Theatre, Dance and Performance Training Journal (TDPT) champions a wide range of training initiatives. They invited ID to guest-edit an issue of the journal exploring independent dance and movement training – the first time in the history of the journal that non-academics would lead on editing it.
What is independence? Independent from what or whom? And what is training, learning and knowing?
These questions formed the basis of our approach to this issue. Seemingly simple, these questions have been at the heart of ID’s work since 1984, when the organisation emerged out of informal collaborations between artists seeking a common ground to share training opportunities across dance forms. Remaining artist-led ever since, ID is preoccupied with supporting learning through dance, and with articulating what that might mean, and for whom.
We were therefore delighted to accept the invitation to guest-edit and have aimed to carry these threads throughout. We were also keen to reach beyond the boundaries of our own context and traverse borders between fields and forms. While ID has historically been associated with somatic practices, the range of practices featured in this issue is true both to the original intention of ID to support a very wide breadth of forms, and to our current commitment to supporting research across forms of dance, with questioning and open-ended curiosity being key ingredients, rather than an emphasis on product or aesthetic.
Through an international call-out, we invited proposals illuminating as broad a range of perspectives as possible, exploring how artists create, practice, and develop independent training forms, and what current practitioners consider relevant.
The resulting issue, published in July 2021, includes contributions ranging from articles to one-page ‘postcards’, by the following artists and writers: ‘Funmi Adewole, Casey Avaunt, Katrina Brown, Laura Cervi, Guy Dartnell, Thomasin Gülgeç, Stefan Jovanović, Lliane Loots, Simone Kenyon, Georgia Paizi, Helen Poynor / Hilary Kneale / Paula Kramer, Aswathy Rajan, Carolyn Roy, Stephanie Sachsenmaier, Niamh Dowling / Miranda Tufnell / Lucia Walker, Rebecca Weber, Simon Whitehead. It concludes with an obituary for Nancy Stark Smith written by Colleen Bartley.
Our editorial is here and the list of contents is here. If you do not have access to TDPT Journal through an institution’s subscription, please feel welcome to contact ID if you would like to read any of the contributions, and we will try to arrange access.