Dance research in the Nordic countries focuses on both past and present, and both on traditional and contemporary dance forms. This issue of Nordic Journal of Dance: practice, education and research illuminates this diversity vividly. Dance practices are also becoming ever more varied, as practitioners with versatile backgrounds enter and develop the field. Of course, practice and research are interconnected. Thus, it seems appropriate to state that the dance field is developing towards increased multiplicity. This trend reflects the increasing complexity of the contemporary world. Nordic Journal of Dance appreciates dance researchers’ and practitioners’ efforts to understand these complexities and encourages the readers to cruise through all articles, whether or not closely related to their own special interest.
The issue begins with a glimpse to the past. Anne Fiskvik’s research article titled Tracing the Achievements of Augusta Johannesén, 1880-1895 depicts a detailed picture of remarkable individual who, according to Fiskvik, was one of Norway’s most important ballet dancers in the latter part of the 19th century. Fiskvik also gives a vivid description of the Norwegian theatre world of that time and supports her investigation with resources that have not previously received much attention. Historical research on dance, indeed, seems to be thriving in the Nordic countries.
The second research article, The Construction of Meanings in Breaking: Insights from Breakers in Oslo takes us back to the present as it examines the phenomenon of breaking, often called also breakdance. The geographical proximity of Tonje E. Fjogstad Langnes’ and Kari Fasting’s study to Fiskvik’s highlights how times have changed! As a dance form, breaking develops rapidly and dance researchers definitely need to move along with this development. This being said, it seems pertinent to point out that here, the first author, Tonje Langnes, has approached this topic through an ethnographical methodology where she has practiced breaking along with the participants of the study, illuminating how dance research often is thoroughly intertwined with dance practice.
The third article is titled The Presence of Real Reality: Six Theses on Dance Animateuring by Raisa Foster. This is a practice oriented article albeit the author is also a dance researcher with a doctoral degree. Her topic draws from her doctoral study and her practical experience as a dance animateur. This article presents the main ideas of dance animateuring, a practice that tightly connects pedagogical and artistic practice, in a clear and inspiring manner.
The last article, written by Per Roar and Sidsel Pape, offers insights on Seminarium, an art project that explores the intersection between seminar and performance and aims at enhancing artistic development and critical knowledge in the field of dance and movement based performing arts. The title Seminarium.no – Cultivating Discourse through Artistic Intervention speaks for itself. The article presents the main ideas of the project, and more details can be found from the website of the project.
The issue also contains a review of an exciting and important contribution to Nordic dance scholarship, Nordic Dance Spaces: Practicing and Imagining a Region, edited by Karen Vedel and Petri Hoppu. In her review Helena Wulff states that “in an interdisciplinary area such as dance studies, traditional disciplinary boundaries do not necessarily matter anymore. We now share methods and theory to a great extent.” I could not agree more.
The remainder of the journal includes some current information about conferences, publications and university dance programmes that may be of interest to the readers. I hope you will enjoy reading this issue of Nordic Journal of Dance, and become informed and inspired!