With his Experiment series choreographer Fernando Belfiore creates new spaces for interaction and mobilisation in the dance scene.
The Experiment is an encounter within the setting of a performative playground based on improvisation and interaction. The main idea is to explore new formats of spectating and to focus on collective experience. Experiment#1 took place in October last year during Punch! Festival and worked with a format based on football and support. Experiment#2 derived from the notion of ‘The Symposium’, the round table and storytelling around the fireplace. Both previous editions took place at Dansmakers Amsterdam, where Fernando is artist in residence.
Het Veem Theater invites Fernando Belfiore to create space for a third encounter. This time he proposes the Improvisation Battle as format to work with and from. The improvisation battle is based on battle formats form dance styles like capoeira, vogue or urban dance and follows the idea of the improvisation jam (in music). Experiment#3 proposes a space where the participants can improvise, move and act, independently of style or skill, to playfully challenge or simple dance together.
Everyone is welcome to come and join IMPRO JAM.
Come dressed to shine but in comfortable clothes, so that you can move and don’t wear accessories that can harm others or yourself.
Collaboration | Live sound Sne Martin Snider and Danilo LVM.
The EXPERIMENT OF THE 23rd is an encounter, an experience, a contemporary dance playground.
The event, supported by Dansmakers Amsterdam, will be guided by a group of Amsterdam based artists that will give a proposition to be realized together with everyone present.
The proposition of the artists is created during weekly meetings, investigating the idea of ‘public’ that will be approached by its multiple and hidden meanings. What is private in ‘public’? What is ‘in common’ in ‘public’? Is dance audience a community? Where are the borders? And, how (do we want) to share the time we spend together?
The main idea is to explore new formats of spectating, bringing the focus to a collective experience. The first edition of the experiment was held in October last year during PUNCH! Festival and had in its format the elements of sports, support and group excitement. For this next edition we will be working with talking, the dinner table, ‘The Symposium’, the unknown neighbour and storytelling around the fireplace.
The event also aims to create new spaces for interaction and mobilization in the contemporary dance scene of Amsterdam. It is production, rethinking consumption.
The EXPERIMENT OF THE 23rd will take place at Dansmakers aan ‘t IJ on the 23rd of March from 15:00 till 18:00 hrs. Everyone is welcome! Doors open at 14:30.
Concept of Experiment of the 23rd: Eva Susova, Clara Saito, Clara Amaral, Fernando Belfiore, Zeynep Gunduz, Alice Pons, Nicolas Roses
General Concept: Fernando Belfiore
“And Agathon said, It is probable, Socrates, that I knew nothing of what I had said.
And yet spoke you beautifully, Agathon, he said.”
― Plato, The Symposium
The Symposium Ancient Greek: Συμπόσιον is a philosophical text by Plato dated c. 385–380 BCE. It concerns itself at one level with the genesis, purpose and nature of love, and (in latter-day interpretations) is the origin of the concept of Platonic love.
Love is examined in a sequence of speeches by men attending a symposium…-wikipedia
Within this horizon, the task of ‘building new audiences’ could miss the attempt to acknowledge an erosion within society and maybe an erosion between society and the arts as well: an erosion of common values and collective concepts that have an impact on and regulate relationships inside society and between society and art. One cause of this dissolution of stable relations, taken for granted for so long, could be a new precariousness3: a powerful element of transformation that operates in the system of art in the same way as in the labour system. As working relations are less secure and more and more detached from individual relations and qualities, the responsibility of art funding is increasingly questioned. One is attempting to separate it from the concept of the common good and is imposing restrictions, as has already happened in some countries. There are several developments that respond to these weak relationships in the work environment as well as in private life: for example, a general desire to search for different approaches to togetherness within artistic practice – as concepts such as collaborative transdisciplinarity and collectivity are attesting. Or the recent debate about the spectator as an involved and critical player within the art fi eld. There is a sentence in curator Christine Peters’ text that explains what could be the real ‘power’ of the spectator in our age: ‘The emancipated spectator, whom the French philosopher Jacques Rancière considered an equal partner in a shared and open space of experience, in which the boundaries between ‘those who act and those who look’ are blurred, is called upon again: In the liquid age of the 21st century, s/he should accomplish the work of art. And s/he is granted this right much more naturally than in former epochs.’ One of the most recurring desires that rises naturally from various texts in this publication should be seen from the same viewpoint – both in an explicit way, such as in the conversation with the artists Marko Milić and Igor Koruga, or more implicitly, such as in the interview with the programmer Gil mendo. It is the desire to create a community4. community tends to disregard the economic aspect of the audience (number of spectators). It addresses the audience as an immanent factor of the fi eld as it tries to grasp new forms of artistic practice. cate canniffe offers concrete examples – although in a more popular frame – of
how the British council initiates projects that require artists and organisations ‘to work with venues, local authorities and other partners to engage people who are not necessarily familiar with dance (or any other art form)’. Art can show and practice other possible ways of being together, ‘different realities’ – as the critic Wouter Hillaert calls them in his text. These are participatory actions where all the players in the cultural fi eld, while sharing the same space and time, can redefi ne their interaction, their targets, their rules and their operations. This is a concrete act of creation that could lead those ‘temporary communities’ to a natural engagement, an enlargement of themselves and a reverberating effect on everyday life. Here we are. Our interest in this topic is based on this switch from winning audiences to creating communities. Our survey starts questioning the field itself – through the voice of seven players – about the relationship between audience and art that becomes, text after text, a space of imagination for new practices and reformulated meanings for some overused words. We are trying to change perspectives – this can be summarised in the shift from ‘creative europe’ to ‘create europe’ – with the clear desire of being useful in a discussion that should change the focus from the audience as a consumer to it being an active partner of the performing arts.
audience or communities A publication by apap – advancing performing arts project Edited by SZENE Salzburg, 2013
Audience – is a group of people who have come to watch, but more importantly to hear in a
space that equates to an auditorium. Hearing related not necessarily to seeing, as the
Elizabethans described going to hear a play.
Spectator – is an onlooker, wholly related to viewing and observation.
However, the definitions of both these activities in the twenty-first century collide. They not only
require listening, but both looking and observation, action and integration, and interactivity.
Introduction | 13
The new definition of spectatorship is interactivity. It is the combination of hearing and observation
and it has fewer of the negative connotations of the late twentieth century ideas of passive
viewing, which have led to an uninformed binary of passive and active, valuable and non-valid
cultural activities. Listening has become part of spectating.
Inter – in the sense of between and among and belonging in common to, and these terms all relate to the spectating activities. It is a prefix to the senses, as is all
spectatorship. The definitions of reading and writing also have new parameters given the
Internet and texting, which involve the active participant spectator. The spectator in this context
is seeing less and moving more quickly with what they see. For example, the use of text
language, a communication which can be read and understood very quickly. We don’t need
all the detail of language and words, but a shorthand code for the reader ‘cul8r’. Instant
spectatorship comes from the speed of this culture, and society claims a speed of activity, which
perhaps militates against the languished time spent listening to a play of an evening to the
exclusion of all other activity.
Watching – is being on the alert and keeping in view. This is the action of watching. This is the
passive audience, who are watching what goes on before them. This is very different from
observation, a sense of observing a prescribed act and not taking notice, in the same way that
you can hear something and not listen.
The modes of spectating addressed in this book:
n Mobile phone
1st Screen – cinema, 2nd Screen – TV, 3rd Screen – computer, 4th Screen – mobile. The
content for all is called one thing, usually related to old formats, for example, film, video, DVD
and DVR but the receiver device for the spectator is different, and so is the location of the viewer,
in that it could be an auditorium, a living room, an office or the street. What difference does
the playback device make to content creation and reception? Does it matter where you view
it? Movies, or moving images more correctly, define the creative practice, rather than the format
for recording. Is the mode of spectating the screen, or is it the movie or moving image? Content
becomes a screen creative practice. However, the size of screen, and where you view it, for
example on the mobile, makes the viewing environment become the living environment and the
Spectating covers a whole range of observation activities. This book encourages you to reflect
on the questions we have set out and engage with the modes of spectating under discussion.
We have presented these in relationships that suggest their synergies: interactive media and
youth culture; imaginative escape; identity and the self-conscious spectator and the site of
What is clear is the scope and dimension of definitions of meaning for the range of language
used across interdisciplinary landscapes, for example, the use of ‘interaction’ in terms of the
spectator’s interactivity with the space or landscape, the artwork, the movie, the computerbased
art, the screen, or the object in the virtual world of ‘Second Life’. One author understands
interaction as perception in virtual space; another celebrates the human-computer interaction
of interactive art, whilst another posits active spectatorship as the participatory relationship of
actor and masked spectator in the immersive, theatrical environment. Connections are made
through and between the past theories and histories of Herbert Blau’s Audience or Augusto
Boal’s ‘SpectActor’, via street theatre and the mobility of walking the city through interactive
performances, public spaces and public art, leading to definitions of the ‘spectator-protagonistperformer’
or the ‘masked spectator’.
It is of course your choice as reader to skim, dip, browse or read from cover to cover. Whichever
approach you take, we hope this enables you to consider modes of spectating that are relevant
to new cultural practices.
Modes of Spectating
Alison Oddey and Christine White
0:03 “there are 11 rules of the game
Forget all the standard art forms. Don’t paint pictures, don’t make poetry, don’t
build architecture, don’t arrange dances, don’t write plays, don’t compose music,
don’t make movies, and above all, don’t think you’ll get a happening out of
putting all these together.
This idea is nothing more than what operas always did
and you see it today in the far-out types of discotheques with their flashing lights
and film projections. The point is to make something new, something that doesn’t
even remotely remind you of culture. You’ve got to be pretty ruthless about this,
wiping out of your plans every echo of this or that story or jazz piece or painting
that I can promise you will keep coming up unconsciously.
You can steer clear of art by mixing up your happening by mixing it with life
situations. Make it unsure even to yourself if the happening is life or art. Art has
always been different from the world’s affairs, now you’ve got to work hard to
keep it all blurry. Two cars collide on a highway. Violet liquid pours out of the
broken radiator…”1:18 Allan Kaprow – How to make a happening
EXPERIMENT OF THE 12th
Local artists will take part in an experimental residence of weekly-based encounters at Dansmakers Amsterdam. The artists will discuss and reflect on‘ Public’, in the current situation of the dance scene. ‘Public’ will be taken in its multiple and hidden meanings to question public and private politics, dance audience and its borders, the idea of ’members-only’ and inclusive and exclusive in society.
Is dance audience a community? Is there already a visible change in the dance scene in Amsterdam, after the budget cuts for culture? Should art be subsidized by public or private money? And how does the market frame and impact the art scene itself? What is private in ‘public’? What is in ’common’ in ‘public’?
The residency aims to be a space to shake ideas, to get together, to hang out, to re-think and to discuss. It also aims to support and create new spaces for interaction of local artists and mobilization in the dance scene of Amsterdam during these weeks.
The outcome of the residency will not be a rehearsed presentation. It will be an experimental event for/with the audience based our reflections on ‘public’. The EXPERIMENT OF THE 12th will take place at PUNCH Festival on the 12th of October at 22h in Dansmakers Noord.
Residency Participants and Concept of Experiment:
Eva Susova, Setareh Fatehi Irani , Fernando Belfiore, Simon Asencio, Clara Amaral, Alice Pons, Olivia Reschofsky, Federica Dauri ,Maria Mavridou and Zeynep Gunduz
General Concept: Fernando Belfiore
Inspired during the residence LOTE | SAO PAULO . Many Thanks