- DAS Research
Liesbeth Koot studied dance at Fontys Hogeschool and worked for many years nationally and internationally as a dancer and choreographer. Together with collaboration artists Mioko Yoshihara, Inari Salmivaara, Anja Reinhardt, Lucas van der Velden, David Kiers and Gideon Kiers, she has made work for stage and film that has appeared at Dansateliers, PACT Zollverein, Dance Theatre Workshop NY, and the Netherlands Film Festival. Also, Koot gained her bachelor and a master’s degree in Philosophy from Utrecht University, and she is a former research assistant at Amsterdam’s VU University and educational policy officer at Amsterdam's VUmc and Rotterdam's Erasmus University. She has been writing policy papers since 2004, and her interviews for Sonic Acts Festival in Amsterdam have appeared in publications such as The Geologic Imagination.
In 2015, the Academy for Theatre and Dance at the Amsterdam University of the Arts appointed Liesbeth Koot as its policy adviser for dance. In 2016, Liesbeth started her research at the Local School.
Choreography in the Netherlands from a historical, cultural and policy perspective, from 1990 to 2016
This research project focuses on dance, performance and choreography in the city of Amsterdam, and beyond, from a historical, cultural and policy perspective. A number of methods were employed.
The first section of the study is descriptive, comprising an analysis of the developing context in a period when specific choreographers are basing their operations in the city. Supplementary interviews with choreographers offer an insight into their experiences of the socio-political climate and its influence on the organisation and thematic focus of their work.
The second section of the study will take the form of an analysis of the concepts and ideas that emerge from the first, descriptive section; is the relationship between choreographer and city defined by a framework of rules and requirements that conflict with the inherently critical stance of the innovative artist? Are there areas in which we can discern a dynamic? In what ways does the choreographer respond to his or her surroundings, and in what ways does ‘the city’ respond to the choreographer? What possibilities are there for reconstructing the static framework? Or, to paraphrase Susan Neiman: ‘How might we arrive at a global vision that does not blink when confronted with reality?’
Liesbeth Koot was prompted to embark on this research study by the need for an examination of dance and performance in a broad context. The completed project will chart relations between the city and the performance world through an alternative history of dance that emerges from a variety of questions: Who decides what? Who sets the boundaries? Who takes what initiative? How wide is the gulf? Who is manipulating whom? In what ways are choreographers positioning themselves in the city? To what extent is policy influenced by artists? What form does negotiation about possibilities and boundaries take? Texts resulting from this research will be collected in the Runaways Archives from January 2019 forward.