Since 2021, Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca (lector DAS Research) has worked with ATD Communications (Wouter van Loon, with interviewer Hester van Hasselt) to produce the campaign Artistic Research – New Pathways to New Knowledge? This is a series of interviews with teacher-researchers based at the Academy of Theatre and Dance that aims to increase the visibility and impact of our research on education, in the professional field and with wider publics. Five interviews have been published so far, with Maria Ines Villasmil, Rajni Shah, Carly Everaert, Patrick Acogny, and Amanda Piña.
Part 1: Liquid Practice - Maria Ines Villasmil
In this first in a series of interviews we take a peek behind the scenes, in conversation with Maria Ines Villasmil, teacher of dance improvisation at Expanded Contemporary Dance (ECD) and the School for New Dance Development (SNDO). "It's been 25 years now since I did any academic research, but that experience is still important to my work, and it serves as an excellent entry point for my artistic research. For me, dance improvisation is about encounters with people who each have their own vision and values, and their own ways of relating to other people. It's incredibly interesting to me how dance improvisation channels knowledge held in the body." Continue reading this interview here.
Part 2: The work of listening - Rajni Shah
The second episode in this series is a conversation with artist, writer and associate researcher at DAS Research, Rajni Shah. For 15 years Rajni Shah made performances, artistic projects and public interventions, until 2012, when they left the stage and took the path into artistic research at Lancaster University in the UK, and later the Acts of Listening Lab in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, Canada. Along the way, the act of listening took on an increasingly important role in their work. Their research into the relationship between listening and structural inequality led in 2019 to the Listening Tables, a series of meetings that attempted to bring about a shift in who gets to be heard, and to connect through listening, across all the boundaries of difference. Rajni Shah: "We live in a society that prioritises what we say, see and do. But what happens if we take listening as our departure point?" Continue reading this interview here.
Part 3: The body is my inspiration - Carly Everaert
In this third episode in a series of interviews, we take a peek behind the scenes, in conversation with costume designer and teacher at the academy's Scenography department, Carly Everaert. A major subject with which Everaert has been engaging throughout her career is the representation of gender and Queer identity on stage. She often works with directors who use non-traditional, cross-gender casting as a playful and powerful way of disrupting the familiar dualities of man/woman, black/white, trans/cis and heterosexual/queer, and the associated power structures. Continue reading this interview here.
Part 4: Being in the same heartbeat - Patrick Acogny
The fourth episode in this series is a conversation with dancer and choreographer Patrick Acogny, who teaches at the Dance in Education department. It was ten years ago that Patrick Acogny (France, Senegal) first came to Amsterdam, for an Artist in Residence project with his mother Germaine Acogny. His classes have been an integral part of the Dance in Education curriculum ever since, and on two occasions all the second- and third-year students visited Senegal. Patrick Acogny has now shed light on his findings, method and ideas in a film and an essay. "How do I relate to my weight, to gravity? In what different ways can I carry myself? These are the questions I incorporated in my didactics. I don’t turn my students into African dancers, I teach them how they can make their body receptive to a different dance aesthetic." Continue reading this interview here.
Part 5: Dance can be a teacher - Amanda Piña
In this fifth episode in a series of interviews, we take a peek behind the scenes, in conversation with Amanda Piña, a member of the THIRD research group at DAS Graduate School and curator of the ATD Day titled Unlearning the Human on 19 February 2022. Amanda Piña is Mexican, Chilean and Austrian – Viennese to be precise. She is working at THIRD on Danzas Climáticas, the fifth part of Endangered Human Movements, a long-term research project into the worldwide loss of cultural and biological diversity. The research for Danzas Climáticas focuses on ecology and climate change. It explores still-thriving first nation rituals and dances that engage with the nonhuman world – mountains, water and the weather – and their political significance. A performance piece Amanda Piña made last year centres on a mountain in the Central Chilean Andes that was part of her youth. It lies at the foot of Apu Wamani, or Cerro el Plomo, which is currently being excavated by the mining industry. Continue reading this interview here.