Justus-Liebig-Universität GießenInstitut für Angewandte Theaterwissenschaft
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Backtracking. A workshop in physical dramaturgy


Dramaturgy’s “what and how” are to be invented anew with each creative process, though the accumulation of experience may very well provide a multiple springboard for sharing knowledge within the field. Informed by their longstanding collaboration, choreographer Martin Nachbar and dramaturg Jeroen Peeters will lead a workshop centered around “physical dramaturgy”.
Physical dramaturgy seeks to explore and exhaust the realm of meaning triggered by moving bodies, as well as the various materials and ideas that populate a creation process. In order to facilitate artistic research within a creative process, it insists on analyzing one’s own practice and stimulating an awareness of the underpinnings and contexts of one’s work.
Physical dramaturgy embraces an ethics of collaboration and regards practice and theory, research and making, movement and reflection as imbricated activities: as an oscillating in-between space it may become a discursive site, a place that enables a critical understanding of time, space, perception, and the production of meaning.
Physical dramaturgy entails a set of methods and strategies, such as: creating containers of materials; post-it sessions; walking around a conceptual scene; writing, mapping and drawing exercises; putting discourse to a literal and physical test; exhaustive reading of bodies wrapped in choreography; shifting awareness toward intention, physical precision, conceptual clarity or urgency; inquiring into the specificity of different formats.
In the workshop in Gießen we will work with questions, concerns, approaches and methods derived from “The Walk”, which Jeroen and Martin will be working on before and after the workshop. “The Walk” explores ways of walking and how they may regarded as or become dances. And it focuses on the the walk to the theatre and how this walk can become a performance in itself, a procession to or a demonstration for the theatre, or all of it at once.

Jeroen Peeters (Brussels) is active as a writer, dramaturg, performer and curator. Trained in art history and philosophy, he publishes on dance and performance in various specialized media, including Contact Quarterly, corpus, Dance Theatre Journal, Etcetera, Maska, Mouvement and TM. Together with Myriam Van Imschoot, Peeters directs Sarma, a discursive working place for criticism, dramaturgy, research and creation in the field of dance and beyond (www.sarma.be). As dramaturg, artistic collaborator and performer, Peeters has contributed to performances and research projects of amongst others Paul Deschanel Movement Research Group, deufert + plischke, Sabina Holzer, Anne Juren, Thomas Lehmen, Vera Mantero, Martin Nachbar, Meg Stuart and Superamas.

Martin Nachbar (Berlin) is dancer, performer and choreographer. Occassionally, he also writes for various European dance and theatre magazines (Etcetera; Dance Theatre Journal; ballettanz). He trained at the School for New Dance Development, Amsterdam, in New York City, at PARTS, Brussels, and obtained a master degree at the AMCh in 2010. Nachbar collaborated in different functions with artists of different fields (Thomas Plischke, Alice Chauchat, Vera Mantero, Les Ballets C. de la B., Meg Stuart, Thomas Lehmen, Benjamin Schweitzer, Joachim Schlömer, Carlos Pez, Martine Pisani, Paul Hendrikse a.o.). He has been making work and teaching in various contexts in Europe and overseas.