Awe or shock? – research trajectory

Nat Gras
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Awe or shock? – communicating with the body

The work of Goele Van Dijck is characterized by its playful and sensuous character. During the years, her focus gradually shifted from a concern whether the images presented are “okay” for toddlers to the question as to why adults see certain things as border-crossing, whereas the toddler’s experience is a different one. She wants to address this grey zone in her choreographic work, which speaks to both toddlers and adults, on different levels.

Goele plays with the fact that the way in which she presents something, is often more sensitive to adults than to children. Physicality, for instance, appears to have become a taboo, even in toddler performances. Where does this come from? Why do parents perceive certain images as offensive? When and where do these sensitivities arise and, above all, how do you deal with this as a choreographer?

A research on 3 levels:

Level 1: Goele collects information on the theme, researching social, cultural, development-oriented and artistic perspectives. She tackles questions like:
Are adults’ taboos different than the ones from children? How to circumvent this on a stage?
When is physical contact between dancers perceived as “dirty”? And why?
How much artistic freedom is an artist granted by the audience? How much freedom do you have – or take – as a choreographer?

Level 2: Info collected within the performing arts field: through conversations and setting up small “experiments”, Goele broadens her ideas / knowledge / experience and network.

Level 3: Info coming from the audience: For feedback from the crowd on the matter of taboo-sensitive performances, Goele turns towards the ‘Biechtstoel’ of De Zendelingen. This installation converts the concept of a confessional box into a means to question audience members about their sentiments whilst watching a specific performance.

 

About Nat Gras

Nat Gras wants everybody to enjoy dance, members of the audience and performers alike. Nat Gras steers clear of any showbiz glamour choosing instead to go in search of the initial expressiveness of dance. This has already produced dance workshops...

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