Dance Now: Work With(out) Boundaries

20 February, 2017 by Katharina Pewny | 0 comments

Dance Now: Work With(out) Boundaries

Conference on (boundaryless) work in the contemporary dance profession, its causes, contexts and (aesthetic) repercussions (18-19 March 2017, Ghent, Belgium)

18-19 March 2017

Venue: CAMPO Nieuwpoort (Nieuwpoort 31-35, 9000 Ghent, Belgium)

Registration at

Registration fee: €15

Dance Now: Work With(out) Boundaries gathers relevant voices from Belgium and abroad on the living and working conditions of performers and choreographers in (contemporary) dance and performance art.

The artist — the dance artist in particular — has been identified by different scholars as the prototype of the post-Fordist employee. Their work is structured along temporary projects in which they invest a great deal of time (auditions, applications, admin, etc.) and a great deal of (physical and creative, immaterial) labour, but which do not necessarily result in stable working and living conditions. In these precarious conditions, separating work and life becomes difficult.

Other traditional divisions are also blurred: in order to get involved in as many projects as possible, the career of many dance artists is an international project, including touring, taking part in auditions or doing residencies in different countries. The transnational, mobile character of their profession is evident in Brussels and Berlin, hubs from which dancers from different countries operate beyond national borders.

How does this precarious working regime ‘without boundaries’ influence the artistic output of dancers? Is the dance profession truly hypermobile and transnational or are there geopolitical boundaries that (still) exert power? What is the role of gender relations? What is the role of arts organisations and self-organised structures? What can the profession of the contemporary dancer tell us about (the future of) work in other sectors? These are some of the questions that are central to this conference.


Saturday 18/03/2017

  • 9h-9.30h: Registration and coffee
  • 9.30h-10h: Introduction to the PhD Forum by Prof. Katharina Pewny (Ghent University) and Dra. Annelies van Assche (Ghent University/KU Leuven)
  • 10h-13h: PhD forum "Working on Dance": participating PhD students will present their research related to the subject of work in the contemporary dance profession. Confirmed keynote speakers Mark Franko and Gabriele Klein will act as international senior experts who give feedback and recommendations to the presenting PhD students. (The PhD forum is open to other participants of the conference, who can witness the presentations of the PhD students.)
  • 13h-14.30h: Lunch break
  • 14.30h-15h: Introduction to the conference by Prof. Katharina Pewny (Ghent University and Dra. Annelies van Assche (Ghent University/KU Leuven)
  • 15h-16h:: Keynote speech by Prof. Mark Franko (Temple University, Philadelphia)
  • 16h-16.15h: Coffee break
  • 16.15h-18h: Panel A: The Physical and Mental Boundaries between Work and Life, with confirmed lectures by Prof. Helen Thomas (Trinity Laban Conservatoire, London), Prof. Rudi Laermans (KU Leuven) and choreographer Igor Koruga (Serbia)
  • 18h-18.30h: Artistic intervention by performance artist Tan Tan

Sunday 19/03/2017

  • 9.30h-10h: Registration and Coffee
  • 10h-10.45h: Keynote speech by Prof. Gabriele Klein (Universität Hamburg)
  • 10.45h-12h: Panel B: Mobility and Transnationalism, with confirmed lectures by Prof. Anusha Kedhar (Colorado College), Dr. Jonas Tinius (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) and performing artist Wanja Van Suntum (Germany)
  • 12h-13.30h: Lunch break
  • 13.30h-14.15h: Keynote speech by Prof. Gabriele Brandstetter (Freie Universität Berlin)
  • 14.15h-15.30h: Panel C: Rituals, Structures, Community, with confirmed lectures by Dr. Dunja Njaradi (University of the Arts, Belgrade) and dance critic Gurur Ertem (Turkey)
  • 15.30h-15.45h: Coffee break
  • 15.45h-16.15h: Video artist talk by choreographer Eleanor Bauer
  • 16.15h-16.45h: Closing word by Dr. Angela Pickard (Canterbury Christ Church University)


More info and updates at

This conference is part of the FWO-funded research project Choreographies of Precariousness

It is made possible by Ghent University, KU Leuven, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, University of Antwerp, FWO, by the research centres S:PAM, CeSO, THALIA, ARIA and by arts centre CAMPO

Stay up to date with the IFTR Weekly Digest