Towards Documentary Choreography: Encounter #1

Towards Documentary Choreography: Encounter #1

University of Antwerp / Ghent University

November 20, 2023
Towards Documentary Choreography: Encounter #1
Three-day symposium on embodied and documentary practices
December 7–9, 2023
Auguste Ortsstraat 20/28
1000 Brussels
Facebook / Instagram

In recent decades, there has been an increasing interest in embedding elements from reality into performance. The testimonial plays of Lola Arias, the lecture performances of Rabih Mroué and Hito Steyerl, or the hybrid installations of Walid Raad propose complex dispositives and dramaturgies that question our modes of engagement with factual information. 

While the field of contemporary dance is known for its critical experimentations, the inclusion of factual information in its practice remains largely uncharted. Choreographers often use documentary elements such as texts, photographs, or videos as sources of inspiration in their artistic process, but few of these items remain visible in the final stage work. The intersection between embodied and documentary practices, however, opens up possibilities for new choreographic articulations of sociopolitical issues of various sorts and alternative ways of engaging with such matters. It results in what art philosopher Frédéric Pouillaude calls “factual representations” that consequently lead to a “poetics of factuality” (Pouillaude 2020).

For this opening symposium, which initiates a series stemming from his practice-based PhD research, choreographer Arkadi Zaides invites various practitioners and scholars to reflect collectively on the notion of “documentary choreography”. By looking at concrete case studies and by proposing various theoretical lenses, the participants will explore the strategies used by artists when combining embodied and documentary practices. Through different formats, they will consider the potentiality of such blending not only to challenge the boundaries of contemporary dance and documentary theater, but also to engage critically with social and political issues.

Featured speakers (in alphabetical order): An van. Dienderen (filmmaker, teacher & senior researcher at KASK/School of Arts (HoGent)); Annouk Van Moorsel (Head of Dance and Educational Programmes in Dance, Drama, and Music at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp; co-chair of the research group CORPoREAL), Arkadi Zaides (choreographer, PhD researcher); Carolina Mendonça (choreographer, dramaturg); Christel Stalpaert (professor at the Department of Art History, Musicology and Theatre Studies at Ghent University, co-director of the research center S:PAM); Denis Cointe (author-director); Eva Brems (professor at the Faculty of Law & Criminology at Ghent University, head of the Human Rights Centre); Frédéric Pouillaude (professor of Aesthetics at Aix-Marseille University); Jelena Jureša (visual artist and filmmaker, post-doc researcher at KASK/School of Arts (HoGent)); Kopano Maroga (performance artist, writer, and cultural worker); Ligia Lewis (choreographer); Samah Hijawi (artist, writer, astrologer); Sandra Noeth (curator, body theorist, professor at the HZT-Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin); Thomas Bellinck (theater and exhibition maker, doctoral researcher at KASK/School of Arts (HoGent)); and Timmy De Laet (associate professor of Theatre and Dance Studies at the University of Antwerp and Coordinator of CoDa│Cultures of Dance – Research Network for Dance Studies). Assistant production: Stef Assandri.

Information on beursschouwburg’s website / detailed programme and speakers’ biographies.

This event is made possible with the generous support of: Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts (ARIA); the Flemish Government; the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy of Ghent University; the Faculty of Arts (Department of Literature) of the University of Antwerp; CoDa / Cultures of Dance—Research Network for Dance Studies (funded by the Research Foundation Flanders—FWO). It is organized as a part of Arkadi Zaides’ practice-based PhD in the Arts at the University of Antwerp, Royal Conservatoire Antwerp, Ghent University, and KASK/School of Arts (HoGent) and his active membership within the CORPoREAL research group at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp and the research center S:PAM (Studies in Performing Arts & Media) at Ghent University.

RSVP for Towards Documentary Choreography: Encounter #1
University of Antwerp  / Ghent University
November 20, 2023

Thank you for your RSVP.

University of Antwerp  / Ghent University will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.