Pandemic dramaturgies

An introduction

© Jeroen de Leijer

The European project Micro Macro Dramaturgies in Dance (MMDD) is a collaboration between an international team of dramaturgs – Guy Cools, Anne-Marije van den Bersselaar, Maja Hriešik and Katalin Trencsényi – and six European organisations in the field of contemporary dance: Anghiari Dance Hub and Marche Teatro (IT), Bora Bora (DK), Dance House Lemesos (CY), DansBrabant (NL) and Tanec Praha (CZ). As an alternative to all the gatherings that had not been possible in 2020 because of Covid-19, we organised an online symposium from Sunday 18 October to Tuesday 20 October 2020. In April we had to postpone until further notice a 10-day residency, involving the meeting and exchange of five European mid-career choreographers and five dramaturgs in Anghiari and Polverigi. Similarly, our planned second residency, hosted by DansBrabant in Tilburg in the autumn could not take place.

In this bizarre period of Covid-19 everyone has to reinvent themselves. Sharing experiences, insights and solutions helps. The overarching theme of our project, the relationship between micro dramaturgy and macro dramaturgy is more relevant than ever at this time. We were determined to organise an event where this exchange could happen.

We, the hosts at DansBrabant, opted for a small-scale online symposium for the partner organisations and the dramaturgs of the scientific team of MMDD. We decided to call it Pandemic Dramaturgies. When organising this, we were looking for a rhythm in which the online meetings could be most effective. How long can you keep up your head on Zoom? What will hold your attention? How long can you stay chained to a chair? How do you remain curious and alert? How do you build up an arc of tension and what gives satisfaction? The programme turned out to be a dramaturgical exercise in itself..

Check the online brochure with witty visuals from Tilburg based visual artist & cartoonist Jeroen de Leijer: