Research: CCHS collaboration with Danish project Knowing in Motion

Network in motion. Credit: Astrid von Rosen
Network in motion. Credit: Astrid von Rosen

Friday 1 September I attended an Advisory Board meeting with the major Danish research project Knowing in Motion: Dance, body, archive, funded by Augustinus fonden and led by associate professor Karen Vedel, University of Copenhagen.

Together with professor Garbriele Brandstetter and curator Dough Reside, my task as Advisory Board Member, is to offer support, interest and critical questions to this highly qualified cross disciplinary critical heritage project. In particular I contribute theoretical input from dance, scenograpy, critical heritage and archival research. 

I am happty to announce that Centre for Critical Heritage Studies (CCHS) at the University of Gothenburg and Knowing in Motion are now collaborating to expand on knowledge exchange, research communication, networking and impact. This is particularly rewarding as Knowing Motion is inspired by methodological approaches and findings from path breaking CCHS projects Dance as Critical Heritage (2023-2016) and Swedish Research Council funded Expansion and Diversity (2019-2023). Indeed, this collaboration is a useful example of leadership for sustainability, here exemplified by the active recycling and cross-border use of long term, critical and creative academic and practiced work, so easily forgotten.

/Astrid von Rosen, Director Centre for Critical Heritage Studies, professor Art History and Visual Studies, University of Gothenburg

About Knowing in Motion (from )

In order to deepen the understanding of dance as cultural heritage, the project investigates how dancers in dialogue with archival source materials may activate corporeal insights and traces from dances of the past. Moreover, we ask how these corporeal insights may become part of the archival institution.

Taking the embodied archives of the artists as a source of insight we examine questions of - among other topics - the bodily transfer of knowledge, archive building and temporality.

The project draws on archival source material from three historical case studies. These are distributed across different choreographers, genres, and institutional frames for the artistic production:

  • 1915 – 1925 Emilie Walbom, the first female choreographer at the Royal Danish Theatre.
  • 1965 – 1975 Doug Crutchfield, jazz dancer, choreographer, and pedagogue with their own school in Copenhagen.
  • 1989 – 1999 Micado danse Ensemble, independently producing dance company under the artistic leadership of Mikala Bjarnov Lage and Charlotte Rindom.

Integrating artistic and theoretical explorations, the project activates the embodied archives of the artists as a source of insight in order to examine - among other topics - the bodily transfer of knowledge, overlapping temporalities and participatory archive building.

In this project we ask, what we can learn from the corporeal knowledge of dance that rarely finds its way into the archival institution?
Karen Arnfred Vedel, PI