The Writing Movement Network @ Iceland, October 2015 – a portrait of the network – a diary of some sort

The Writing Movement Network is a study and discussion circle supported by the Nordic Culture Point from the 1 year network scheme.
The group is in Iceland. It consists of dance persons. Some are dance reviewers and as such in sort of lonely positions even though they are behind not just reviews but also a wider range of texts about dance as well as being those that disseminate news etc. about dance to their national fellow dance persons. These ildsjæls need the network.
Becoming a member of the network happens by coincidence.
The current members are all women
There are no vegetarians

Inta is the master brain and writer and also the accountant of the network
Moa is the laughing West Coast artist
Sesselja is the lonely motherwolf from Iceland
Madli is the Estonian theatre person
Anne-Liis is the Berlin scholar
Laima is the radio reporter, bringing WMN into the Latvian air

More people are part of the network;
Sofie Moenster is the Danish culture octopus, writing and organising dancerelated projects
Evelyn Lagle is the dance writer from Viljandi, Estonia. She will organise our next meeting there

My role in the network is perhaps at this time, to point to perspectives and larger contexts, rather than being a master writer. On the other hand, I do like to write when I´m occupied with something.

The network is scheduled to meet all together 4 times between August 2015 and June 2016. The meetings are in Saldus, Latvia, in Laugarvatn, Iceland, in Viljandi, Estonia and in Riga, Latvia.
For the Saldus meeting the programme and number of participants was enhanced, a collaboration was set up with Movement Research in New York, – two danceartists from there joined the Saldus activities in addition to a number of local dance students.

The purpose of the network is to discuss relevant issues concerning all kinds of dancewriting and to reflect on issues related to the current contemporary dance scene. It also acts as a support group as many of the members in a way are isolated, being for instance one of very few reviewers in their local area. Thus the network is a place to share considerations on working conditions and ethics, frustrations and obstacles as well as a place to ask for advice and exchange methods and tools. The network is based on Nordic-Baltic participation. The network publishes dance writings on this blog, on and other relevant places.
The meetings consist of both movement, discussion and writing sessions and usually take place in homely surroundings where the participants share rooms and prepare and eat all meals together. This furthers the general networking level as discussions take place around the clock. In addition to that it keeps the costs down.

The future of the network!:
The Writing Movement Company is a concept under development. The idea is that the network members offer themselves as organisers of various sessions, – be it workshops, panel discussions, seminars etc. in connection to for instance a dance festival.

First day in Iceland the network went basic and asked:
Why do you make dance/is dance made?
Why show dance?
Why watch dance?
To me dance is about atmospheres, human affairs. To pass on what is not named (Moas expression), believing that art can convey and stimulate the unthought thoughts.
Showing dance works is about relations. And about influencing. We talked about that there are:
– the communal aspect
– the dogmatic or demagogic aspect
– the urge to change the world!
For more words on this see also Madli Pestis text Making, showing and seeing – why?

Ideally dance is like a drug it was stated, – you hope for the rush, that you will be moved, stirred, carried away – for satisfaction. – For more words about this see Inta Balodes text On Expectations

We discussed immersive performances a lot.
– Who can break the contract between audience and performer? Is there these days always a contract?
– Are we just old, conservative audience members missing the point? (- is there always a point?)
– We discussed “fast art“/ drafts (thought of as high energy collaborations between artists from various art forms, organised and promoted informaly) and the importance of the longer deep process/(in this context named “slow art“, – can also be talked about as virtuosity.)
The issue about the different national contexts was also talked about. How can this feed into the discussions, when is a discussion general? Which generality?
This and many other topics we´ll return to when we meet in Viljandi, Estonia, April 2016. Stay tuned for more Movement writings.

Moa Sahlin having a Mary Poppins Movement Moment

Moa Sahlin striking a Moving Mary Poppins Moment


2 Responses to “The Writing Movement Network @ Iceland, October 2015 – a portrait of the network – a diary of some sort”

  1. Regina

    Hello everybody!

    I am so happy to have accidentally have found you 🙂
    I am 25 and graduated this summer from Fontys Dance Academy in Tilburg, the Netherlands.
    Now I am studying wartime Scenography at the Royal Academy of Art in Antwerp, Belgium. I am working as a dancer and looking for a nice parttime job next to it, because I am just starting to network.
    Next to my passion for dancing and creating, I have a big passion for writing.
    When I was in high-school I used to write for the youth site of the local newspaper and was always involved in the school paper.
    Even in my major study I did my minor in creative writing.
    I am now trying to find ways to combine those two love affairs of mine 🙂

    I am really interested in your network and if I can be anyhow a part of it, or just follow your work and discoveries, maybe discussions, please let me know.
    I am truly enthusiastic and would love to contribute and share.

    Warm greetings,


Leave a Reply

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS