Public talks & guest lectures

© Joeri Thiry, STUK - House for Dance, Image & Sound

Public talks & guest lectures

With Theory of Contemporary Dance Kunstencentrum STUK and KU Leuven join forces to deliver a diverse series of classes introducing students and the wider public to contemporary dance theory. The course starts with an introduction to dance history, and several of the most important historical theoretical concepts as well as contemporary dance theory, particularly in relation to cultural studies. During several guest lectures we then zoom in on a number of current debates taking place within the contemporary dance world. Prominent dance practitioners and theoreticians will be invited for these events.

We 26 Apr guest lecture Timmy De Laet - The Reiterative Body: Methodological Perspectives on Choreographic Re-enactment
16:00 - 19:00 STUK Verbeeckzaal 

Even though the rise of re-enactment in contemporary dance has been receiving ample attention during the past few years, the theoretical underpinnings of this retrospective tendency are rarely addressed. In this guest lecture, I will elucidate how the current discourse on re-enactment is informed by (or even revives) a relatively longstanding conflict between poststructuralist and phenomenological perspectives, which continues to live on, albeit in sometimes different guises, in dance and performance studies. Taking Jacques Derrida and Maurice Merleau-Ponty as my guides, I will focus on the trope of the body as a living archive and show how this very notion already incorporates the tension between poststructuralism and phenomenology, in order to uncover the methodological significance of re-enactment for dance and performance theory.

Timmy De Laet is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the University of Antwerp (Research Centre for Visual Poetics). He had an actor’s training at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp, graduated in Theatre Studies at the University of Antwerp, and studied Dance Theory at the Freie Universität Berlin. He obtained his PhD in 2016, for his dissertation titled “Re-inventing the Past: Strategies of Re-enactment in European Contemporary Dance.” In 2016-17, he is also working a Visiting Professor at Ghent University (S:PAM – Studies in Performing Arts and Media) and as a lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp. Articles of his on re-enactment have been published in journals as Performance Research, Tanz, and Muséologies, as well as in the edited collections Performing Memory in Art and Popular Culture (2013), Moments: A History of Performance in 10 Acts (2013), The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Reenactment (forthcoming).

Tu 2 May guest lecture Ivana Müller -  IN BETWEEN: On the Invisible and its power to bring us together.
16:00 - 18:00 STUK Verbeeckzaal  

In her lecture Ivana Müller will take the idea of “invisible” as a point of departure, and speak about the practices of choreographic and theatrical writing as processes through which we reveal and deal with different kinds of invisible(s). How are theatrical and social representations related to the invisible processes build through collective and individual imagination? How is an artist choosing material tools in order to shape the immaterial? How a stage work emerges through the invisible processes that are been created between performer/spectator, stage/backstage, sound/image. What do we really share in theatre?


Ivana Müller is a choreographer, artist and author of texts. Through her artistic work she re-thinks the politics of spectacle and spectacular, re-visits the place of imaginary and imagination, questions the notion of « participation », investigates the idea of value and its representation, and keeps on getting inspired by the relationship between performer and spectator. Although she creates through various forms, theatre remains the principle context in which she develops and presents her work. Her pieces – among others How Heavy Are My Thoughts (2003), Under My Skin (2005), While We Were Holding It Together (2006), Playing Ensemble Again And Again (2008), Working Titles (2010), 60 Minutes of Opportunism (2010), Partituur (2011), In Common (2012), We are Still Watching  (2012-2015), Positions (2013), Edges  (2016) – have been produced and presented in some of the major theatre festivals and venues in Europe, USA and Asia, over the last 15 years.

We 10 May guest lecture Jeroen Peeters - Heterogeneous dramaturgies
16:00 - 18:00 STUK Verbeeckzaal  

Many artists working in the field of dance today have exchanged the role of the dramaturge for an approach that considers the production of meaning a shared responsibility of all the collaborators. Moreover, dramaturgy pervades all aspects of the artistic creation process and ties itself to materials and media, bodies and space. How to develop a method that is singular to the piece to come – rather than apply acquired knowledge? How to create a shared ground where experimentation and reflection, desire and doubt have a place? Peeters will discuss these issues in relation to his own dramaturgical practice and collaborations with artists such as deufert+plischke, Sabina Holzer, Martin Nachbar and Meg Stuart.

Jeroen Peeters is a writer, dramaturge and performer based in Brussels. His research focuses on questions of attention, embodied knowledge and sustainable development. Interested in documenting the ‘languages of making’, Peeters set up several dialogical projects with artists, which resulted for instance in a book in collaboration with Meg Stuart,  Are we here yet? (2010). Recent publications include the book Through the Back: Situating Vision between Moving Bodies (2014), and an artist edition in collaboration with Jack Hauser and Sabina Holzer, We don't know what free jazz is (2015). With Jozef Wouters he made The Metaphors (2015), a lecture performance on the use of text and image in the debate on climate change. In collaboration with Martin Nachbar he created A Field Trip (2016), a fabulatory performance attempt to reforest the theatre.

The students will have the opportunity to put their newly acquired theoretical knowledge to practice while attending a selection of performances at STUK. Combined with these evenings, choreographers such as Marc Vanrunxt and Wim Vandekeybus will join the students in conversation in the form of a public talk.

We 19 Apr public talk Marc Vanrunxt 
17:00 - 19:00 STUK Verbeeckzaal  

Th 27 Apr public talk Wim Vandekeybus 
11:00 - 13:00 Cinema ZED STUK

The programme will close with a symposium Mediating Immediacy: Choreographing Affect. 

STUK Verbeeckzaal, Cinema ZED STUK
Wed 19 Apr 201717:00 - 19:00
Wed 26 Apr 201716:00 - 18:00
Thu 27 Apr 201711:00 - 13:00
Tue 2 May 201716:00 - 18:00
Wed 10 May 201716:00 - 18:00

free without reservation

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