Leaving home and being ‘in-between’…

I am on the train from Exeter to London, in the process of ‘leaving home’ and already ‘being elsewhere’ preparing to arrive and begin the exciting prospect of watching all that will develop over the coming weeks. As I posted on the forum last week, my own recent writing has been concerned with processes of transmission — in training and in developing material from historical material for performance. I am reminded of Michael Bristol’s words in Susan Bennett’s book on nostalgia in performing Shakespeare:




Hi, this is LIN Yatin from Taipei’s TNUA (Taipei National University of the Arts) Taiwan. Very glad to be participating in the first day of ArtsCross London 2013 Academics meeting. This is my third ArtsCross experience.



Beijing – Taipei – London, a new journey, a new start

Finally we arrived in London and being together with scholars, choreographers and dancers from different places for the 4th Artscross/Danscross project. The first day meeting for all the academics was warm and fresh, like old friends meeting in a new place. I have been waiting for this moment for a long time since I started the project with Chris in 2009 Beijing. He promised to host the project in London once and I believe he will do it. […]


Rehearsal clip


Boundary crossers

The cross (as in ArtsCross) is part of our project title and is methodologically as well as thematically at its core. The cross X symbolises the separation and unification of two elements. It marks the distinction between systems, disciplines, cultures and contexts; and simultaneously entails their transcendence. ArtsCross is thus crucially, I suggest, about boundary crossings. A boundary may be seen as an “arbitrary line or marker of territory (which might be land, skin, cellular membrane, […]


What our group of academics is called

Our group of ArtsCross academics met yesterday for our first extended period of greetings and discussions in London. We raised ideas about crossing cities and countries, notions of global citizenry and “cosmopolitan” engagement, the possibility of translation and transference. My education as an academic–much like my education as a dancer–has served to enculturate me to […]


Day 11: 2 August

Photos from the eleventh day of rehearsals:


跨艺 思考(一)

2013跨艺·舞动舞界(Seminar1) 8月1日的分组讨论到今天上午的主题研讨会讨论,让我感受到,关于跨艺或者是跨学科的学术研究,是一个对现实中(实践中)的舞蹈创作中的多元文化元素进行解构式的分析与思考。 1、问题的出现 哲学中认为事物之间总是有联系的。文化本身就是一个复杂的系统,而艺术在其中自然是有着自律与他律的双重性。艺术的自律让艺术创作寻求“独立”的身份,而他律则使得艺术创作现象难以“一言以蔽之”——舞蹈在诞生之初就与宗教密不可分。虽然现代性的分化让艺术自立——如美学的产生,但是后现代的“反分化”——“艺术无边界”,体现了当下对于艺术与生活关系的重新界定,日常生活审美化、审美的日常生活化的出现,打破了艺术与生活的边界,从而也打破了艺术的边界。 在单一的文化系统中尚且如此,在全球化、国际化交织的跨文化系统中,跨艺、跨学科必然成为一种更加复杂的现实和必然。文化语境的历史差异性、地域差异性,是当代舞蹈创作的多样性、多义性、多元化的根源所在。跨艺项目的实验性之一,就是人为设定了一个高度浓缩的跨文化创作语境——东西方之间;北京、台北、伦敦不同城市之间;编导、舞者、学者的不同文化背景等等,——这也是我们观察的重点:在这里“差异性”被强化了舞蹈创作、表演乃至教育等观念的不同;“交融性”被加速了——口头语言、身体语言的经由翻译、舞者、编导、学者的自我调适和相互适应,彼此的陌生感在创作和讨论中被快速消减。 2、问题的分析与解决 艺术创作的复杂性导致其现象或问题无法用艺术自身的学说或理论来全面地予以解释与阐释。因而,跨学科更多地是对方法论的选取与运用,从他视角或外视角去看待舞蹈艺术的创作、审美及其社会功用,如舞蹈的产生与发展,离不开社会经济、政治、文化的影响,如现代主义之于现代舞的出现;舞蹈剧场(DANCE THEATERE)的出现是对舞蹈表达之传统方式的突破;舞蹈的身心合一性,使得心理学、教育学等与人相关的学科给予了舞蹈全面进行自我定位的视角。因此,跨艺的存在、跨学科的研究既是舞蹈艺术实践与理论发展的现象,也是舞蹈艺术获得更多社会关注与评价的途径。


Thoughts on ArtsCross (1)

2013 ArtsCross — Danscross Seminar 1 Starting with the group discussions which took place on 1 August and up until this morning’s thematic seminar, I developed the sense that academic research which spans across different art forms and disciplines can constitute a structural analysis and consideration of the diverse cultural elements to be found within […]


Reflections on 2nd August

Ted talked on his post yesterday about the terms of engagement which we are using and are in the process of defining here in London. We began Friday morning with one such very rich discussion about the word ‘cosmopolitanism’. It derives from Greek cosmos (the universe) and polis (city) and it is said that when asked where he came from, Greek Philosopher, Diogenes of Sinope replied ‘I am […]



终于看到排练了,在他乡看到了领导——编导郭磊院长,同事——编导阿曾老师,“老战友”——知博(知博是北京舞者中唯一参与四次的,我是北京学者中唯一参与四次的),学生——武帅(我们第三次在舞动中师生相逢了)。看了上午场的尾声、下午和晚上的排练——管中窥豹,只见一斑。 这一天所看到的作品以现代舞居多,只有郭院的作品以其赣南傩舞为素材,是一个典型的有中国特色(在国内我们通常称为有民族特色,由此可见,民族与国家的概念会随着环境的变化而出现部分的相互指代)的作品。当然,文化时空语境的变化带来了新的呈现,特别是其中唯一一位伦敦舞者带着傩舞面具起舞时,中国的形式元素在西方舞者身体上呈现,这种文化交融的冲突性并未让我感到不舒服,而是让我真切地感到了“舞动无界”和“在别处”。傩舞的形式或内涵或者有着明显的地区、民族、宗教的色彩,但是其中祈求平安是在这个危机四伏的时代中每个人的内心期许。 在不同的排练教室感受到的相近的东西就是“呼吸”与“自然”了。气息在舞蹈中既是存在和显现,也是节奏和情感。也正是因为如此,舞蹈的真实和无可复制,使其在“机械复制时代”(Walter Benjamin)仍然具有其气韵(Aura)。中国传统文化非常注重“气”的概念,西方现代舞也正是以自然之呼吸来反对芭蕾的僵化与保守。如果以本雅明对Auro的界定,那么舞蹈是最具原真性的艺术之一,它永远都是在真实地讲述历史。所以,即便离家,在别处,北京、台北、伦敦的编导都在讲述从一个“家”——城市,到另一个“家”——国际/世界的真实的心路历程,——这是真实历史的细微构成。


ArtsCross Observations (1)

I finally got to see some rehearsals. At ArtsCross London, I caught up with the boss, Director Guo Lei, colleagues — the choreographer Zeng Huanxing, “old comrades” — Zhibo (Zhibo is the only dancer from Beijing to have participated in four sessions. I’m the only Beijing academic to have participated in four sessions), students — Wu Shuai (we ran into each […]


Laboring to learn in Zeng’s rehearsal

When I walk into Zeng Huanxin’s Friday rehearsal around 12:30pm, Zeng is working with Kenny on a solo section. Kenny’s intent focused physique, strained visage, and sweat stained clothing attest to the fact that he and Zeng have been working steadily for quite some time before my arrival, probably beginning around 11am. Add that […]


How do we do it?

In connection to talks in the working group ‘Crossing disciplines’ I have tried to see what is potentially unique about the ArtsCross concept from a disciplinary perspective. Discussing disciplinary approaches is of course inspiring in light of the versatile framework of the project, in which national, linguistic, cultural, pedagogic and aesthetic boundaries are crossed – […]


Yunyu in London



去发现,是一个过程,是一个很有趣的过程。在2013 Arts Cross中,我们作为观察者会与编导、演员一同去发现创作过程中存在的一些有趣的、有意义的事情。在"舞动无界"的这次工作中,我转换了角色,与前两次舞者、编导的身份不同,观察者给了我更多去了解舞动、关注创作的角度和纬度,而这正是我在不断发现舞蹈魅力到过程。 这次Arts Cross的主题是"离乡• 在别处",刚听到这个主题时我有些恍惚,因为那是我刚到英国伦敦的第一天,我想到这是我?还有与我同行来自北京的学者们?还有来自台湾和其他地方的学者们?这个主题很有趣,让我不断的想问问题。我忽然感受到一种久违的情怀,"思乡、惆怅"。这时候我又有些恍惚,我的思乡是应该具体到何地呢?我现在生活在北京,而我来自内蒙古… 我们在一次讨论会议中谈论到"世界主义"的相关话题,在我们不断发问"我们是谁?来自何地?"的同时,我们会认同我们是生存在地球上的"世界公民"。近年来,无论是舞蹈还是在其他领域,看到越来越全球化的一些现象,人们享受便利的同时也发现了许多问题,这同样是一个发现的过程。在2013Arts cross的平台上,我们看到来自不同地方的舞者与编导,他们的合作让我们在这个舞蹈项目的载体上可以用观察舞蹈的角度去发现更多问题,这就是有趣的地方,在观察者的角度,"离乡•在别处"已经远远超出舞蹈本身的纬度,而被拓宽到更广阔的视野。 "离乡•在别处"此时好像在说所有从不同城市来到伦敦参与Arts Cross的人,这是一个找到我们共性的方式,而我们在一起发现更多不同,关于舞蹈、编创、动作、想法、文化、习惯 等等。我很享受这个发现的过程,在这过程中我会记录关于一些"相同与不同"的部分,以观察者的角度发现舞蹈创作过程中每一位参与者的变化与不变,我期待这个过程,这个"离乡•在别处"的过程。


Leaving home: being elsewhere

Discovery is a process. A fascinating process. During the 2013 ArtsCross session, we had the opportunity, as observers, to discover, together with the choreographers and performers, some interesting, meaningful things which occurred during the creative process. During this session of “Danscross”, I took on a different role. Unlike the previous two sessions, […]



呼吸體現了舞蹈的時間性特質,舞姿、調度則體現了舞蹈藝術的空間性特質——這是一個眾所周知的舞蹈基礎理論。這兩天的觀察讓我想到了一個詞——跨空間(crossing spaces):展示/觀察的空間、想象的空間和思考的空間;舞者、編導、學者在某一刻的同一空間存在中在各自的空間意識中游走。 1、展示/觀察的“跨空間” 從傳統的觀眾席走進排練廳,研究者參與進了舞者排練的展示空間。這雖然有助於研究者從過程中觀察舞蹈藝術的創作,但是另一方面,我們沒有哈利·波特的隱身衣,我們真實地“佔據”了舞者和編導的創作空間——一次,當我身邊的研究者在進行拍照的時候,靠近她的舞者反射性地說了聲“sorry”退到了旁邊。這不禁讓我思考——由於觀察者的在場,編導、舞者的排練是否受到這一存在的影響?雖然他們也很歡迎我們的參與,但是否能夠真正做到彼此的互不干擾呢?是否會成為一種無意識的“擺排”? 2、想象/呈現的“跨空間” 舞蹈創作、表演是抽象思維與形象思維的轉換。編導在想象中設計舞蹈動作,用語言表述給舞者,舞者通過對口頭語言、身體語言(如編導的示範動作)的理解建立自己頭腦中的形象,進而用身體語言表達出來。在場的學者通過編導的語言也同時進行了形象的想象,並與舞者的呈現進行二者的連接,並進行相關的判斷——編導的闡述是否準確,舞者的表達是否到位。台北編導蘇威嘉的排練中,對“扭到要抽筋”的動作,每個舞者有不同的呈現,每個學者也有不同的想像,這些與編導的要求之間一定存在空間形象的差異性。 3、觀察/研究的“跨空間” 對我而言,從第二次參加跨藝開始,我習慣於根據不同的主題預先對自己的研究視點進行2-3個關鍵詞的準備範圍,——因為在實際觀察研究中獲得的信息太多,如果不加甄選的話,研究思路會不清晰,從而影響最終的研究結果。即便有所預先設定,有時也會因為實際操作過程中的“火花”而造成觀察與研究的“混亂”——到底哪些應用於當年的研究主題。我想,其根源大概就是有目的的研究和無目的觀察之間的“跨空間”吧。 或許是對上述“跨空間”的意識和分析,我對自己的研究思路反而更加有把握性。


ArtsCross Observations (2)

In breathing, one experiences the time-specific characteristics of dance. Through stances and adjustments of posture, one experiences the space-related aspects of dance. This is a fundamental theory of dance which is understood by everyone. These two days of observing made me think […]


Modernism, the Arts and Greenberg

I have drafted this blog about Greenberg’s perspective on the arts under modernism in response to an issue which Ted raised at our group meeting, but am cross-posting it here as I feel it may be of broader interest:

Clement Greenberg was a visual art critic from the US whose writings on modernism in the arts proved highly influential. In what is sometimes termed a concept of medium specificity, he developed his view […]


The medium of choreography is people….

It’s my first day at ArtsCross. I’m picking up the baton from writer Donald Hutera, who is at the Edinburgh Festival for a week, and am conscious that a week of a work has already gone by without me witnessing its development. So what was my entry point? Well, having already spoken to choreographer Vera […]


Watching in a High Speed World…

After Martin’s seminar yesterday on Practice as Research, where he encouraged us to think about the ways we’re watching the work in the studios and how we communicate what we see, I recalled being in Riccardo’s rehearsal the previous evening. While cueing the sound for a run through of part of a sequence he noticed his phone and jokingly asked the dancers, ‘Who’s tweeting about me?’ Laughing, he asked again, ‘Come on, who’s tweeting […]


Unravelling and rewinding identies

After a glorious and sunlit Borisbike ride to Colombia Road along the Regents Canal this morning, the ArtsCross academic team reconvened back at The Place for the latest seminar in our series. The depth and breadth of discussion has been quite staggering over the last few days, and I salute not only my colleague’s intellectual […]


At the crossroads

Ya-ping managed to spark a great discussion today by ushering us through the needle’s eye of language and onto wider fields of travel by bodily, traditional and interpretative movements. To appreciate this journey I can’t help but associate the notion of language with a couple of remarks by Ludwig Wittgenstein (at the risk of cross-referencing […]



關於seminar 2的思考 關於跨語言的研究,在我看來,歸根結底是跨文化的研究。如同今天雅萍老師的關鍵詞“travel”,文化之旅自始自在,雖然人是Travel的主體,但人在旅途中是難以自控的,中國的武俠小說中有一句話:“人在江湖,身不由己”。 1、文化的開放性-跨文化的客觀性 如今,科技的發展,世界的聯通加速了這種跨文化、跨語言的存在與發展。每一族群、地域的文化不再是一個穩定、封閉的系統(其實文化一直是一個開放的系統,中國唐代舞蹈的高峰離不開魏晉南北朝時期的南北文化的交融,鄧肯的現代舞受到古希臘文化的深刻影響)。在這樣一個開放、複雜的背景下,文化身份的界定何其之難。文化的動態發展,導致了身份的確定與認同是一個不斷變化的過程,因此在身份的確認與認同中,凝結了內涵而又外顯的文化符號因為易於辨識爾成為識別的主要依據,所以美術、建築、舞蹈這些形象性、形式感很強的藝術樣式常常成為民族/國家/地區文化的標誌性符號。如郭磊老師的作品,因為符號性的面具和手勢、態而成為台北、倫敦學者們對中國傳統文化好奇與關注的焦點。也正如許銳所說,這是郭磊在跨藝語境中創作的作品——有特定的代表性而非普遍的代表性,亦如同我之前在博客中所說的:“跨艺项目的实验性之一,就是人为设定了一个高度浓缩的跨文化创作语境——东西方之间;北京、台北、伦敦不同城市之间;编导、舞者、学者的不同文化背景等等”。跨文化、跨語言無處不在,有時我們沒有意識到,有時我們又明顯感受到。 2、文化的多元性-跨藝的複雜性 跨藝的背景是跨文化的存在與發展,是不同地域/民族/國家文化間“和而不同”的存在;跨藝的方式是交叉性思維與表達;跨藝的過程一方面受到特定創作語境的影響(如界定性的主題、時間、舞者等因素),另一方面也受到編導、舞者“知識儲備”的影響(如對主題的理解、對特定文化形式的理解,包括溝通的語言——這裡又涉及到翻譯的英語-漢語的知識儲備)。所以,跨藝項目研究的特殊之處就在於這種多樣性與複雜性,它不是對藝術創作、表演的單純的研究,而是有著極為豐富、複雜的研究背景、研究視角和研究內容——這正式跨藝的價值所在:當我們通過特殊語境的設定,對跨文化、跨藝中舞蹈創作、表演的複雜性進行分析與研究,得出認識、辨析與判斷的思路與方法/對策,從實際操作層面認識世界性多元文化交流的內涵、意義、價值,以更好地表達文化自我價值,進而獲得文化身份的認同。 在排練室里,舞者、編導用舞蹈在記錄、在表達,我們在同一空間中進行觀察與思考。其本質是,在各自的文化思維引導中,他們在從理性地創作到感性的表達,我們則是從感性的觀察到理性的思考。大家共同在跨藝的語境中,呼吸著跨文化的氣息。


ArtsCross Observations (2)

Thoughts on Seminar 2

In my view, cross-linguistic research is essentially a form of cross-cultural research. Just like Ya-Ping‘s keyword for today, “travel”, the cultural journey is unrestrained from the outset. While people constitute the subjective participants in “travel”, while on the road, people are often unable to control their own destiny. As they say in the Chinese Kung […]


Dam’s smelly slapping duet, or Digesting dancing bodies

… they face one another. The approach is a greeting with elbow raised vertically, armpit exposed and vulnerable. The boy gestures a gentle wave toward the girl, wafting the most personal of odors in her face. An imagined cloud floats past her nose, eyes, ears, and beyond her head. She stares unblinking. One-two-three steps. Stop. […]


Cat’s Cradle

Following Martin’s blog post (Unravelling and Rewinding Identities) I was in Zhao Liang’s rehearsal yesterday afternoon. The group was looking at a picture on an iphone of one of the intricate positions they can had created using their giant elastic band. They were trying to solve a very concrete problem, together (see photo below).

In the sequence I observed, a giant elastic band was winding and unwinding as the dancers moved with and along its length, […]


Yesterday’s Bike Ride

From The Place to Columbia Road Flower Market and back…


Studio and stage…space and place

Studio and stage….space and place

Watching Su Weichia’s rehearsal I am drawn to the clarity of the use of space and realise again how he is looking at the studio but seeing the stage. The studio is a metaphor for the stage but the stage space itself is a convention for a magical, malleable, open […]












Reflections on ArtsCross

The 2013 London session of ArtsCross brought together dancers from three cities (Beijing, London and Taipei), and allowed academics and choreographers from these cities to interact in the same place. The ArtsCross platform not only became a hotspot for interaction and exchange of ideas between China and the West, it also created a perfect meeting point for the interaction of theory and practice. After […]


Thoughts from brief engagements with Global Studies

I have had many discussions with a specialist from Global History/Studies about Artscross and have gained some constructive insights from this perspective, since one of my brothers happens to be a professor in the field. Several issues that we have dealt with as part of our Artscross discussions have been much written about within Global […]



1、这一刻(very moment)

舞蹈是时间的艺术,这一刻的瞬时发生与发展让舞蹈成为“活生生的艺术”(living art),是无法作假与再现的艺术。在台北编导苏威嘉的排练中,正如Chris在博客中所写的“Studio and stage…space and place”,在我看来,就是在again and again中,这一刻显得那么可爱——因为它的真实:时间在变,气息在变,运动在变,这或许就是舞蹈的魅力。所以,苏的创作是开放的,看得到这一刻,但是不知道下一刻——如同历史的下一刻无法预知一样,正式演出时究竟会怎样? 2、这一处(very place) 舞蹈是空间的艺术,这一处的物理存在和变化让舞蹈成为“视觉艺术”(visural art)。除了时间的变化,从studio到stage的空间变化,会影响舞者在表演场域内的空间感知,那一刻的舞动将会怎样?北京编导赵梁在排练中告诉被绑带困住的舞者,如果演出时被缠住的话就直接脱下来——这一方面是对舞者解决突发状况的建议,另一方面也“剧透”了舞台和排练室之间存在差异的若干可能性之一,这一处只是这一处。



ArtsCross Observations (3)

1. This very moment Dance is a time-based art form. The way in which dance occurs within a moment, before evolving and developing makes dance a “living art”. It is an art form which cannot be faked or reproduced. During the rehearsals with the Taiwanese choreographer […]










Jiang Dong’s London Reflections 02: The question of “modernism” in Chinese dance

The topic of “modernism” appeared to be one in which the 2013 ArtsCross academics were keenly interested. Since 2011, when it was listed as a topic of discussion at the Taipei “ArtsCross” until today, academics have remained interested in this topic. Given the continued interest of observers in the topic, it seems that this […]


Cat’s Cradle Part 2

I visited Zhou Liang’s rehearsal yesterday just in time to see the first run through of the whole main sequence with music. It ‘worked’ — all the dancers ‘got through’ the webs of permutations of the elastic to the end of the piece. The choreographer was pleased and encouraging: ‘Now we have to work on […]


report of Beijing 2012 Artscross from Taipei’s PAR magazine

2012 Beijing Artscross 跨藝報導PAR

2012 Beijing Artscross跨藝報導 PAR-1

2012 Beijing Artscross 跨藝報導PAR-2

(total 3 pdf files)


PPT file for seminar “Crossing Languages”

Dear All,

Attached please find the PPT file of the seminar “Crossing Languages.” The connection Martin made between unraveling and/or re-entangling identities and Su Weichia’s dancers on the blog is beautiful. I’m still reading others’ inputs. Thanks to everyone’s thought-provoking participation in the discussion.

Crossing Languages



Day 15: 6 August


PowerPoint of Crossing Disciplines seminar

Hi all, please click Crossing Disciplines to link to a PowerPoint of the slides from the seminar this afternoon. Thank you for your kind attention and participation. I look forward to the conference!


The medium of choreography is people… Part 2

I’m picking up from where I left off in Part 1, in the studio with Vera Tussing and her dancers. How are they working together?

So far, it looks like Vera has worked on improvisational tasks (mostly, it seems, to do with giving weight, and with a kind of proposal-response structure), so that the substance if […]