- “co-” as a productive, destabilizing intensity pushing towards democratic opportunities in artistic, pedagogical and research processes in dance
Tone Pernille Østern
In this keynote, I wish to dialogue with what I perceive as an ongoing destabilizing process within a broad choreographic, dance pedagogical and dance research field. What is being destabilized, in a major shift of paradigm from modernism to postmodernism, is the (power) relationship between those who are considered subjects, objects or simply contributors in research, art, teaching and learning, and which voices/bodies/materials/ideas/life experiences are being heard and listened to. Ethical aspects connected to how art, pedagogy and research have often a deep influence on the participants’ lives, contexts and communities, are becoming ever more loudly heard.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, the prefix co- means jointly, mutually or together with another or others. This perhaps sounds obvious and easy, but to co-choreograph or co-research is different from just choreographing or researching. The little “co-” can make a huge difference. My main argument is that to take part in co-processes in dance might be a way to open up for democratic opportunities which may have value inside and outside the dance. “Co-”allows the dance space to connect to and question the issues at stake in the larger society and environment.
In this keynote I seek to develop a knowledge contribution about “co-” as a productive intensity in dance. In a reflexive reading with theories of, among others, Deleuze and Barad, “co-” as a productive intensity can be understood as created in different intra-actions. I scrutinize examples of my own dance work in different contexts, together with different participants as I seek to understand how moments of “co-” arise, how they are affectively felt as intensities, and how they can function as a productive and destabilizing force in dance. The research question that guides me through the keynote is:
How does “co-” act as a productive destabilizing intensity pushing towards democratic opportunities in artistic, pedagogical and research processes in dance?