• Critical Endeavor 2010


    Critical Endeavour is an educational program for emerging dance and performance journalists that took place for the first time during ImPulsTanz 2008 in Vienna. It is part of the new European initiative Jardin d’Europe―a multi-annual project funded partly by the European Commisson’s Culture Programme 2007-2013―that was developed by its 10 network partners: Ultima Vez (BE), CCN Montpellier (FR), Workshop Foundation (HU), Lokomotiva (MK), Station (RS), Art Link (RO), Cullberg Ballet (SE), Bimeras Culture Foundation (TR), Southbank Centre (UK), danceWEB (AT). Critical Endeavour’s aim is to enhance public discourse on dance and to promote exchange about practices, ethics, and responsibilities in criticism within the respective countries and contexts.


    Description of Critend 2010:


    I read an article on me once that described my machine-method of silk-screen copying and painting- 'What a bold and audacious solution, what depths of the man are revealed in this solution!' What does that mean?

    -Andy Warhol

    Contemporary practices in the field of dance and performance―at times infiltrating into and at other times being contaminated by related questions in other artistic and expressive fields―question, challenge and expand the boundaries of what constitutes the “choreographic”. We witness the “contemporaneity” of current live art practices and performative interventions as sites where the margins are blurred, often rendering territorial disciplinary demarcations insufficient, if not irrelevant. Granted that, within the Critical Endeavor 2010 seminars/encounters/talks, we search for the ways in which we can catch up with, contribute to, and multiply the questions and to reflect on the creative possibilities rising from such cross-pollinations. Herein, we pay particular attention to facilitating an informed yet accessible discourse and writing on contemporary dance and performance practices.

    In line with the broader festival theme, cosmopolitanism, we consider whether or not it is possible to achieve and maintain a cosmopolitan perspective in performance writing and criticism. We exchange reflections on critical writing with local and transnational writers, journalists and theoreticians from visual arts criticism, music criticism and literary criticism in order to extend our vocabulary and practice of writing in/around/for contemporary dance.

    The objectives of Critend can be summarized along two major axes:

    •        Acquiring expertise and working tools for journalistic, essayistic, and theoretical writing on dance via reading and writing assignments, discussions and public presentations;

    •        Working towards an ethics of evaluation by nominating a designated number of laureates among a group of 10-14 emerging choreographers featured in the Prix Jardin d’Europe series as part of the festival.

    The participants of the Critical Endeavor who were nominated by the ten project partners from their respective countries are: Eylül Akıncı (TR), Bükki Nóra Ildikó (HU), Iulia Popovici (RO), Julie Rodeyns (BE), Lisa Caroline Smith (UK), Theresa Elke Christine Steininger (AT), Josefine Wikström (SE), Maxime Fleuriot (FR), Dean Damjanovski (MK), Iva Nerina Sibila (MK). Critend 2010 seminars are led by Gurur Ertem (Coach&Facilitator, TR),Jean-Marc-Adolphe (Mentor, FR), Franz Anton Cramer (Mentor, DE), Pieter T’Jonck (Mentor, BE), Ayşegül Sönmez (Mentor, TR), Tang Fu Kuen (Mentor, SG), and will be assisted by Ayrin Ersöz (Previous Critend Participant) and Berna Kurt (Previous Critend Participant, TR). In 2010, Critical Endeavor is hosted by Bimeras within the context of iDANS International Contemporary Dance and Performance Festival, in collaboration with Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts, Department of Modern Dance. 



    Gurur Ertem | 18&19.10.2010 | 11:00 – 18:00 | MSUFA Bomonti Campus Dance Department

    Keywords: Interpretation, hermeneutics, criticism, performativity, performative writing, author, authority, reader

    The “truth” or the “meaning” of a text/performance is not hermeneutically sealed. One arrives at an understanding of performance through a dialogical process of interpretation. Considering criticism as an interpretive endeavor and as an open process, this introductory seminar aims to build a reflexive understanding of what it means to interpret a text/performance. In our discussions we will be interrogating the differences and/or the distances between a review, criticism, and analyis. We will also explore the ways in which one can articulate informed judgment and analytical opinion yet remain accessible.

    Gurur Ertem is a sociologist, dramaturge and curator. She is the co-founder of Bimeras Cultural Foundation and is the artistic director of the Istanbul based contemporary dance and live arts festival iDANS. She is the co-editor—with Şebnem Selışık Aksan—20.Yüzyılda Dans Sanatı: Kuram ve Pratik (Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Yayınları, 2007); the editor ofÇağdaş Dansta Solo? In Contemporary (Bimeras 2009), and the co-editor—with Noémie Solomon—of Dance On Time! (Bimeras, 2010). As a doctoral candidate at the New School for Social Research in sociology, she is researching on whether or not one can consider the contemporary dance scene as a transnational “art-world”.


    Jean-Marc Adolphe | 20&21.10.2010 | 11:00-18:00

    Theatre, dance and visual arts have entered a process of hybridization in their respective fields. In the performing arts, staging and choreography are being shaken up and challenged by the “performing”. Consciously or not, a whole history of the art-performance is called up and recycled. But the “performance”, which was uniquely transgressive, has always rejected theatricality. There is indeed a new fusion going on, between the moment of the action and the time for the “rehearsal/repetition”. Which tools could we use to evaluate interdisciplinary creations that come from this dynamic? As far as the critic is concerned, we need to question the pertinence of aesthetics: when we look at something, what does the reflection tells us?


    Jean-Marc Adolphe is a critic, writer/essayist and artistic counselor. He runs “Mouvement”, a French interdisciplinary magazine, which he founded in 1993 (www.mouvement.net). Moreover, he has worked for many international theatres and festivals. He is also in charge of SKITE, a laboratory which focuses on search and artistic creation; the 5th edition just finished and brought together for a month 80 artists in Caen (France)




    Pieter T’Jonck |22&23.2010 | 11:00 – 18:00 | MSUFA Bomonti Campus Dance Department


    This seminar focuses on the way one works with the material of the performance itself to make a critical text. It is about the importance of watching accurately before judging. Subsequently, it is discussed how this analysis can bring forth broader considerations and an evaluation of a choreography through comparison within and without the dance field.


    Pieter T'Jonck is an architect, but equally active as a dance and theatre critic for various media since 1983 such as Veto (1983-85), De Standaard (1985-2000), De Tijd (2001-06), De Morgen (since 2006) and Klara (since 2006). Besides, he published regularly about performing arts, architecture and urbanism in journals such as EtceteraDWBBallettanz and A+, and contributed to books. After 25 years of continuous activity as a newspaper critic, T’Jonck has become an indispensable witness of the performing arts in Flanders and elsewhere.




    Chantal Mouffe |23.10.2010 | 17:00 | Pera Museum Auditorium


    The world-renowned political theorist Chantall Mouffe will examine if her critique of the cosmopolitan approach in the field of politics is also valid in the cultural field or if it is possible to envisage a form of cosmopolitanism suited to artistic practices. 

    Chantal Mouffe is Professor of Political Theory at the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster in London. She has taught and researched in many universities in Europe, North America and South America and she is a corresponding member of the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris. She is the editor of Gramsci and Marxist Theory (Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1979), Dimensions of Radical DemocracyPluralism, Citizenship, Community (Verso, London, 1992) Deconstruction and Pragmatism (Routledge, 1996)and The Challenge of Carl Schmitt, (Verso, London, 1999); the co-author with Ernesto Laclau of Hegemony and Socialist StrategyTowards a Radical Democratic Politics (Verso, London, 1985) and the author of The Return of the Political (Verso, London, 1993), Le politique et ses enjeux (La Decouverte/M.A.U.S.S, 1994), The Democratic Paradox (Verso, London, 2000) and On the Political (Routledge, London, 2005).



    Franz Anton Cramer |24&25.10.2010 | 11:00 – 18:00 | MSUFA Bomonti Campus Dance Department

    The act of describing is an essential factor for writing “about”. Description was part of the canonical system of rhetoric. It is a poetic tool. And it is a scientific procedure. In dance and performance writing, the descriptive materialization to a large extent creates, brings into being its object: Dance. The lecture-workshop tries to reflect on this pivotal element and analyses some strategies of description that are important in and for dance appreciation. The title alludes to two important readings: The seminal book by J. L. Austin on “Speech Act Theory” (How to Do Things with Words, 1962), and the publication of the proceedings of an international conference held at Princeton University on the subject Regimes of Description: In the Archives of the 18th Century (2005). Both might be an important element of preparation. Works presented within the iDANS festival will serve as examples and as “case studies” for the workshop sessions. Participants’ own descriptive writing will also be a topic.


    Franz Anton Cramer, PhD, is fellow at the “Collège international de philosophie” in Paris. He studied Spanish Language and Literature, Art History and Theater at Berlin’s Free University. In 2003/4 he was managing director of the Dance Archives in Leipzig, from 2004 to 2006 researcher in residence at the Centre national de la danse, Paris. Since 2007 he is also project coordinator for the Dance Heritage program launched by Tanzplan Deutschland. A visiting professor with the study program Contemporary Dance, Context, Choreography (BA) at University of the Arts in Berlin until March 2010, he contributes regularly to the specialized press and holds workshops on the history of contemporary dance, dance criticism, and related issues. In 2008 he published the book Total Freedom. Cultures of Dance in France between 1930 and 1950.



    Ayşegül Sönmez|26.10.2010 | 11:00 – 18:00 | MSUFA Bomonti Campus Dance Department

    In this session, we are going to be expanding our descriptive vocabulary based on some tasks and inquire the ways in which visual art criticism and dance criticism differ (or not), and what particular criteria are needed to evaluate both.


    Ayşegül Sönmez is an Istanbul based art critic who writes regularly at daily newspapers and journals such as Radikal, Milliyet Sanat.



    Tang Fu Kuen |27.10.2010 | 11:00 – 14:00 | MSUFA Bomonti Campus Dance Department



    In this seminar, we will review texts on Asian performance registers that are not normative to western spectatorship. We will also discuss the effective ways to look at and write about works that challenge aesthetic conventions and our non-knowing, and limn the possibilities of fair interpretation and evaluation.


    Tang Fu Kuen is a critic, cultural dramaturge, and a curator. Since the late nineties he is writing dance criticism for Singapore's main newspaper The Straits Times and the magazine The Arts Magazine. He is also affiliated with European specialized magazines such as Ballet Tanz and Performance Research. Tang Fu Kuen conveys in these media clear statements on interculturalism in dance and performance, but explicitly from an Asian point of viewHe curated the Singapore Pavilion in Venice Biennale 2009, presenting artist Ming Wong who won Special Mention. He is the co-curator of the In-Transit Festival in Berlin in 2010.


    Seminar 7: ROUNDTABLE 

    Guest speakers from the local scene|27.10.2010 | 15:30 – 18:00 | MSUFA Bomonti Campus Dance Department

    We identify the current problems of art criticism in the local context and brainstorm about the possibilities and promises of different media in producing and disseminating dance and performing arts criticism.




    15:00 - 18:00 | MSUFA Bomonti Campus Dance Department