Papers in this section reinforce the crucial place of context in re-considering the evolution and transformation of performance and choreographic practices. The first paper is a reflection by Ann Dils who was one two researchers chosen to observe and comment on the WDAGS Choreolab. Entitled ‘Choreographing the Future’, this paper examines intentions, processes and outcomes arising from the Choreolab through the lens of Creative Industries and ‘creative campus’ concepts and the challenges of encompassing cultural differences meaningfully in a globalised environment of ‘innovation’ and ‘creativity’.
In a different context and paper, exposure to other cultures provides a way for one choreographer/performer to interrogate her dance identity, using this process to both differentiate and integrate choreographic methods and compositional practices often taken for granted. In this and other papers, interdisciplinary thinking is a common thread in which scholars and practitioners draw on diverse cultural theorists such as Lyotard, Bergson, Deleuze and Merleau Ponty to frame discussions and situate creative practice in a broader philosophical terrain. These kinds of engagements foreground an issue discussed in several papers as to the dynamic role of interweaving writing with choreographic and improvisational creative practices.
Questions of ownership and connections with the daily social lives of participants surface in papers from India in relation to traditions, and are echoed in the less formalised community dance perspectives of contemporary western practitioners. The experience of the audience and the quest for authenticity in dance in one paper complements in another the idea that purposeful engagement occurs via accumulated experiences throughout one’s career in a re-purposing of the one extended work in many versions — another way perhaps of looking at the authenticity of a work and indeed an entire career.
The tools we choose for making work are also highly context-dependent. For one author, the ‘spatial grammar’ of ballet, deconstructed and abstracted, provides a rich choreographic site for investigation, whilst site-specific work in another paper focuses on very different kinds of spatial grammar inherent in architecture and the built environment, affording a strategy for creating moving landscapes. Technology tools for interactive spaces provide yet another avenue for creative artists in which agency is created, at least to some extent, through the generative role of the dancer in co-creating imagery and sound in virtual worlds.