Why Curate Live Arts?

Responses from TURBA's Editorial and Advisory Boards

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  • 1 Associate Professor, Theater, Borough of Manhattan Community College, USA
  • | 2 Dramaturg and Translator
  • | 3 De Montfort University Leicester, UK
  • | 4 Academy of Dramatic Art, Croatia
  • | 5 Artistic Project Director, Forward Dance Company, Germany
  • | 6 Founding Director, The Momentary, Bentonville, Arkansas, USA
  • | 7 Curator, Theater and Dance, EMPAC/Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, RPI, USA
  • | 8 Independent Music Curator, Berlin and Research Associate, Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland
  • | 9 Humboldt Research Fellow, Freie Universität, Germany
  • | 10 Co-founder, Tanzquartier Wien, The Academy of the Art of the World/Cologne, European Dancehouse Network
  • | 11 Department of Art History, Musicology, and Dance Studies, University of Salzburg, Austria
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To Discover Meaningful Ways to Be Together by Bertie Ferdman

In the Era of Context by Ken Takiguchi

The Cultural Industries in Africa by Funmi Adewole

Some Observations on Terminology by Gordana Vnuk

National Dance Platforms: Building Danceland or Curating the Nation? by Gustavo Fijalkow

A Reflection on the Start of It All: Festival Curation as the Artist's Liberation of Divulgation by Lieven Bertels

When Curatorial Practice in the Performing Arts Meets Production by Ashley Ferro-Murray

Toward the End of Innocence in Programming Live Arts by Brandon Farnsworth

Curatorial Practice as a Claim to Public-ness by Gurur Ertem

Some Aspects from a European Perspective by Sigrid Gareis and Nicole Haitzinger

Contributor Notes

Bertie Ferdman's publications include Off Sites: Contemporary Performance beyond Site-Specific (SIU Press, 2018), Critical Companion to Performance Art, co-edited with Jovana Stokic (Bloomsbury Press, 2020), and Curating Dramaturgies, co-edited with Peter Eckersall (Routledge, 2021). She is Associate Professor of Theater at BMCC and also teaches at The Graduate Center and Columbia School of the Arts.

Ken Takiguchi is a dramaturg and translator. After staying in Malaysia and Singapore for nearly two decades, he is now based in Japan, working as a manager of Setagaya Public Theatre in Tokyo and teaches part-time at the Tokyo University of the Arts.

‘Funmi Adewole (UK/Nigeria), with a background in education and arts development, worked in Nigerian media before beginning her career in dance, storytelling, and dramaturgy in the UK in the 1990s. She is a lecturer at De Montfort University Leicester where she earned an MA in Postcolonial Studies and a PhD in Dance Studies. She publishes widely on the dance of Africa and the diaspora.

Gordana Vnuk graduated from the Philosophical University in Zagreb and did her postgraduate studies in France (University of Bourgogne). She was the founder and artistic director of Eurokaz festival in Zagreb, theater programmer at Chapter Arts Centre Cardiff, artistic director of Kampnagel in Hamburg, and lecturer at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb.

Gustavo Fijalkow, M.A., PhD., has been creative producer of international dance co-productions, and curator and conceptualizer of interdisciplinary festivals. He built, and is currently artistic project director of, Forward Dance Company, with dancers of normative and non-normative physicalities, at LOFFT-DAS THEATER in Leipzig. He has written about and for several dance platforms, some being case studies of his dissertation at C-DaRE. Coventry University.

Lieven Bertels was the founding director of the new art space The Momentary in Bentonville, Arkansas. He was the inaugural director of the Concertgebouw Brugge and subsequently programmed the Holland and Sydney Festivals. With an MA in Composition (Electroacoustics) at the University of Durham (1994), he engaged in PhD research on Musical Mimesis in Recording at the University of Surrey.

Ashley Ferro-Murray is curator of theater and dance at the EMPAC/Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at RPI. Her curatorial practice focuses on supporting artist-centered approaches to media. Ferro-Murray holds a PhD in performance studies with emphasis in new media from the University of California, Berkeley.

Brandon Farnsworth, PhD, is an independent music curator based in Berlin and a research associate at the Zurich University of the Arts. Recent publications include his published dissertation Curating Contemporary Music Festivals: A New Perspective on Music's Mediation (transcript, 2020) and Taking the Temperature: Curating, Crisis, and Musical Diversity.

Gurur Ertem is a Humboldt Research Fellow, Freie Universität. Her transdisciplinary research and teaching combine the arts, social, and political theory. She was a Fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude and Hannah Arendt Seminar at The Institute for Critical Social Inquiry. She curated the IDANS Festival for Contemporary Dance and Performance (Istanbul 2006–2014). Her publications include Bodies of Evidence: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Politics of Movement, co-edited with Sandra Noeth.

Sigrid Gareis was co-founder of several festivals, founding director of Tanzquartier Wien, the Academy of the Art of the World/Cologne as well as founding president of the European Dancehouse Network. In 2017, she co-founded the first European university course for performance curation at the Paris Lodron University in Salzburg. She is curator of various projects and member of numerous juries.

Nicole Haitzinger is Professor at the Department of Art History, Musicology, and Dance Studies at the University of Salzburg. Since 2019, she has been the director of the FWF-funded project Border Dancing Across Time; scientific direction of the inter-university doctoral program Science and Art; and co-convenor of the university course Curating in the Performing Arts at the Paris Lodron University in Salzburg.


The Journal for Global Practices in Live Arts Curation

  • Eckersall, Peter, & Bertie Ferdman. 2021. Curating Dramaturgies: How Dramaturgy and Curating Are Intersecting in the Contemporary Arts. London: Routledge.

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  • Sontag, Susan. 2001. On Photography, 17. New York: Picador.

  • Ekotto, Freida, & Kenneth W. Harrow, eds. 2015. Rethinking African Cultural Production. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

  • Malzacher, Florian. 2019. “Prologue. Bethinking one's own strengths: The performative potential of curating.” In Dena Davida, Jane Gabriels, Véronique Hudon, Marc Pronovost (eds.), Curating Live Arts: Critical Perspectives, Essays and Conversations on Theory and Practice, xix. New York: Berghahn Books.

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  • Bachelard, Gaston. [1960] 1982. Poetika sanjarije (The Poetics of Reverie) Sarajevo: Veselin Masleša.

  • Groys, Boris. 2007. “Portrait du curateur en iconoclaste.” Mouvement 43 (April–June): 9095.

  • Lukács, György. [1916] 1968. Teorija romana (The Theory of the Novel). Sarajevo: Veselin Masleša.

  • Keil, Marta (ed.) 2017. Reclaiming the Obvious: On the Institution of the Festival. Warsaw: Instytut Teatralny im. Zbigniewa Raszewskiego and Konfrontacje Teatralne.

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  • Zoltán, Imre. 2008. “Staging the nation: Changing concepts of a national theatre in Europe.” New Theatre Quarterly 24(1): 7594.

  • Brooks, Vic. Forthcoming. “Spike and protocol: Production distilled.” In Johannes Goebel, Vic Brooks, & Ashley Ferro-Murray (eds.), Programming EMPAC: Days 4,130–6,116. Troy: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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  • Ferro-Murray, Ashley, & Timothy Murray. 2017. “Technologies of performance: Machinic staging and corporeal choreographies.” In Kim Solga (ed.), A Cultural History of Theatre: The Modern Age. London: Bloomsbury.

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  • Arendt, Hannah. 1960. “The crisis in culture: Its social and political significance.” Daedalus 89(2): 278287.

  • Arendt, Hannah. 1967. “Truth and politics.” The New Yorker, February 17.

  • Arendt, Hannah. 1971. “Lying in politics: Reflections on the Pentagon Papers.” The New York Review of Books, November 18.

  • Ertem, Gurur. 2019. “The Gezi indictment as the destruction of the world and the redemptive potential of art: Thinking with Hannah Arendt.” Keynote Speech, Ratschlag der Vielen, Neues Museum Nürnberg, Germany, November 16.

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