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NCP#5 on artistic research

Read about Nordic Choreographic Platform’s 5th meeting in Helsinki.

Tarja Pitkänen-Walter's work in Taidehalli.

Theatre Academy’s MA programme in Choreography had the pleasure to host the NCP spring 2022 gathering on 14.-18.2.2022. We warmly welcomed 28 students from all of the four schools participating in the platform. Teachers participating were Jennifer Lacey from Uniarts Stockholm, Per Roar form KHIO, Janne-Camilla Lyster, Daspa Rasmus Ölme and Quim Bigas from DASPA and Kirsi Monni and Jana Unmüssig from Uniarts Helsinki. The whole week was planned to be held on site but unfortunately the last two days were forced to held online, due to covid-19.

This NCP meeting introduced the students to the broad scope of artistic research in terms of outcome, themes and methods – through a number of presentations by artist-researchers. Some of them were power point-based, others studio-based explorations. Most presenters were institutionally anchored in the Theatre Academy. 

The students also got acquainted with the Performing Arts Research Centre of the Theatre Academy that offers a third cycle since the 1990s. In addition, there was a space dedicated for exploring their own understanding of artistic research in relation to their current artistic concerns and/or in relation to the different components (artistic – written) of their MA graduation works. 

At the beginning of the week, the students formed four groups that were then guided by a research facilitator. The findings of the groups were then shared at the end of the week. There was also an optional dancing-moving practice offered by the Helsinki-based dancer Vera Nevanlinna who has collaborated extensively with Deborah Hay. She facilitated the mornings with Hay´s perception practice.

An integral part of the week was attending an exhibition of Helsinki-based artist Tarja Pitkänen-Walter at Taidehalli. By attending the exhibition, we hoped to draw attention to how, eventually, new relations between the discursive and the artistic practice emerge through artistic research; how eventually artistic research is producing moments of inclusivity, beyond distinct institutional protocols.

We had hoped to be able to offer the participants the opportunity to also see performances at the Side Step Festival at Zodiak – Center for New Dance Helsinki. But due to the ongoing pandemic condition, the festival was cancelled. Instead, they met the artistic director of Zodiak and the Side Step Festival, Harri Kuorelahti, and the program director of the newly inaugurated Dance House Helsinki, Mikael Aaltonen, together with the Helsinki-based choreographer Maija Hirvanen.

The week included 18 presentations. 

The presentations varied from theorizing choreography to somatic and experiential practices, from site specific projects to larger research projects. The presentations reflected on how artistic research by now has a solid place in the field of art, might it be dance, theater, music or visual arts. Also, in the last 30 years artistic research has gained grounds in art schools and academies, as many of them have become art universities. More and more artistic PhD programs have emerged and together with them platforms of artistic research dissemination in the form of various journals and conferences dedicated to artistic research. Even the Venice Biennale has witnessed three artistic research pavilions, initiated by Uniarts Helsinki.

The next NCP gathering will be held in autumn 2022, in Bergen, Norway within the OKTOBERDANS festival.


Koreografian koulutusohjelman blogi on keskustelun ja jakamisen paikka. Täällä koulutusohjelman opiskelijat, henkilökunta ja vierailijat kirjoittavat koreografiasta, opiskelusta, meneillään olevista projekteista, (tanssi)taiteesta ja sen ympäriltä.

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