Choreographers’ workshop and discussion

ArtsCross London 2013: Leaving home: being elsewhere

As ArtsCross London begins, the project’s UK directors offer some of their thoughts on where the next three weeks of collaboration and exchange might lead.

Chris Bannerman writes:

I believe it was Martin Welton who first proposed that the theme should somehow refer to ‘home’. After enthusiastic responses from Beijing and Taipei, we each retreated […]

Choreographers’ workshop 19th July

ArtsCross began on Friday morning with Chris leading the choreographers (bar two, still in transit) in a workshop. It’s a privilege to be able to watch the process from the very beginning this year, and even more so, to do so with the rich background of the projects Beijing and Taipei instalments underpinning it.

It […]

Dancer Selection, 20 July 2013

Day one: 21 July

Photos from the first day of rehearsals:


Here comes… Beijing! London! Taipei! (in alphabetical order…)

After two phases of Artscross I attended in Taipei in 2011 and in Beijing in 2o12 so far, an important shift took place for me at the auditions for this 2013 phase in London. I had always been highly sensitive to the discourses that emerged around the dancers and choreographers, as well as academics, representing […]

Day two: 22 July

Photos from the second day of rehearsals:

Rehearsal clip: Day 2, Tung Ifen

Day 2 City heat; Ho Hsiaomei and Zhao Liang

As Steffi wrote earlier, it’s cities more than nationalities that are at play in the mix of people in the studios. It’s hot and muggy in London at the moment, and the city doesn’t really have the infrastructure. This heat is pretty unusual! But with the windows open (at least in the studios I visited), the atmosphere in the studio felt close to the city itself. ‘The studio’ is often nominalised and abstracted as if only one existed, which rather belies […]


Yesterday was my first day of watching rehearsals, and for most groups it was their second day into the work. I left in the evening with a variety of very touching impressions, of people from different places getting to know each other.

When I entered the room of Beijing choreographer Zeng Huangxing’s rehearsal, I was struck by the quietness he had created in the room. The six dancers were paired up, with one lying on their front […]

Qualities (Part 1)

It’s now Day Three of rehearsals, and, impressively, in the studios I visited today, ideas are taking shape and companies are coming together. I spent some time today observing rehearsals of Su Weichia, Riccardo Buscarini, and Zeng Huangxing. The choreographies are already looking quite different (as one might expect), but I wanted to take a moment in this posting to reflect on some similarities amongst them and in doing, to pick up on some further […]

Day three: 23 July

Photos from the third day of rehearsals:

Day four: 24 July

Photos from the fourth day of rehearsals:


Book tickets

Book tickets for the ArtsCross 2013 performance:

Book tickets for the conference: compid=1&modid=2&eptid=34&catid=1&prodid=386


Rehearsal clip: Day 3, Dam Van Huynh

Rehearsal clip: Day 4, Zeng Huanxin

Working through question marks, over and over time

Over the past couple of days it has become noticeable to me in each rehearsal space that a shift has already occurred in each group from a stage of early beginnings and getting to know each other to ‘setting something up’. The feeling that I got in each space, albeit distinct with each group, is […]

ArtsCross London 2013 Reception

Qualities, Part 2

For good or ill, ‘quality’ (or ‘qualities’) is the term and idea I can’t stop thinking about this year. Lodged somewhere in my memory is my slightly perplexed seventeen year old self reading Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I haven’t returned to the book in the intervening decades, but what my […]

Day five: 26 July

Photos from the fifth day of rehearsals:


Rehearsal clip: Day 5, Zhao Liang

Rehearsal clip: Day 5, Su Weichia

Language and beyond

Since one of my tasks at this particular Artscross event is to focus on ‘language’ as part of a group of academics, my attention has been drawn on the sorts of languages that are being used in the rehearsal spaces. In many instances I have witnessed a ‘searching’ for the ‘right’ words or expressions by choreographers and dancers, when working a movement out together. What is the word that will make the dancers understand what the movement is about, how it is […]

Day six: 27 July

Photos from the sixth day of rehearsals:

Rehearsal clip: Day 6, Riccardo Buscarini

Day seven: 28 July

Photos from the seventh day of rehearsals:

Being elsewhere … but in what sense?

When we speak of ‘being elsewhere’ we tend to think in terms of geographical shifts, such as flying from Beijing or Taipei to London, or vice versa, or migrating to another place from where we were born, raised or ‘socialised’ – as I did in 1999 when I left my native Germany to live in the UK and later New Zealand. The choreographer Riccardo Buscarini also used a spatial metaphor, commenting after yesterday’s rehearsal that for him, being […]

presentation at IFTR Barcelona

Ola made a presentation at IFTR, International Federation for Theatre Research, in Barcelona on Thusday July 25. There was not enough time to introduce about ArtsCross but some people asked me about it. Hopefully many people may join ArtsCross.

Working out ‘the work’ and its logic

We are over a week into rehearsals now and it is fascinating to see small sections of choreographies coming together in the different spaces. The work on different exercises and improvisations that was being done at the beginning of the process has now in most if not all groups led to a first ‘putting together’ […]

Rehearsal clips

First Taste (belated)

Knowing I was about to be a fly on the wall again during the making of nine new dances as a culmination of the London-based edition of the international creative residency ArtsCross 2013, a dear friend sent me a youtube clip. It’s a mock-Chinese ditty sung by what looks like an animated badger. I don’t […]

Day nine: 30 July

Photos from the ninth day of rehearsals:


Soft Bodies, Soft Power

Much of our blogging to date has focused on the ‘up close’ material of the project, in ethnographic or phenomenological terms, examining specificities of language as it is spoken in rehearsal room, or as it might get to grips with the immediate realities of activities there. One of the project’s propositions however, is that intercultural work doesn’t simply arrive, occur and rest in studios and on stages, but that it passes in and out of them in flows of varying complexity in which […]

Day ten: 31 July

Photos from the tenth day of rehearsals: