Immanent criticality, a place for emergent practices
The study programme is designed to support the practice-based artistic trajectories of artists in the international context of dance and performance, and is low-residential to allow an ongoing international practice and investment in the infrastructure on which individual practice depends. In order to provide support for the research trajectories, conditions are created for concentrated dialogical commitment to each participant. There is no standard syllabus of the curriculum. Each student enters the programme on the basis of a preliminary research plan. The individual artistic practice is the point of departure and will be the guiding thread of the course design.
The programme contains three seminars each year, residencies in Amsterdam, and individual mentoring, which allows for developing an intensive and sustained dialogue in relation to an ongoing artistic practice. This dialogue is supported through strong investment on high quality feedback, peer exchange, sharing reading, writing and practices. The programme gives time and a place for creating conditions for developing artistic practices, in short, for the collective practice of inventing modes of developing and sharing artistic research.
The pedagogy is designed on the basis of continuous invention of techniques for sharing and dialogue. This is provided with what students call an ‘open platform’, where encounter with peers takes place. The open platform is where we practice ‘immanent criticality’ in continuous practice, debate and conversation. Immanent criticality can be achieved by entering into the singular and situated proposition that is delivered and engage by moving with the proposition in a collective search for possible interpretations and directions where experience may lead. It requires individuals and/or the group to attune themselves to the emergent properties of the inner operations of the work, a ‘feeling with’ the multiplicity of what emerges in experimentation. It is on the basis of this attitude of immanent criticality that we seek to foster continuous intensive engagement. As such students perceive the programme as an ongoing form of receiving feedback, evaluation and assessment. (see also Lecture by Erin Manning 22 January 2020, on projects page)
The design of this practice of immanent criticality is fostered by stimulating non-hierarchical foundation for exchange, and acceptance of difference. DAS Choreography aims for diverse student and staff bodies. Diversity is understood in terms of both access and inclusivity. We are aware that effort must be ongoing in investments in intersectional diversity. Within the small community of peers the diversity of orientations strongly affects the collective effort and culture in the programme.
The two-year course contains six two-week periods with seminars consisting of intensive peer review and expert supervision/feedback with a dialogic engagement.
The programme invests in maintaining a high quality exchange of questioning artistic practice and research, made possible through the small size, concentrated and intense quality of exchange. A seminar works as a ‘pressure cooker’, by creating shared mind in the room in which understandings about artistic processes can be brought to another level. Often resonating long after the two weeks are over. This resonance will most often come to expression in the written reports and essays that are produced every semester.
Each seminar each student will present their work three times to the peers, and actively invest in modes of presenting that can be generative for the artistic research trajectory.
During seminars tutors and seminar mentors support the exchange between peers. Guest artists are invited in September, lecture format, and January, workshop, seminars.
Participants will additionally undertake a residency as part of their research.
- First Year students: 2 x residency of 3-4 weeks
- Second Year students: 1 x residency of 3 weeks, plus presentation work period in May
Through shared reading sessions a high level of critical analysis and broadening of frames of reference is stimulated. This is done both in the seminars as in monthly online conference calls.
All assigned reading is a shared practice. Through the assignment of reading tasks relating to biographical information, (inter) disciplinary contextualisation, key concepts and relation to practice, students are invited to develop an inspiring reading rigour and to share perceptions and observations.
Reading matter is selected on the basis that it relates to the diverse orientations of student practices. Each discussion leads to the underlying question of how the text at hand may relate to –
or become meaningful for – someone’s artistic practice.
Each student learns to develop, along the contours of their own path, the importance and function of reflection and theoretical engagement in their artistic practice. This practice is initiated right from the application process, when applicants are asked to present a research proposal. The main subject matter of the first selection interview is an exploration of the artist’s questions and concerns. All students are required to consistently present their questions/propositions and are responsible for devising practical and discursive formats for sharing their work and their experiments. Throughout their studies they write reports, essays and an artistic statement, that together contribute to what we call an ‘accumulated dossier’.
Participants will be coached by mentors within a tight time plan for documentation of the research activities. In the final assessment the research practice of the individual artist, throughout the two-year course, and their contribution to the field, will be reviewed.
Though attendance at these events is mandatory, full-time residency in Amsterdam is not a requirement.
International field of choreography
Graduates of DAS Choreography present their work in the international field of choreography. Most continue their professional work as self employed artists, they perform and collaborate with other artists and choreographers. Their work is supported by production houses, theatres and festivals, as they have before and during their studies in Amsterdam.