Performing Arts Relay themes

- short summary by Barbara Simonsen and Brian Quirt-


Reykjavik pilot 2016: 'What is the question?'

Our first pilot was an exploration of what kinds of questions dance and movement can answer, and what kinds of questions emerge from dance and movement. How does dance as an art form and as practice produce knowledge, and what kind of knowledge can be found or explored through dance?

4 dancers/choreographers from Iceland and Norway went through a process of mapping and articulating their own practice as well as exchanging methods and creative approaches through practical work.


Day 1: Discovering Practice

Day 2: From Practice to Methods

Day 3: From Methods to Questions

The theme was also intended as a (playful) starting point for the Relay labs in general; starting to reflect on the purpose and possibilities for the Relay forum: what are the questions?

Reykjavik pilot video



Aarhus pilot 2017: Exchanging and Sharing Practice

Our second pilot contained 2 different experiments.

Exp 1: Exchanging practice: Theatre and dance
A continuation of the work in Reykjavik, now with artists from theatre and dance in the space together, exchanging through collaborative tasks.

Exp 2: Sharing practice: Dance and science/healthcare research
A meeting between a dance project with a group of elderly performers and 3 age researchers from biology/sociology, consisting of work/training demonstrations and discussions.




Relay Hammerfest 2018: Composition

This lab was in a way a mix of the 2 pilots: as in Reykjavik, we used the mapping method as an introduction to lab work and the reflection on one's own practice, and then went on to various tasks and experiments in small groups. And as in Aarhus, we tried out a meeting between artistic practice and non-artistic practice (a little bit, through one of the six participants).

The theme of the lab: Composition, was a can-opener to the reflection and exchange process. How do I create structure, form, content in my work? How do I choose, and how do I put things together? What happens when we put different bits of different artists' works together? What tools do we have and what results do they create?


Relay Canada 2018: Context

Context as question – Relay Canada 2018 provides a frame of practice and reflection wherein we expand the range of questions that we are able to ask, and the thoughts we are able to think. 'What is the question?' is a great question to always come back to, with the focus on context urging us to remember to ask: 'And why is that the question?' 


In Calgary, as artists from 9 countries gather together to consider context in this realm, a second issue becomes equally vital.


Context as displacement – Displacement is one of the Relay's most effective tools, asking artists to work in new contexts and new countries with new collaborators, which enables us to reflect on our habits and practices and all our 'givens'. The fact that we are doing these research labs together, with all our differences and similarities, and that we are continually changing location and contexts, invites us to consider our questions afresh, ask questions we've never asked, make discoveries we've never imagined.