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ArtsCross London 2013
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Leaving Home: Transnational Performance and the Aesthetics of Elsewhere    

'Elsewhere: in, at, or to some other place or other places'

Queen Mary University of London
Arts Two Lecture Theatre
Sunday 11 August
9:30am – 6: 00pm, followed by a drinks reception

Travel and location details: www.qmul.ac.uk/about/howtofindus/mileend/

The ArtsCross International Network invites you to a one day meeting of international artists and scholars.

Keynote speaker: Prof. Robert Bickers (Director of the British Inter-university China Centre, and the JISC Visualising China Project)

Celebrating the network's third meeting and the production of nine new dance works at The Place this August, this one day symposium offers an opportunity to watch, listen to, discuss, and engage in an ongoing series of exchanges between the practices and policies of contemporary artistic practice and performance between East and West. In a moment in the early twenty first century when those terms seem both more and less appropriate to the cultural, economic and political realities we face, what role can the arts and culture play in advancing and challenging preconceived ideas about other lives – including our own? In Leaving Home, leading scholars from the performing arts in China, Taiwan, the UK, the USA, and Japan will reflect on their three year engagement in ArtsCross – a major intercultural arts project supported by the AHRC.

The arts, it is often suggested, pass between nations and cultures as a manifestation of 'soft power', crossing and opening borders between them, and lending a tangible presence to the ideas and aspirations of elsewhere. In the performing arts, it is not only the ideas and objects of contemporary culture which make these border crossings, but also the embodied labours of performers, producers, and stage managers. Making work across borders means coming to terms with the expectations and demands of both home and elsewhere. What are the political, cultural and aesthetic implications of these cross-border movements? What sort of challenges do they present to artists and audiences, and to policy makers? Do they invite us to do things differently at home, as well as elsewhere?

One of the most significant aspects of the ArtsCross project to date has been the extent to which it has given grounds for reflection on presumptions and dispositions in the language, culture and practice of 'home', as much as it has drawn attention to similarities or differences in experiences of elsewhere. The project has also invited scholarly reflection on processes of making and producing transnational performance, rather than privileging what is expressed in its public presentation. The various styles and approaches to performance which fall under the umbrella of 'modern' or 'contemporary' dance have been a particularly important focus for this enquiry, raising questions about alternate and more cosmopolitan modernities elsewhere, and the efficacy, or otherwise, of our home languages in speaking for our experiences.

In this one day symposium, network members will reflect on their experiences of home and elsewhere in engaging with these processes, and invite a wider discussion and debate regarding the application, and impression of performance as a 'soft power' as it makes its mark at home, and elsewhere.

    spacerResCen Research CentrespacerMiddlesex UniversityspacerQueen Mary, University of LondonspacerAHRC  
    Beijing Dance AcademyspacerThe PlacespacerStep Out ArtsspacerTNUAspacerGoldsmithsspacerConfucious Institute  
Special thanks to ArtsCross ResCen Research Centre patrons:
Dr. and Mrs. Richard and Rosalind Lee
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