lunedì 3 gennaio 2022

Retrospective 2021

2021 has been an intense year and as I reset my email signature for 2022, I want to acknowledge through a summary the activities of the past year.

Along with my activity as a lecturer for dance history and performance, GYROKINESIS®, improvisation, and composition for the dance education DIE ETAGE in Berlin, and as a visiting lecturer and project supervisor for the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance (BA and MA), the year started with the invitation in January to join the course ‘extended essay’ (BA) at the University of Roehampton as a visiting lecturer for the dance section of the school of the arts. Being an alumnus of Roehampton, I have been particularly delighted to join forces with old colleagues and new ones for the spring term of 2021 and I thank those who made it possible.

The year continued with several publications: 

This last group contribution was also the onset for several conferences and publications (academic and para-academic) on screendance, dance, and the pandemic and my coming closer to digital technology and dance also as a project manager for the Erasmus project “Art 2.0: Arts meets Digital Technology” hosted by DIE ETAGE.

To mention is also the participation in quality of choreographer and movement expert to the art exhibition of Tereza Stehlikova's exhibition "Ophelia in Exile", Vitrinka Gallery, 30 Kensington Place Garden, London (08.10-15.01.2022).

The year continued with an intense collaboration with architects at the Coburg University of Applied Sciences and Arts. There I have been active as a visiting lecturer (Lehrbeauftragte) for the School of Design teaching two modules “Politics of Space” and “Space — Motion: approaching the spaces through the senses” on the somatic approach to space. Through the collaboration with Prof. Anja Ohliger and Dr. Tijana Vojnović Ćalić and their second introductory course to planning geared towards the conception of a kindergarten this embodied approach to space was further explored so as to encompass reflections on children’s neurological development through movement, the importance of fantasy and of proportion by considering one’s memory of childhood spaces. Our thoughts have been collected in an article published in the second issue of the journal Dimension of Architectural Knowledge.

  • Vaghi, Katja, Tijana Vojnović Ćalić, and Anja Ohliger (2021) "Lived Experience as a Basis for Design: A Design Studio Kindergarten Project" in Dimensions of Architectural Knowledge, vol 1(2), pp. 61-75.

A similar topic ("Bambini, movimento e spazio”, 27.09.2021) has been presented to the Accademia di Architettura (USI) in Mendrisio for the atelier "Sculture giocabili” of Prof. Riccardo Blumer.

The year has continued with an input on “Movement in Small Places” for the first introductory course to planning led by Prof. Anja Ohliger and Dr. Tijana Vojnović Ćalić at the University in Coburg.

During the summer, I was able to travel to Switzerland to start the research for the Project "Contemporary Dance in Ticino: Claudio Schott” that was granted support by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture (BAK) for the category Performing Arts Heritage 2021. The research will continue in the early months of 2022. My most sincere thanks to the Swiss Federal Office of Culture and in particular Dr. Claudia Rosiny (BAK) and Prof. Demis Quadri of the Accademia Dimitri in Verscio (SUPSI) for their expressions of support and for hosting the project (Accademia Dimitri).

During one of these visits, I had the chance to interview the Swiss dancer and choreographer Foofwa d’Imobilité for the research project Mnemedance: Voices, initiated by Prof. Susanne Franco (PI), Ca' Foscari University of Venice. The interview will soon be available. The preview of the interview occurred later in the year during the conference "Producing Memory in Dance: Oral history and Mnemotechnics” at the Université Côte d’Azur (18-20.11.2021).

Also during the summer, with my colleagues Dr. Renate Bräuninger and Dr. Einav Katan-Schmid, we have been part to a panel “Choreographien des Gefühls: Bedeutungen und Wahrnehmungserfahrungen im Tanz" on dance philosophy for the congress Ästhetik und Erkenntnis (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ästhetik at Zurich University of the Arts, 13-15.07.2021). My contribution "Localising Dance: Dance and Deixis” dealt with the linguistic concept of deixis as applied to dance following Mieke Dal’s original idea in her Quoting Caravaggio (1999). A few days later, I was invited for the third time by composer and leader of the Academy Oscar Bianchi to the  International Young Composers Academy in Lugano to present the lecture “A crash-course in Dance History for composers” (26.07.2021). 

The year ended with the participation in the conference "Il riso di Platone” hosted by the Accademia Dimitri in Verscio (17-18.12.2021). My contribution “No Laughing Matter” considered the function of the body in comedy by considering dances by Jiří Kylián and Alexander Ekman.

My artistic activity this year was concentrated on the short film The Winter Ghost, a collaboration with Mark Esper and Ashley Webb. The film has been selected for:

The soundtrack by A. Webb is available on Bandcamp.

As of last, the documentation of the performance "Misplaced Roots" of 2018 has been part in the exhibition of the collaborative art project "Tanja Ostojić: Miss(s) placed Women 2009-2021", at KCB Pordoom Gallery, Belgrade (15.10-18.11.2021).

sabato 16 gennaio 2021

November 2020 - Module Space - Movement, Coburg University of Applied Sciences and Arts

Module Space - Movement  

The module developed for the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Coburg wanted to counteract the bias towards the focused vision as argued by Juhani Pallasmaa in The Eyes of the Skin (2005) redirecting the attention to the other modes of embodied experiences of space. The participants are thus invited to explore space through the different senses (exceeding the five generally considered and in line with Michel Serres’ notion of the senses as not working in separate spheres). The module alternates philosophical inputs, practical, embodied experimentations, and collective recollections to then integrate this knowledge in a planning exercise.

On request, the dossier with the description of the modules can be provided.

Examples of embodied exercises

On being visible or invisible 

Guided meditation  

Measuring spatial expectations

Playing with peripheral vision  

Thanks to Prof Anja Ohliger for the pictures  

Exercise: Dramaturgy of Touch (or sometimes what is important is invisible to the eye)

May 2020; October 2020 - Module politics of space, Coburg University of Applied Sciences and Arts

Module politics of space 

The Module developed for the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Coburg played with the idea that each space or spatial arrangement proposes its users with an implicit idea on how it should be used. Users can in turn agree or disobey this silent proposition or politics. The module alternates philosophical inputs — from Henri Lefebvre to Michel Foucault —, practical embodied experimentations and collective recollections. These allow the participants to become aware of the implicit politics inherent in each social or architectural space to then integrate this knowledge in a planning exercise.

On request, the dossier with the description of the modules can be provided.

Exercise: Visualizing power structures 

The exercise is inspired by the work "How Many Chairs to Build the Future" by the British Artist and friend Hamish MacPherson

July 2020 - Lee Mingwei's The Mending Project, at the Gropius Bau, Berlin

Performer in Lee Mingwei's The Mending Project, at the Gropius Bau, Berlin

June 2019 - Dialogue #003 improvisation with Christian Wolfarth (percussion) for Soundance Festival (Berlin)

Dialogue #003 improvisation with Christian Wolfarth (percussion) for Soundance Festival (Berlin), with the support of ProHelvetia

mercoledì 9 dicembre 2020

June 2019 - 36Q° Blue Hour @Prague Quadrennial, Prague, as part of the Tactile Environment Group

Performing in 36Q° - Blue Hour an experimental interactive Installation curated by Markéta Fantova and Jan K. Rolnik for the Prague Quadrennial. Tactile Environment curated by Tereza Stehlikova

April 2019 - Sensorial Strokes, with Luca Congedo @Spazio Officina, Chiasso

Responding to Paolo Bellini exhibition "Scultura sinestetica" at the Spazio Officina, Chiasso

Soundscape/music: Luca Congedo