Laura Navndrup Black: Franziska, my dear co-editor, I propose here a game, I will play ‘the artist’ and you will play ‘the scholar.’ We will perform an unrehearsed rendition of ‘the editorial,’ and it will be directed at ‘the audience’, the reader. Ok?

Franziska Bork Petersen: And what does that mean? That I get to do the boring parts? The hard parts? Your idea of an ‘unrehearsed rendition’ rather makes me sweat. But here we go: I am clearly in character, already. So let’s stick with it.

LNB (‘the artist’): Here goes. Perhaps you have printed paper between your hands right now, the paper smooth and soft to the touch, the smell of ink barely present, the edges sharp, (your body has long ago learned not to slide a finger along the edge, knows that approached from this particular angle, the paper might cut through your skin, so your fingers stay on the safe side). Or perhaps you are looking at a screen, fingers rapidly, habitually, pressing little squares, transporting your attention across an infinite amount of available information. So first of all, thank you, dear reader, for choosing to direct you attention to this exact place at this exact moment. Please stay.

FBP (‘the scholar’): The contributions to this issue approach dance from quite a varied range of angles. But looking at the finished texts, it seems to me that dance–as an analytical focus, as a means of cultural encounter, or even just a common background–brings out ‘something else’ in these texts, something specific: something that would have, otherwise, remained hidden.

In Astrid von Rosen and Mats Nilsson’s Waltzing with Strindberg, the authors examine dance in A Dream Play. In doing so, they bring out unexplored aspects of how Strindberg uses dance as a practice of memory in the play. In Ninel Çam’s contribution, offering dance in a public space gives her project a particular allure. But, surely, the specificity of a woman offering to dance with strangers publically is also behind her fears regarding STEHBLUES. Would female trouble’s enticing work Cracking Circles be any less succinct in its critical reflection of the archive and artistic collaboration, if it wasn’t for dance? Probably not. But it seems to me that dance still adds a different perspective on the body and archiving to their piece (a performance of Cracking Circles in Copenhagen last year adorns the cover of this issue). In The Choreographer’s View, Birgitte Bauer-Nilsen lays out how in her intercultural practice, dance allows for specific kinds of encounter between the participants.

Ultimately, what is interesting is not just the fact that dance is culturally, medially, artistically different from other practices; that it is specific and says specific things about the context it emerges in. And importantly (say I, ’the scholar’) it isn’t just the dance that brings something else to the fore; it is our critical engagement with and reflection of it.

LNB (‘the artist’, interrupting): Critical doing and thinking and thinking-in/through-doing, here in journal format. There is, to me, something comforting about the fixity that this two-dimensional space offers. Frames, limitations, make it easier to act. For a lot of work, though, a flat surface fixed in time means a seriously substantial reworking of the work, or at least demands a particular, condensed focus; a snippet of what the thing is. This medium is adopted from somewhere else, so do I engage with it as ‘artist’ or do I perform the role of ‘scholar’ or do I attempt to do both/neither?

FBP (‘the scholar’): There are obvious difficulties with publishing (some aspects of some) artistic research on the printed page. In the final contribution, Rasmus Ölme thinks about ways of making artistic research publicly accessible. At the editorial board of the Nordic Journal of Dance we are beginning to discuss this question: How could or should we publish artistic research? It seems an obvious concern, given that an increasing amount of high quality dance research in the Nordic countries is artistic research.

LNB (‘the artist’): Franziska, I notice your word count exceeds mine. Make of that what you wish, dear reader.



Back to front page