Old Brewery New Dance at Malta 2020
Art Stations Foundation, CounterPulse and Movement Research partner on the creation of an international, multigenerational performative conference, Grand (Re) Union. The conference seeks to address the crucial desire for suspending business as usual and create time and make space for deep reflection on the current circumstances in Poland, the US, Hungary and a growing number of countries globally where rising extremism and polarization are creating a crisis of inter-human relations.
Grand (Re) Union underlines the necessity and importance of gathering and being united in collective thinking and acting in the face of a world pulling apart. At the same time, it reaches back to the historical moment of the first horizontal improvisational collective Grand Union, established in 1969 by protagonists of postmodern dance. The conference critically revisits the history of choreography to raise awareness of the richness of artistic and activist traditions that have already insisted on building healthy futures.
Centering the generative act of being together, this ten-day gathering of practitioners, thinkers, writers, scholars, and audiences will cultivate, transmit and document relevant knowledge and practices honed in dance, movement and choreographic reflection and creation. Through shared practice, reflection and discussion, we wish to map effective ways to extend existing and create new frameworks to reach beyond the dance field to likely and unlikely collaborators and conspirators.
We aspire toward radical solidarity, transdisciplinarity, and post-hierarchical collective actions.
We re-affirm that effective resistance and sustainable changes to the current world order are possible. We’re convinced that choreographic practices provide alternative ways of being and understanding the world, each other, and our relationship to nature. We have the opportunity and responsibility to be part of pointing the way toward more just and equitable futures for individuals and communities. Grand (Re) Union poses the crucial question: how can choreographic practices contribute to healing the world?
We intend to focus on two particular areas of practice that are distinctly relevant in exercising fairer worlds. The first is the plethora of somatic practices that in our digital, disembodied times reconnect us with physical experience and return to us a grounded awareness of our own body as well as respectful possible interaction with other bodies. The second is improvisation, perceived as a laboratory for brave and generous experimentation toward testing and developing the necessary adaptability to respond to ever-changing realities through considerate participation.
Having in mind the political potential of live gathering, we would like to create space and time frames that will enable us to experience and reflect diverse ways of being together, exchange and support each other. We imagine symposium as a space that will strengthen us all in our everyday encounters.
The gathering also marks the culmination and final events of ASF’s Old Brewery New Dance program, gathering in reunion and acknowledging the input of artists and thinkers international, regional and local who, through the last 15 years, contributed their ideas, knowledge and experiences to developing local Polish (and Eastern European) knowledge and choreographic reflection. Following the event, findings and inspirations will be organized, augmented and published for continued circulation and sharing.