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I am a South African who is using this particular space on the internet to reflect and ponder about dance, movement, the body and all those other things that I find interesting. I will most likely be writing about (let’s be honest) probably European and American contemporary dance companies and choreographers because imperial hierarchical thought spaces are a bitch and this is what I’ve been taught to admire and see as culturally valuable despite the fact that that’s all a load of shit. So it goes. However, I will try to be intentional about alternative choreographers (not just the bigwigs)  and I will do my best to more than occasionally veer away from Eurocentric notions of dance, even though they are very sexy and well-funded and accessible on the internet.

Does this make sense, I wonder?

I also have other projects! I co-run an online and printed publication about dance, movement and bodies called ANY BODY ZINE. Please go take a look!

I also collect pictures of dead umbrellas (para-pleure – feel free to contribute to this sad and ever-growing archive of abandoned objects). I collect pictures of beds I’ve slept in (bed-lit). And I’ve made some dance films (it is good to make things).

13 thoughts on “Hi.

  1. It makes total sense. My background is acting, not dance but I have also been a karate practitioner for over twenty years and am always interested in how the body is used as a form of expression, artistically or otherwise, consciously or otherwise.

    Elites and orthodoxies of thought exist everywhere and western critical voices are arguably the loudest and most influential. But what is to say they aren’t right?

    The only place to start is from a position of honest, passionate enquiry. Good luck!

  2. Your blog was given to me by a former colleague of yours 🙂 not always in tune with some of your opinions (Marie Chouinard’s for example) but your blog is wonderful and has been helpful for some of my work research 🙂 love it! cheers!

    • !!!

      I’m so glad you like it and that you’re finding it helpful, also that you don’t quite agree with some of my thoughts – always a good and relieving thing, I feel. I didn’t know I had former colleagues, how fancy! Thanks again!

  3. Hello 🙂
    I came across your blog while researching NAF works from this year and it’s so lovely to find a young South African writing about dance (I’m doing my Choreography Honours at Rhodes and the only articles I seem to find are all by the same people, who’ve been around the block a couple of times). I’ve only read a couple of the posts, but you have a really engaging style. I particularly like your views on bODY_rEMIX, which is a piece I totally love (for almost all the reasons you dislike it) and as a matter of fact I’m currently trying to publish a paper I wrote about it last year.
    Anyway, sorry about the essay, I really just wanted to thank you for this blog, fantastic stuff.

    • Wow! Thank you! This is such a nice thing to read… let’s be friends and talk more? I’m thinking about Masters and Rhodes is an appealing option… I like corresponding, if you want to email me at nicola.vanstraaten@gmail.com it would be great to chat more and I could ask some questions on the department at Rhodes? Thanks again!

  4. I don’t know if you’re still maintaining this blog or not – but I like it VERY much! Thank you! You might be interested in this short dance film I made here in Philadelphia USA. If so, would you consider posting it? https://vimeo.com/121302610

    • Hi Ellen, thanks for the compliments! And thank you so much for sharing that amazing video with me, I’d love to post and write something about it! I’ve been wanting to start up a similar sort of initiative here in South Africa and found the video to be so inspiring. Thank you again so much! All the best – Nicola

  5. I just wrote on my dance blog after ignoring it for 8 months – this is not swan lake (blogger). I don’t like Preljocaj’s choreography to Le Sacre. After Nijinsky’s choreography was reconstructed…everything else seems bad. I wonder if you know of a video of his Le Sacre du Printemps that does not have Nagisa Shirai? I will be following you!

  6. This is such a great blog Nicola – why are you not doing an MA??? You have such a knack for writing about dance and engaging with choreography – you might as well get another degree while doing what you seem to enjoy doing for fun anyway! 🙂

  7. Oh – looking for Mary Wigman and found your text, was impressed and will visit your home page again. Work in a museum in osnabrueck, germany (Felix-Nussbaum-Haus). Have to go now. Best regards, Eva

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