During 2019 I was selected for the programme Das THIRD Research – DAS Graduate School, at the Academy of Theatre and Dance in Amsterdam. This is a unique educational model for small groups of up to six theatre and dance artists globally, preparing them for research possibilities of the third cycle of education (doctoral studies) through refinement of their individual art research propositions, sharpening their national and/or international aspirations, defining their belonging and also financing those possibilities. Such an environment, created by internationally engaged artists, is generating collective collaboration with the aim of improving individual art practices, collective production of knowledge and exchange between colleagues and public display of art work. My art research explores “negative” feelings – such as despair, anxiety, depression – as prominent traits of today’s society (and the current global pandemic), observing how to fight for their stronger public display – not only as medical conditions but also as new forms of solidarity, collectivism, politicism… At the same time, the project is also concerned with the topic of care and immunity as alternative social-political and ethic engagement and activity in the public space.
The i-Portunus programme of mobility enabled me to travel to the planned meetings of the Das Third Research programme, during the first semester (October – December 2019) including the attendance of the annual symposium gathering all past generations of attendees of this programme, and also members of the communities of the University of Arts and the local dance scene in Amsterdam.
Coming from the socio-cultural context with a low level of development of contemporary art, this mobility enabled me to be located and to work in conditions offering continuity in improvement, self-reflection and articulation of one’s own artistic work and methods. Special beauty was reflected in all of this taking place mostly collectively, through mutual communication and exchange with other colleagues artists and professionals from around the globe, bringing their different work, life and social-political conditions and professional experiences. During my stay in Amsterdam, I had contact with the local dance/art scene in Amsterdam (through public events and dance performances, student presentations at dance academies, local conferences/plenums, through meeting artists and other).
Long-term result of this grant has been better connection with the international dance scene, especially with actors from the local scene in Amsterdam. In sharing my work and practice with artists from other international environments, the need for further cooperation (at least among some of us) naturally developed. I offered my entire professional knowledge and experience in working between different public cultural-artistic institutions and independent art scenes in Belgrade, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Berlin, and Stockholm as an independent author and choreographer, dance dramaturg, performer, pedagogist and cultural worker to the Amsterdam dance scene. At the same time, it was very useful for my work to present it in the socio-cultural context, which is new and different in comparison to the Belgrade one. I had the opportunity to hear a lot about new and current theoretical discourses, methods of choreography research, to participate in some artistic research within my group and acquire new knowledge about current topics and new artistic tendencies within the sphere of choreography and dance in Europe. Currently I’m attending the third semester of the same programme and I am hoping to soon access one of the doctoral programmes for choreography and dance.
Igor Koruga is an independent artist in the field of dance and choreography. He is working as an author, pedagogist, dance dramaturg, choreographer for dance in theatre, and a cultural worker on the independent cultural-artistic scene in Belgrade. He is dealing with application of choreography as an interpretational tool for socio-cultural phenomena, ideologies and different socio-political and ethic aspect conditioning the current ways of artistic production and knowledge. He is a member of the Association Station – Service for Contemporary Dance and the Association of Ballet Artists of Serbia (UBUS), as well as the international network Nomad Dance Academy in the Balkans.
Together with Kultura Nova Foundation (Zagreb) and Mitost (Berlin), European Cultural Foundation will soon launch a new pilot mobility scheme. The pilot, being part of the i-Portunus mobility schemes initiated and co-funded by the European Union, will focus on physical, hybrid and virtual mobility.
The Corona pandemic challenges mobility in the cultural sector everywhere in Europe. Hosting co-productions and borderless travel that were essential routines in arts and culture until a year ago remain drastically limited. This current reality, together with a global changing vision on mobility in the context of our climate, triggered the interest of the European Cultural Foundation and its partners to focus on this.
While the consortium strongly believes in the value of making real-life contacts across European borders, hybrid forms of cultural mobility and virtual collaboration may provide another form of transnational exchanges. As long as the pandemic lasts, but also in view of a less travel-intense, more equally accessible and greener future of cultural mobility.
Keep an eye on their website, as more to follow soon!