|Danscross: Dancing in a shaking world
DANSCROSS is a major new collaborative initiative linking the Beijing Dance Academy (BDA) and ResCen Research Centre, Middlesex University. The project is designed to last over a number of years and will involve academics and artists from both BDA and Middlesex University, as well as from other institutions and those whose who are independent.
The initiative will explore issues of the individual artist at work in global and local environments and investigate ways in which creative processes and performances can be seen as agents of change, proposing new ways of working together and new ways to understand an increasingly interwoven world. New realities have challenged cultural and social assumptions and the arts are responding by both adapting to current conditions and offering glimpses of emerging inter/cultural identities.
Key concerns are to examine notions of the 'contemporary' in performing arts practices, noting both the roots and/or traces of tradition and the rupture of the unfamiliar that can characterise the intercultural exchange. DANSCROSS accepts the view that by engaging with otherness we understand ourselves better, but proposes that the empathetic, catalytic space of creative practice offers a unique way of encountering and understanding the other. The theme of this year's project, Dancing in a shaking world recognises that the key challenges facing us today are common and unconfined by national boundaries: the pervasiveness of climate change, financial instability and viral infections are all part of the wider context. Our focus, however, is on the working environment and on the practices of artists – we examine the particular to see the panoramic, as they create responses to the theme.
On the Blog, watch how the process unfolded.