ID is replacing our long-running Crossing Borders talks with a new series of conversations between artists, taking the title Intimacy and the Civic as a starting point. We are producing this new series in partnership with Sadler’s Wells and the University of Roehampton, with events happening at each host organisation as well as online.
The first Intimacy and the Civic conversation with artists Vanessa Grasse (UK/IT) and Nita Little (USA) took place as part of ID’s International Festival of Learning in summer 2021. The second in the series, taking place at Sadler’s Wells on 1 March 2022, will feature choreographer Charlotte Spencer (UK) in conversation with architect and writer Marwa Al-Sabouni (Syria). This will open to booking later in January.
Intimacy implies a porosity of the edges between self and other, bodily and emotional entanglements, lines that become knotted, notions of care and kinship and also the potential for transgression. The civic implies social organising, boundaries, mechanisms and rules, but also shared spaces holding diverse cultures and functions.
Consciousness around both ‘intimacy’ and the ‘civic’ is of course so heightened at the moment, with pandemic restrictions bringing about both a longing for, but also a fear, of intimacy. The incalculable losses of this pandemic period also coexist with an urgent need to pay attention to our civic structures and social responsibilities, and to social justice; a widespread desire to make change and not to return to ‘normal’.
We are curious about the ways these notions might meet, seemingly so at odds with each other. And what is the place and the potency of dance within all of this? How can dance enable cohesion, and repair?