The contributions to this issue reflect an interest in
investigating the collective and collaborative aspects
of dance, i.e. in making dance, teaching it and writing
about it. Writing an article in collaboration is a striking
example of this. But although research can otherwise
seem a solitary endeavour, it is arguably collective in its
fundamentals: refuse to acknowledge that your research
is part of a particular tradition, and you aren’t really
able to contribute to it.

The issue opens with the article ‘Dance Teacher
Educator’s Identity’ by Norwegian dance teachers and
researchers Hilde Rustad and Marit Skreiberg. Together,
they explore Skreiberg’s identity as a dance teacher
who, in her work with students, stresses dancing and
the passion for dance as a common platform she shares
with them. In ‘Dance Matters for Boys and Fathers’,
New Zealander Ralph Buck and Finn Isto Turpeinen
collaborate on an exploration of the ‘raw-boardworking
method’, which values dance as a medium for
sharing experience and developing relationships.

In the issue’s first practice-based piece, ‘Coffee and
Choreography’, Icelandic choreographers Sveinbjörg
Þórhallsdóttir and Steinunn Ketilsdóttir reflect on
their collaboration for the pieces Belinda and Goddess
(2011), Ride (2014) and #PRIVATEPUSSY (2015). This
is followed by ‘From Two to One’ by dancer and recent
graduate from the Danish National School of Theatre
and Contemporary Dance, Micaela Kühn. In her study,
Kühn explores notions of participation in teaching and
performance. In her artistic intervention ‘The Child and
I’, Danish choreographer and dance educator Laura
Navndrup Black reflects on artistic collaborations with
children. The last International Federation for Theatre
Research conference was organised by Stockholm
University’s Department of Culture and Aesthetics this
past June. The German dance and performance scholar
Maren Butte rounds off the issue with an elaborate
report from the conference’s (abundant!) dance panels.

At a time when we are more visible than ever, and
that this visibility is distinctly of the individual (from
CCTV cameras to staging one’s own individual body
in selfies), we can wonder whether there might not be
some radicalism in these explorations of collectivity and


But there is another, scarier, implication. Cecilie
Ullerup Schmidt put it concisely in her opening remark
to the magnificent symposium she organised as part
of her Works at Work festival in Copenhagen this past
October (‘Feminism, Friendship, Borderlessness’).
Ullerup Schmidt pondered the extent to which we could
still afford to have friendships and the extent to which
we are, in fact, always already networking.

Dancers and choreographers are prone to
working within these frames of friendship-network
collaborations – and undeniably, this also implies
some privilege. However, enjoying your work and
being able to carry it out in collaboration with people
you like does not mean that it is great to be at work
all the time. Simon Critchley and Jamieson Webster’s
critique of the blurring of work and free-time, then,
has a particular relevance to dancers/choreographers.
Critchley and Webster insist on an ‘informalization of
the workplace where the distinction between work and
non-work is harder and harder to draw’ (2013)1. Adding
time hanging out with friends to the sphere of ‘work’
might thus make a relatively small difference to dance
practitioners. Nonetheless, it is worth bearing in mind
that this also means that after our bodies and their
work have been absorbed by capitalist systems, making
them productive, in neo-liberalism our ‘interpersonal
relationships’ – our friendships – have become invaded
as well.

We hope you enjoy reading this issue of NJD!

Franziska Bork Petersen

Critchley, Simon and Webster, Jamieson. 2013. ‘The Gospel
According to «Me»’,, 29 June, accessed 30 November 2016.

1 ‘Your whole life is your professional life and all of it is up for grabs’, commented my
distinguished friend – and collaborator – Tabitha Innocent, when I told her about my thoughts
on this



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