The Performance of Curation in WifiBody 2020 as Virtual Body
The main goal of curating the initiative WifiBody Choreographers Competition for solo and duet forms, presented as part of the Cultural Center of the Philippines Choreographers Series, has been to discover emerging choreographers and offer them an educational and mentoring component. In migrating this live dance event during the COVID pandemic to an online platform, we asked, “Can we determine where the dance ends and the dance-film begins?” This critical text is indebted to Erin Branningan who, in her seminal book Dancefilm: Choreography and the Moving Image, proposed the term filmic performance as a “comprehensive term incorporating all aspects of cinematic production, so that the choreographic quality of the dancefilm can be considered in relation to both the profilmic and filmic elements” (2011: viii). The profilmic here refers to that aspect of the initiative that coincides with the live event, the writing on the dancing body. The filmic elements are those that considered how the responsibility for this was assigned to both artist and video mentors and editors. A third level of performance discussed here is that at which these works were rolled out online, and in particular on social media platforms. The performative aspect of this eff ort will be fleshed out and will touch on the curator’s responsibility as they navigate the terrain of social media.
The Gates of Discomfort: Making Contemporary Dance Present
This article critically examines the state of dance-specific curatorial practices and, more specifically, the underlying politics of choosing what bodies are seen on stage. I argue that dance presenters directly perpetuate Eurocentric bodily imaginaries by anchoring their curatorial choices in flawed interpretations of the “contemporary.” By favoring the conceptual over the representational, and by dismissing referentiality and signification, dance presenters relegate differences of technique, temporality, and bodily situatedness to the realm of tradition, thus actively contributing to deterritorializing the corporealities of contemporary dance and to excluding a whole range of embodied subjectivities from the stage. This article invites presenters to consider self-reflexively unchecked programming behaviors and their curatorial praxes more broadly.
A Rural Dance Festival in the Palm of Your Hand: My Body My Space Translated onto WhatsApp during COVID-19
In 2021, aft er a year’s hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual My Body My Space Public Arts Festival in South Africa, was relaunched in a radically different online form. Under the lockdown conditions of 2021, the festival was presented exclusively through the WhatsApp messaging application, running on a “behavioral chat platform” originally developed for public health text messaging. The experience of launching the festival into this new medium led to several unexpected insights, notably the specific affordances and limitations of the chosen online platform, an expanded understanding of the “interactivity” possible with online communications, and the digital empowerment that the process offered to practitioners who were mentored through the process of online translation. At a theoretical level, the experience of My Body My Space as an online festival also challenges the dichotomy between the relative status of performance and documentation in live arts.
Merging Asynchronous Sounds into Synchronous Voices: Reimagining Gatherings through the Process of Making the Adow ne Domaget 2020 KKK Radio Program-Festival in the Time of Physical Distancing
When COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, the world as we know it came to a halt—and along with it, many communities, especially among the remote Indigenous peoples, were isolated. This article outlines my process
of creative collaboration with the Dumagat Indigenous peoples’ community in Dingalan, Aurora in making and presenting the Adow ne Domaget 2020 KKK (Kuwento, Kultura at Kalusugan sa Katutubong Komunidad) radio program-festival during the COVID-19 lockdown in the Philippines. Highlighting the method of saluhan—a Filipino term meaning “to catch each other,” “to share,” and “to gather”—in collaborative making, I will provide insights on the role of an immersive and fluid curatorial practice in reimagining places, moments, and acts of gathering and collective action, in bringing out the stories and the voice of the community, in the time of
lockdown, distance, and forced isolation.