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Conversations at MPavilion

1/2
4—5 March 2020
12:30—1:30pm

MPavilion

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On Contemporaneity
Takao Kawaguchi, Linda Sastradipradja and Amaara Raheem in conversation with Dr. Philipa Rothfield and Dr. Priya Srinivasan
Wednesday March 4, 12.30­—1.30pm

There is a sense in which every artwork is contemporary, emerging according to its moment or time of creation. Yet, the concept of the contemporary in dance is more loaded than that. It can be argued that the very concept of time – which produces a notion of the contemporary – is a colonial concept, formed in the west and imposed on non-western cultures which embody very different conceptions of time. In the case of dance, this manifests in terms of a hierarchy, which privileges so-called contemporary forms (modern, postmodern, experimental) over other art forms (traditional or premodern), which are thought to belong to the past. How might we rethink narrow western centric understandings of art by opening up to more than one sense of time and temporality in art? Perhaps a vertical, hierarchical conception of time is thereby opened to a wider plurality of conceptions – leading to the idea that contemporary performance can and does draw from different traditions.

The Dynamics of Taste
Maria Randall and Yumi Umiumare in conversation with Dr. Priya Srinivasan and Dr. Philipa Rothfield
Thursday March 5, 12:30—1:30pm

This conversation interrogates the politics of taste; in particular the politics of arts ecologies that define questions of aesthetic value and the systems that support them. In particular, we ask what it means to be a practitioner of “traditional” artforms in a landscape that privileges “the contemporary” and how taste can be thought to be hegemonic. Which artforms are seen, funded, showcased, valued and supported is ever-changing and exposes the trends of the time, but more so, the policy and power systems in place. This conversation asks whether the “traditional” can be unpacked to reveal its often colonial, postcolonial, hybrid and contemporary origins in order to rethink the very notion of taste.


Asia TOPA Dancehouse 2020

Dancehouse’s Japan Focus includes Japanese National Treasure, Akira Kasai, heralded as the ‘Nijinsky of butoh,’ with his critically acclaimed work, Pollen Revolution; in addition to phenomenal enfant terrible Takao Kawaguchi and exceptional emerging choreographer Ruri Mito. The Japan Focus delves deeper into how Japanese traditional forms find expression within contemporary dance and, by implication, within contemporary society. This program opens up multiple invitations: to perceive time beyond the linearity of Western thought; to conceive of tradition as a continuum of contemporaneity; and to understand specific dance forms and lineages as trans-national and trans-historical.

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Dr. Priya Srinivasan is a choreographer/curator/researcher who lives and works in the lands of the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung people in Narrm/Melbourne combining theory and practice to work towards social justice issues through art. Her performances prioritize feminist decolonization processes making visible minority women’s histories. Her experimental postcolonial work rooted in South Asian classical dance practice has been presented in major festivals and venues such as universities, museums, galleries, and theatres internationally in USA, Europe, China, India and Australia. Her intercultural collaborative work with First Nations artists “Churning Waters” toured India for Australia Fest. She has curated and choreographed several projects in partnership with Hermitage Museum Amsterdam, Berlin Wall Memorial, Rockbund Art Museum Shanghai, Creative Victoria, MAV, Bunjl Place and Dancehouse. Most recently she co-curated the inaugural Sangam: Performing Arts Festival of South Asia and Diaspora at Bunjil Place and Dancehouse which enabled a single platform for classical, contemporary and experimental forms.

Dancehouse's Japan Focus has been supported by Sidney Myer Fund and Arts Centre Melbourne.

Dancehouse would like to warmly thank THE SAISON FOUNDATION JAPAN and in particular Atsuko Hisano and Taro Inamura, for the most generous support during Angela Conquet's fellowship in Japan in 2019 which inspired this ASIATOPA program. Most warm thanks are also extended to our Japanese colleagues Mr. Shinji Ono and Mrs Ritsuko Mizuno for their insightful curatorial advice and to Yumi Umiumare for her committed assistance with production and logistics.

Accomodation proudly supported by City Tempo.

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