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One of Europe’s most thought-provoking artistic production teams, choreographer Michael Kliën and dramaturge Steve Valk engage in a dialogue to outline their radically expanded vision of choreography and dance.
The talk will delve into some of the most exciting and revolutionary ideas in current contemporary cultural practice, to explore a vision of dance and choreography that aims to chart a way out of the current crisis facing Western societies.
In addition, Kliën and Valk introduce the emerging field of Social Choreography as a real-world project of transformative aesthetic practice.
Michael Kliën’s artistic practice encompasses interdisciplinary thinking, critical writing, curatorial projects, and centrally, choreographic works equally at home in the Performing as well as the Fine Arts. His works have been performed and situated in many countries across the world. Commissions include Ballett Frankfurt, ZKM (Karlsruhe), Tanzquartier Wien and the Vienna Volksoper; exhibitions include IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art), Benaki (Athens) and Hayward Gallery (London). He received a PhD from the Edinburgh College of Art in 2009 and has been lecturing about his findings at numerous distinguished academic and non-academic institutions. He was co-founder and Artistic Director of the enigmatic London based arts group Barriedale Operahouse (1994—2000) and Artistic Director/CEO of Daghdha (2003—2011). Based in Greece and Ireland, he is currently working as an independent artist.
Recent key projects include the choreographic works ‘Sediments of an Ordinary Mind’ and ‘Standing in Ink’ for Daghdha Dance Company, ‘Parliament’ for Benaki Museum, ‘Choreography for Blackboards’ for Hayward Gallery, ‘Slattery’s Lamp’ for IMMA’s (Irish Museum of Modern Art) permanent collection, a solo- exhibition at the Irish Museum of Modern Art and the publication of ‘Books of Recommendations: Choreography as an Aesthetics of Change’. www.michaelklien.com
….Can’t get enough of Michael Kliën? Check out his November 6th Movement Discovery Workshop!
Steve Valk (1962) is a contemporary dance dramaturge, visual artist and designer and currently the director of the first Insitute of Social Choreography in Frankfurt Germany.
In 2007 he founded the international dramaturgical and social choreographic design agency „r.i.c.e.“ (radical institute of cybernetic epistemology) with headquarters in Limerick, Ireland, Helsinki Finland and Frankfurt Germany. For twelve years (1992-2004), he was Head Dramaturge and creative collaborator for William Forsythe and Ballett Frankfurt. During this period, his ground-breaking visual dramaturgy informed Forsythe`s seminal choreographic works. From 1998 to 2004,Valk`s dramaturgical practice and focus on trans-disciplinary networking strategies led to the development of a new participatory / situational epistemology for the institution of contemporary dance. The resulting large-scale projects “Schmalclub” (1999-2002) and “New Meaningful Public Space” (2003-2004) are now recognized as seminal works in the emerging field of Social Choreography.
From 2004-2011, Valk, in partnership with choreographer and Artistic Director Michael Klien, became Head Dramaturge and artistic collaborator of Ireland`s Daghdha Dance Company. Through a persistent process of rigorously re-examing the core principles of contemporary cultural practice, Daghdha became one of Europe‘s most progressive arts organizations, “a complex and living ecology, one which conceptually transcended and extended far beyond the boundaries of its formally prescribed institutional structures”.
In December 2012 – with the support of, and in collaboration with, a longstanding network of local, regional, and international trans-disciplinary theorists, cultural workers, civic partners, and friends – Steve Valk founded the first Institute of Social Choreography in Frankfurt Germany.
The Institute of Social Choreography
In its daily activities, the Institute of Social Choreography specialises in deep dramaturgical research, the development of new cultural formats and collaborative networks, and the practice of social choreography as a set of methods for discovering and manifesting alternative patterns in the ecology of our collective experience. Project partners range from social service organisations of all kinds, religious institutions, schools, foundations… art-, performance- and design- universities to creative agencies, the Occupy movement, local and international cultural initiatives, museums, dance departments and government agencies. Its primary aim is to expand, extend, and integrate experiential knowledge, attained in the visual and performing arts, into all aspects of civic and cultural life. The Institute of Social Choreography aims to identify, strengthen and open new political dimensions of aesthetic practice, not through the representation of ideologies, but by creating the conditions for original social relations to arise directly out of choreographic practice. Performative experimentation is its central methodological principle.