Seminarium is an art project that explores the intersection between seminar and performance. It is centred around a series of live events, titled Seminarium #1, #2, #3 etc, which takes place in different geo-political locations and contexts in Norway. In this art project artists are invited to reflect upon their artistic practices and earlier works in a performative format and setting for an audience. By using the template of academic conferences staged and employed for an artistic purpose and accumulating experiences through highlighting specific topics, the project explores new ways to present and discuss artistic endeavours and enquiries. The aim is to enhance artistic development and knowledge in the field of dance and movement based art.
Seminarium comes out of the pilot project called Words and movement - seminar on text and dance that took place at Dramatikkens Hus in Oslo (Norwegian Centre for New Playwriting) in December 2011, and which looked into the relationship of dance to text. The artistic director at Dramatikkens Hus at the time, Kai Johnsen, gave the dance scholar, Sidsel Pape, the opportunity to develop this seminar. In an open call, performing artists were invited to propose presentations based on earlier work in which they reflected on how their artistic understanding, practice and expression related to words and text. The aim was to highlight the interstice between words and movement as a separate field of interest within the performing arts, and through this focus, to strengthen the Norwegian dance discourse. The seminar insisted therefore on the importance of making use of Norwegian as a language, rather than turning to Euro-English.
Thanks to the safe framework created, which encouraged a mutual and constructive criticism, the seminar arose a sense of shared knowledge for the participating artists and audience alike. Through obtaining insight and knowledge about the different artists, their work processes and methodologies, the seminar also provided a collegial and democratic dimension to the artists that proved to be greatly missed in the dance field. Moreover, the ways they approached and staged themselves and their art practices within the seminar framework, created on its own accord an artistic momentum: As the respective presentations come to play together in an unintended but striking artistic whole, which conveyed a sense of the diversity existing within the dance field. In addition to create an artistic event in itself, this manifestation of the multiple approaches and practices used also made the contemporary dance field seem more accessible and transparent as an artistic endeavour for the general audience.
Several of the artists who contributed to the seminar, wanted therefore to continue this project to explore this potential. Among them were Per Roar, Peder Horgen, Snelle Hall, and Kristine Karåla Øren. Along with Sidsel Pape they discussed possible strategies and artistic visions for how to develop this experience further. Instrumental in the first phase here were Pape, Horgen and Roar before Horgen resigned due to other commitments and Øren and Hall fully joined this process. Together with Solveig Styve Holte and initial support from the Dis-Course group in NODA, the Union of Norwegian Dance Artists, they founded the association Dansedyrkerne (DD), which in Norwegian means: the Dance Cultivators, to develop this art project: Seminarium.
Currently, the association Dansedyrkerne (DD) consists of the dance cultivators Sidsel Pape, Per Roar, Snelle Hall and Kristine Karåla Øren, who share the tasks of arranging each seminarium and utilize these experiences to develop the art project further.
Per Roar is an Oslo based choreographer who currently is a doctoral researcher in choreography and artistic research at the University of the Arts Helsinki. His artistic work merges socio-political interest and contextual enquiry with somatic approach to movement, particular influenced by Gindler-Jacoby work and Klein Technique. He studied choreography at Oslo National Academy of the Arts, contemporary dance and performance in New York, and gained his MA in Performance Studies from New York University, but draws in his artistic work also on his background and earlier studies in history and social sciences at the University of Oslo, supplemented by graduate studies at Corvinius University, Budapest and Oxford University. His artistic works include: White Lies/Black Myths (1995) - on the construct of ‘the other’ (see: Anne Britt Gran, 2000); Shot in the Recliner – the art of camping (2000) - a low-tech interactive camping happening that toured caravan sites in Norway; and the trilogy Life & Death (2006) in which he - by looking at grieving - explored a contextual approach to making choreography. Issues he is presently addressing in his doctoral work. Per Roar is a recipient of US-Fulbright scholarship (1998-1999), the Norwegian Government fellowship for artists (2000-2003) and was research fellow in choreography at Oslo National Academy of the Arts (2003 – 2006). In 2012 he was awarded the Norwegian Government’s Guarantee Income for Artists.
Sidsel Pape is a dance scholar, dramaturge and writer with a background as a performing artist and teacher of improvisation, educated at European Dance Development Center in Holland (10990 – 1994). She holds an MA in dance science from the NoMads-program at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology NTNU (2005). Pape is associated with Nordic Summer University where she has been a member of the board and study circle coordinator since 2002. From 2006 she had worked as a dramaturgical coach in artistic processes with Nordic and Norwegian choreographers and as a lecturer of dance at the University of Tromsø. As a coach she draws upon studies as a performing artist of improvisation, gender studies, practical knowledge and pedagogy. Pape has worked as a critic in several newspapers and journals in Norway and Sweden since 2007. She is a recipient of the Norwegian Government fellowship for artists (1998/2000-2001). Recently Pape has been working as a curator in dance- and performing arts in Seminarium http://www.seminarium.no
Snelle Ingrid Hall is an independent dance artist and has created numerous performances with Siri & Snelle Productions. She studied dance at Statens Balletthøgskole, now Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHiO), and holds a MA in Theatre Studies from University of Oslo. Hall has worked extensively also as a producer and with cultural policy, as a part-time teacher at KHiO and the Norwegian Theatre Academy / Østfold University College, as well as a dance critic for the journal Norsk Shakespeare- og teatertidsskrift. Hall is a recipient of the Norwegian Government’s Guarantee Income for Artists.
Kristine Karåla Øren is an independent dancer, educated from Statens Balletthøgskole, now Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHiO). In addition to performing her own works, Øren has engaged in long-term cooperation with a few dance artists: in particular Eva Cecilie Richardsen (1997-2006), Amanda Steggell (1995-2008), Mette Edvardsen 2002-d.d), Henriette Pedersen (2008-d.d). The common features of these partnerships are the intense artistic communication and analytic interstices that emerge in the artistic process as an integral part of the creative work. This dynamic interplay is what inspires and triggers her imagination and moves Øren forward artistically.