HALf6 - On consent in dance and performance

 In art forms where pushing (one’s own and audience’s) boundaries seems to be a commonplace, where vulnerability and strength go hand in hand and where demand for openness seems to be endless and not always thoroughly examined, we wonder what is the place of consent when engaging with one’s and other’s bodies?

How do we ask and give permissions and agree on things happening in dance and performance?

We have invited three artists, theoreticians and performance practitioners who explore the notions of consent, touch, power, pleasure and critically examine and bring to public attention sexist approaches and power abuse in dance and performance.

Joy Mariama Smith, Eroca Nicols and Ilse Ghekiere will share their research and practices in two related evenings.

  • On Tuesday 9th January during the HALf6 we will get to know how they approach the question of consent in their artistic practice: in making performances, teaching, researching and in general - working with others. Moderated by Lisa Skwirblies and Bojana Mladenović.

  • On Wednesday 10th January from 17.30-20.00, the three guests will facilitate practice based sessions open for interested students and teachers to, in a more intimate and comfortable setting, further explore the notions presented during the HALf6.

The two day program On consent in dance and performance is an initiative of SNDO- School for New Dance Development organized in collaboration with Modern Theatre Dance and Urban Contemporary (JMD). The program is in English language and intended for students and teachers of all the departments across the Academy of Theatre and Dance.


A native Philadelphian currently based in Den Haag, NL, Joy Mariama Smith's work primarily addresses the conundrum of projected identities in various contexts. A sub-theme, or ongoing question in their work is: What is the interplay between the body and it's physical environment? Rooted in socially engaged art practice, they are a performance/installation/movement artist , activist, facilitator, curator and architectural designer. They have a strong improvisational practice spanning 20 years.  When they choose to teach, they actively try to uphold inclusive spaces.

they/them/their* :third person singular gender-neutral pronoun

Ilse Ghekiere dances, writes, researches and teaches. Starting from her training in dance (Artesis Hogeschool) and art history (Free University of Brussels), she researches the relation between literature, body politics and gender history. As a dancer she has worked with choreographers such as Michèle Anne De Mey, Mette Ingvartsen, Jan Martens, Stina Nuyberg, Cecilia Lisa Eliceche, Manon Santkin and Pavle Heidler.

Thanks to a grant from the Flemish government, she reoriented her practice in 2016, now focusing on the development of feminist art practices. Currently she researches sexism within the Belgian dance scene. The research was publically shared in the article #Wetoo: What Dancers Talk About When They Talk About Sexism and raised political awareness in the wake of the early #metoo-movement. In 2018, Ilse will work on an alternative anti-sexism campaign within the Belgian field of arts.

Ilse is also part of PUSH, a European network stimulating gender equality in youth theatre, and works as artist in residence at RoSa (archive for feminism and gender equality), where she developed the projects OpenCanon andMappings of Further Feminismz.

Eroca Nicols is currently known a dancer/choreographer/teacher but her multiplitous practice stems from a family of semi-mystical nomadic trailer people, years working as a janitor, and a BFA in video/performance art and sculpture from California College of the Arts (formerly and Crafts.) Her teaching, dancing and training are deeply influenced in her continued study of ritual, biomechanics and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

She teaches and performs all over the world including stints as Teaching Artist in Residence at The Whole Shebang in Philadelphia and at various festivals and institutions including The School of Making Thinking in NYC, P-af/performing arts forum in France, aceartinc in Winnipeg, ImPulsTanz in Vienna and Studio 303 in Montreal. Eroca is a Chalmers Research Fellow, investigating death, ritual and performance with healers and conveners around the globe.