Through the gaze of three curators, this lecture series inquires into different topics such as feminism, video dance and the diversity of languages present during these years. These discourses will be complemented by audiovisual material – the fruit of many hours of work dedicated to recovering archives – on the creations that took place in Spain in the 80s and 90s. In parallel with this activity, it is also to be held a seminar.
Isabel de Naverán
Thinking Bodies: from the promise of eclecticism to choreographic discourse
In one decade, starting with the transition to democracy in the 80s and lasting through the mid 90s, the changes occurring in choreographic creation indicate the presence of both a desire to experience new forms of dance and also of disappointments resulting, perhaps, from the pressure exerted by understanding the professional in ways that did not always adapt to artistic needs. Such changes give rise however to specific gestures which, making language and poetics the priority, become choreographic discourse. From that time on, and up through the present, the concept of choreography has also undergone a transformation: it is no longer just the arrangement of bodies and movements within a performance. Rather, choreography is understood as a self-reflexive textual practice the consequences of which flow into in areas that no doubt transcend it. One of these areas is the art museum.
Isabel de Naverán is an independent researcher and has a doctorate in Fine Arts. She works in expanded choreography and in the generation of critical discourse. Among her activities in this area, she organises conferences and seminars, publishes articles, is the editor of books and the coordinator of training programs.
She is a co-founder of Artea (www.arte-a.org) and member of the editorial board of Cairon, a journal of dance studies (Universidad de Alcalá de Henares). She is the editor of the book Hacer Historia. Reflexiones desde la práctica de la danza (2010), co-editor, with José A. Sánchez, of Cuerpo y Cinematografía (2008) and with Amparo Écija of Lecturas sobre danza y coreografía (2013).
Since 2004 she has been collaborating as a researcher in the Archivo Virtual de Artes Escénicas (Performing Arts Virtual Archive). She is a guest professor in various Master’s programs: Performing Arts Practices and Visual Culture (Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha), Research and Creation in Art and Arts and Sciences of the Spectacle (Universidad del PaisVasco).
Beatriz Martínez del Fresno
Feminism and contemporary dance in the Spain of the 80s
Once the country’s young democracy had become solid, Spanish society, waking up from the lethargy caused by the dictatorship, finally found before it a broad array of performing arts. Among them was contemporary dance, which because of its novelty, stood out from the rest. This lecture analyses the choreographic renewal that took place in the 80s, paying particular attention to the construction of female subjects, the transformation of body techniques and the representations of gender that proved to be means of escape from the cannons established by Francoist biopolitics.
Beatriz Martínez del Fresno is full professor in the Department of Art History and Musicology, at Universidad de Oviedo. A specialist in 20th century art, she has paid particular attention to musical nationalism, the sound languages of Spain’s Silver Age and the music of the post-war period. She is the author of the book Julio Gómez. Una época de la música española (Madrid, ICCMU, 1999).
Without giving up her activity in musicology, in 1996 she opened a new line of research in Spanish universities: dance history. In this field she has directed four projects sponsored by the National Plan for Research, Development and Innovation and was also the coordinator of the book Coreografiar la historia europea: cuerpo, política, identidad y género en la danza (Universidad de Oviedo, 2011) with the participation of specialists from Spain, France, Italy and Portugal.
Part of her work focuses on methodology: the problems that arise in research, dance and gender, the relationship between music and dance, the reconstruction of historical dances and the documentation and conservation of choreographic heritage.
From stage to screen: video as a tool for choreographic creation
Coinciding with the upsurge of contemporary dance companies at the end of the 70s and especially during the 80s, video appears as a new tool for audiovisual creation, one much easier to access and use than film. Choreographers and dancers find that this new technology has very significant applications for the sector: on the one hand, as document and memory, very important things for an eminently ephemeral art; and on the other hand as a means for experimentation, through dialogue between the two languages, choreographic and audiovisual, in the search for a new space – a virtual space – for performance; and finally, and probably the most important, in times in which dance needed to create its audience, as a tool for the promotion and dissemination of dance in the media, that is, in something that was then very powerful: television.
Núria Font Solá. Videomaker and curator. Director of cultural projects related to video, videodance and the electronic arts.
As a videomaker: She began her professional career in 1980 at the Community Video Service of Barcelona. Since then she has worked with audiovisual companies in the making of advertising spots; with television networks such as TVE (Metrópolis, La 2), TV3 and Barcelona TV; she has created videodance works in collaboration with national and international choreographers and has also directed documentaries, promotional clips and recordings of the performances of various dance companies.
As an art and new media curator: For eight years she directed Espai Video at the Centre d'Art Santa Mònica and she directed three editions of the biennials of Electronic Arts and Video Creation (1998, 2000 and 2002). Since 2003 she has been the director of VAD, the International Video and Digital Arts Festival of Gerona.
As a curator of videodance and interactive dance: She directed, starting in 1984, the Mostra de Videodansa, a biennial event dedicated to images of dance, and a number of videodance programs in museums and other types of centres all over the world. She now directs the program of NU2’s, associació per a la creació, which organises the following activities, among others: the IDN festival, the program Territoris Dansa for Canal 33, videodance production through an annual dance project selection, research laboratories at l’Animal a l’esquen and an educational program for children and youth. In 2009 she was awarded the National Dance Prize of the Generalitat de Catalunya.