders of the Healthy Dancer Diary research) spoke about “Healthy dancers with a digital diary.” Dancers constantly shift their boundaries and in so doing risk over-exertion. Knowledge of the dangers is not enough; dancers tend to ignore warning signals until an actual injury literally forces him or her to stop. Inspired by experiences in the sports environment a digital dancers’ diary, to help dancers find their own balance between exertion and physical performance potential, was developed at the Amsterdam Arts College (Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten). The Healthy Dancer Diary (HDD) is currently being tested by several dance companies, freelance dancers, and professional dance schools. What insights into his or her own physical condition and performance qualities does a dancer gain by keeping a HDD? How can professional dance programs optimise performance schedules in the future through the use of HDD in order to keep their dancers in good health?
Translated by: Jaap  Blokdijk,  editted by: Marc Arentsen

2007: 5 x Dutch dance research

On October 13th 2007 VDO organized a seminar titled ‘5 x dance research in the Netherlands’ where five researchers, from different institutes, presented their PhD research. The researchers names and the presentation titles were:  Äli Leijen, ‘Understanding reflection in practical dance classes’, Zeynep Gündüz ‘Interactive Dance: The merger of media technologies and the dancing body’, Jeroen Fabius ‘The material political body. The role of proprioception and kinesthesia in the political subjectivity in theatrical dance at the turn of the century’, Lieselotte Volckaert ‘Danza fra Rinascimento e Barocco: diffusione e ricezione dello stile italiano in Europa’, and Thérèse Boshoven ‘Dance culture in the eastern provinces of the Netherlands (1300-1600). As these titles indicate, the content of the presentations show great diversity and, therefore, underline the variety of themes that can be addressed in dance research.
Translated by: Zeynep Gunduz, editted by: Marc Arentsen

2006: Cultural diversity in dance

An afternoon seminar themed “Cultural Diversity in Dance” was held on Thursday October 5, 2006. The impetus for this theme was the publication of a research report about the place of non-Western dance styles in the professional Dutch dance world. After the seminar the latest edition of “Danswetenschap in Nederland” (Dance research in the Netherlands), part 4, was handed to Helma Klooss, who for many years has been an avid advocate for more cultural diversity in dance.
Translated by: Betty Keeman, editted by: Marc Arentsen

2004: Dance and film

On Saturday November 13, 2004, an afternoon seminar was held about “Dance and Film”. Introductions were given by Xander de Boer, director for film and theatre productions, and co-founder of the DeBoer&VanDijk foundation. This foundation produced three dance films which screened at several film festivals, including “Dutch Film Festival in Utrecht,” “Dance on Screen” in London and “Videodance” in Greece.
The second speaker was Erik Lint, who is an applied practice teacher at the School of Theatre at the University of Amsterdam and who conducts research on the intersection between video and theatre. He presented examples from the themed semester “Audio-visual Documentation of Theatre and Dance,” which he facilitates at the University of Amsterdam.
Special guest was Jellie Dekker, who, over the past thirty-plus years has made all kinds of dance films for television, including documentaries, studio adaptations and theatrical performance registrations. Among her works are: “De danswoede” (“The Dance Rage”), a documentary about unknown Dutch dance history, the dance film “Sulphur,” which was a collaboration with the choreographer-duo Leine & Roebana, in addition to the live performance registration of “Sleeping Beauty” by the Dutch National Ballet on Christmas Day.
The well-attended seminar ended with the presentation of the first exemplar of the new VDO compendium “Danswetenschap in Nederland Deel 3” (“Dance Research in the Netherlands, Part 3”) to Jellie Dekker.
Translated by: Betty Keeman, editted by Marc Arentsen

2003: Experiencing and watching dance

On Saturday, March 8, 2003, the theme was “Experiencing and Looking at Dance.” Maaike Bleeker and Liesbeth Wildschut, who each are conducting research in this area, albeit from distinct perspectives, were the invited speakers. Liesbeth started the meeting with a presentation entitled “Moved by Dance: Children’s Experiences of Theatrical Dance Performances.” Having contributed to both installments of “Dance Research in the Netherlands” (Dansonderzoek in Nederland), faithful readers of the VDO publication had already become acquainted with Wildschut’s thesis research. Maaike Bleeker’s presentation was entitled “The Place of Observation: Dissecting Visuality in the Theatre,” and referred to her dissertation, which was published last year. Bleeker also wrote an article for the VDO collection “Dance Research in the Netherlands, Part 2” (Dansonderzoek in Nederland, deel 2). In her presentation during this afternoon’s seminar she referred back to her article and she also indicated some interesting topics for further research.
Translated by: Marc Arentsen

2002: Cultural diversity

On Wednesday, 26 June, 2002, an afternoon seminar was held with the theme “Cultural Diversity.” Both speakers, Laurien Saraber and Hanneke Koolen each shared their own, distinct visions, which invited debate. A report on Laurien Saraber’s research has been included in the VDO collection “Dance Research in the Netherlands, Part 2” (Dansonderzoek in Nederland, deel 2). Hanneke Koolen hopes to finish her thesis research by the end of 2002.
Translated by: Marc Arentsen

2001: How to reach a dance audience? And how to raise it & Historical dance, especially of the 8th century

On June 16, 2001, an afternoon seminar was held around the thematic question “How do you reach a dance audience? And how do you educate it?” Several speakers gave short introductions, which were follwed by a lively discussion with people who are involved in different areas relative to this theme. Unfortunately, no written report about this seminar was created.
Translated by: Marc Arentsen

A seminar on “Historical Dance, in Particular Dance of the 18th Century,” was held on January 20, 2001. Andre van de Velden, who is a historian at the Institute for Media and Re/Presentation at Utrecht University, chaired the meeting. After his introduction two speakers took the floor: Enno Piet and Malcolm Davies. Mr. Piet studied Cultural Sciences at the Open Universiteit and is currently working on a Ph.D. dissertation on the history of theatre dance in the Netherlands between 1600 and 1800.  In his lecture he gave a summary of the dance activities at the court of Willem V. between 1759 and 1794. His most important thesis contends that more dancing occurred during that period than historians heretofore had assumed. Malcolm Davies is a musician who wrote a Ph.D. dissertation about Freemasonry and the arts in the Netherlands between 1735 and 1806.  In that period many artists were Freemasons, and strong ties existed between them and the elite of The Hague.
Translated by: Dorothee Wortelboer, editted by: Marc Arentsen