Shifting Dialogues Symposium 2014

International Symposium

Shifting Dialogues III:
Documenting Asian Art and Performance: Embodied Knowledge, Virtuality & the Archive

December 3-5, 2014 University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland

The Asian Art and Performance Consortium (AAPC) of the Academy of Fine Arts (KuvA) and the Finnish Theatre Academy (TeaK) of the University of the Arts Helsinki will jointly host a symposium focused on documenting and archiving Asian and trans-cultural performance and fine arts. This is the third and final symposium organized under theShifting Dialogues - Asian Performance and Fine Arts research project, funded by the Academy of Finland in 2011-2014.

Issues that will be raised at the symposium include embodied, iconographic and electronic transfer of performance traditions in Asia related to live performance and traditional pedagogies. These include the use of moving image, photography, web-based presence and new media, historical and theoretical writings, the construction of archives, museums and libraries.  

The symposium and pre-conference events are free of charge but advance registration is required from all participants.  Registration page with a link to the symposium programme will open on October 15, 2014 and close on November 20, 2014.



Rustom Bharucha Reflections on the Broom: Problems of Documentation in Oral History, Grassroots Museology and Documentary Cinema

Broom Stories film synopsis (pdf)

Rustom Bharucha is Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India.  A leading interlocutor in the fields of interculturalism, secularism and oral history, he has written a number of books including Theatre and the WorldThe Question of FaithIn the Name of the SecularThe Politics of Cultural PracticeRajasthan: An Oral HistoryAnother Asia: Rabindranath Tagore and Okakura Tenshin and Terror and Performance.   In recent years, he has worked as a dramaturge for the Tangencya public art project in Durban, South Africa, as Project Director for Arna-Jharna: The Desert Museum of Rajasthan, and as Artistic Director of the Inter-Asia Ramayana Festival at the theater laboratory Adishakti in Pondicherry.  In February 2015, he will be curating an international conference at the Jawaharlal Nehru University on Rethinking Labor and the Creative Economy: Global Performative Perspectives.

Marion D’Cruz Body as Archive – The Making of “Gostan Forward”

Marion D’Cruz is a dancer, choreographer, producer and educator. She is a founding member of Five Arts Centre, an arts organization focusing on dance, drama, visual arts, music and young people`s theatre, founded in 1984. One of the pioneers of contemporary dance in Malaysia, Marion`s focus is to create a contemporary Malaysian identity in dance and to create works that speak of what she is passionate about. More recently, Marion has been creating unique performance structures that allow artists and non-artists to come into and tell their stories. Marion teaches at the Faculty of Dance, National Academy of Arts, Culture, and Heritage, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.Gostan Forward is Marion D’Cruz’s solo performance that reflects on her career as a dance artist.


Boris Nieslony Archive as an Event. Movement is everything, just!

Boris Nieslony is a German artist, performer, event organizer, researcher, and political activist. He will discuss the Black Kit archive of performance. The Black Kit originated in 1981 in Stuttgart for seventy invited artists working in performance, performance art, installation, painting and video, called The Council (Das Konzil). The project, initiated by Nieslony, sought to extend and develop areas of interactive communication. The participants did not wish to catalogue the proceedings of The Council but proposed instead a transportable container, which could be taken from event to event, from meeting to meeting. It was envisaged as a generator of thoughts, as a sculpture of public interest, and ‘an archive as event`.



Benil Biswas Architectonics of an Archive: Preparation to Performance and Beyond in Kalakshetra Manipur’s Samnadraba Mami. Cuneyt Chakirlar Mediation of Document: Ethnographic Turns and Art as Methodological Object in Critical Humanities.Juliana Coelho de Souza The Gambuh Project: some reflexions about its legacy. Margaret Coldiron New Media, Archives and Traditional Balinese Performance. Agnieszka Aysen Kaim Turkish Traditional Theatre Forms or rather nomads’ performative art.Pekka Kantonen Generational Filming: Documenting knowledge of everyday life in Finland and Southeast Asia. Lanlan Kuang Blue Screen, Computerized Notation, and Ethnographic Filming: Safeguarding Chinese Intangible Heritage. Ray Langenbach The Performative Museum: constructing history through the archive.Zihan Loo Embodying Knowledge: Pedagogy, Emancipation and the Archive. Hanna Mannila What is allowed to be archived and what is not: More and less secret dance poems in Indian kathak dance.Katherine Mezur "the memory becomes you," between live and screened documents: The Apparatus of Nostalgic Archives: Hijikata Tatsumi`s mediated Ankoku Butoh. Jukka O. Miettinen Between Narration, Picture and Performance Shadow Theatre as a Mediator between Storytelling, Picture and Performance in Southeast Asia.Petra Pölzl Modes of documentation and archiving performance art from Mainland China. Leo Rafolt Transcultural Performance Utopias: Jerzy Grotowski, Eugenio Barba and Phillip B. Zarrilli. Ami Skånberg & Disa Kamula A collaboration on the physical archive of traditional Japanese theatre training. Anna Thuring Transcultural Performer Training: Archive and Repertoire of Asian Martial Arts.Maya Tångeberg-Grischin With the body as main archive - Usha Nangyar’s revival of female characters in naṅṅyārkūṭṭu˘. Minna Valjakka Getting Up on the Virtual Walls: the benefits and challenges of mediation for urban art images


Pre-conference programme (December 1 – 2, 2014)

Registration and information:

Pre-conference workshop by Katherine MezurPerforming Butoh `s Nostalgic Archive: An Introduction to Scoring Gesture and Image. Monday, December 1 at 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Theatre Academy, Haapaniemenkatu 6, room 702.

Artist’s Talk by Boris Nieslony. Monday, December 1, at 6 – 8 p.m. Academy of Fine Arts. Elimäenkatu 25, 3rd floor. Co-sponsored by Time & Space Station Series of the Academy of Fine Arts and Live Art & Performance Studies MA programme, Theatre Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki.

Lecture by Rustom BharuchaThe Aftermath: Reflections on Terror and Performance Tuesday, December 2, at 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. University of Helsinki, Unioninkatu 38 F, lecture hall F 211 (wheelchair access Unioninkatu 38 E 1). Co-sponsored by University of Helsinki and the University of the Arts Helsinki.            


Call for papers  (pdf)

Symposium programme (pdf)

Speakers` short biographies (pdf)

Pre-conference lecture info, Bharucha (pdf)

Pre-conference workshop info, Mezur (pdf)

Practical information (pdf)