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Arta Sperto presents Dance First Think Later

September 15–October 9, 2022

An exhibition and a performance festival coexist in Dance First Think Later. It investigates a creative landscape on the outskirts of dance, performance, and visual arts—fields that interact with one another yet use quite diverse production and presentation processes. The project’s core is dance, or the gestures and movements of the human body, as well as how they are viewed through numerous lenses, including cultural, sensuous, political, social, ritualistic, technical, gender-related, etc.

Multi- and transdisciplinarity open up new ways of looking at and challenging the modern world, rather than being an aim in itself. For example, in politics, diplomacy, athletics, the military, communication, social fights, public demonstrations, and rituals, movement and gesture have particular significance. Everywhere, gestures convey signals, are discussed in the media, and are scrutinized on social media; they either unite or separate people. Additionally, terms that are obviously related to the vocabulary of choreography are also used in many other fields, as evidenced by phrases like “diplomatic ballet,” “political faux pas,” “political posture,” “pas de deux,” “awkward gait,” “crowd movement,” “body language,” “revolutionary gesture,” “inappropriate gesture,” and “misunderstood gesture.”

Additionally, I believe that the COVID-19 era was particularly “choreographic” in the sense that we have never been so conscious of our movements. We unlearned natural gestures and taught new ones, and we questioned ourselves about required or banned gestures and movements. In this sense, we have unwittingly caught up to the queries and considerations that choreographers make regarding the significance and range of a particular gesture or movement, whether individual or communal. These reflections and particular behavioral modifications will likely have a long-lasting effect.

A line from Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot served as the inspiration for the title Dance First, Think Later. A statement is more complicated than it first appears, which is common with this maestro of the ludicrous. This book aspires to be thought-provoking and attention-grabbing.

Featured artists
Alice AndersonMarco Berrettini and Yan Li and performers, Lara DâmasoManon de Boer and Latifa LaâbissiAgnès GeoffrayZuzana KakalikovaIsabel Lewis & coll. and The FieldAdam LinderShahryar NashatCeylan ÖztrükSamuel Pajand and Cosima GrandEmilie PitoisetDavide-Christelle SanveeUlla von Brandenburg

Curator: Olivier Kaeser

Organisation and production: Arta Sperto / Production partner: Pavillon ADC / Host partner: Cinémas du Grütli

September 15–October 9: exhibition with Alice Anderson, Lara Dâmaso, Agnès Geoffray, Samuel Pajand, Emilie Pitoiset, and Ulla von Brandenburg

September 15–16: Marco Berrettini and Yan Li and performers, S’entraîner les dents, 2020

September 16–18: Davide-Christelle Sanvee, À notre place, creation, 2022

September 20–21: Samuel Pajand & Cosima Grand, Pleased to meet you, creation, 2022

September 22–23: Ceylan Öztrük, Orientalien, 2020

September 29–30: Zuzana Kakalikova, Am I in the picture?, 2021

October 1–2: Isabel Lewis & coll. and The Field, Scalable Skeletal Escalator (stage version), 2022; dance: The Field, Rafał Pierzyński, music: Labour, visual arts: Mathew Lutz-Kinoy, Dirk Bell

October 6–9: Adam Linder, Shelf Life: Barre Forever & Some Brain, 2022

October 6: Shahryar Nashat, Parade, 2014 and Manon de Boer and Latifa Laâbissi, Persona, 2022. Film screening followed by a discussion with the artists

Arta Sperto

Multi- and transdisciplinary artistic initiatives are organized, produced, published, and curated by Arta Sperto. The organization, which doesn’t have a permanent home, develops its initiatives in conjunction with other cultural organizations and venues or in open spaces.

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