Conference themes

Themes of BEYOND ballet why and how:


The unifying elements in this theme highlight the ways in which changes are implemented within dance education. As our knowledge base expands, fuelled by artistic practice and applied and theoretical research strands, our perspective on the moving body through space and time have changed dramatically. Consequently, the way we train and the role that training plays in the daily routines of dancers, educators and artists requires further examination. What skills do present, and future, educators need in their interaction with students and dance professionals? This theme shows examples of various methods developed by dance practitioners based on questions and challenges of educating the dancer of today.




Today we live in a hyper-capitalist global society. Instant consumption of both goods and concepts are de rigueur. Dance is a consumer product. Museums, theatre companies and television production firms now own hybridised art and commercial works. Todays’ dancers feel empowered to claim co-creation or part ownership in the artistic product. How does this affect the artistic process and ultimately the finished creation? Is the 24-hour consumption of dance via YouTube and Vimeo a blessing or a curse? And what is the justification for the re-enactment or re-creation of previously created work? This theme invites working choreographers to conduct extended workshops and share their artistic and choreographic research methods.




Essential to the structure of the urban dance encounter, also known as ‘battle’ or ‘circle dance’, is extensive shared knowledge. This knowledge is valuable when it comes to communications and interactions with the public as well as the performative nature of dance in public spaces. But also when it relates to ‘open’ training principles and the ‘anatomy’ of different urban dance styles. This theme is particularly interesting for those who wish to experience how urban dance training principles and methods can be used in traditional dance settings. And for urban dancers to experience more about healthy practice, research into the discipline and training together.




Is it important to preserve our heritage? And if so, how do we best archive, transfer and interpret this knowledge for present and future generations? In the Netherlands, with the recent decision of the national government to close the Theatre Institute, theatre heritage has been locked away. The ramifications of such a drastic decision become all too poignant when current dance makers try, in vain, to source previous generations for inspiration. How is knowledge preserved and accessed in the Beyond? And how should we approach the fragile question of ownership, co-creation and documentation? This theme in the conference explores archiving, notation and repertoire.




With the increasing interest in, and use of knowledge gained from dance and sports medicine research, a deeper understanding of the challenges involved in care of dance students and professionals has evolved. What new challenges lie ahead as dancers’ careers are now lengthened well into age 40’s and 50’s? What adjustments in counselling, prevention, treatment and research are required as dance styles morph and merge with, for example circus theatre? And more importantly, does this influence the need for a more interdisciplinary support network in the near future?

* If you want to join the medicine and science sessions on the Saturday afternoon you should register as the ‘medicine and science’ category.




In addition to the specific themes detailed above, BEYOND also offers subjects of general interest. Lectures, workshops and plenary sessions will focus on the challenges and changes that dance is facing in the future. Subjects will include changes in the support structures for choreographers, new forms of financial support, the ever-changing question of progressive professional development, tools for ‘new’ leadership and the psychology of change.



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