idocde » Editorial

re-creation – by the writing dance teacher

 

You are now going to read the most interesting, entertaining, stunning, triggering, artistic yet educating editorial ever...

What an onset !?

How else would I promote what I just wrote?! How would I take attention at the very beginning, so that you will wish to continue reading what follows?

How can I also make sure that what I wrote will transmit what I really meant? What will you think of my writing, of me and of my work behind it all? What differentiates my writing from other writings of this kind? Who are you - who am I writing this for anyways? Colleagues, representatives of institutions, students, general public? And so on and so forth…

 

Spring was in the air and I found myself rewriting & sending workshop propositions along with renewed bios of myself to festivals and dance institutions I was invited. I kept modifying what I already wrote many times already. And I kept asking myself – does your teaching change as much as your descriptions about it? Same goes for the bio, how various short bios can you narrate out of your 10 pages CV? And Why? And of course the very very first sentences… They are like the very beginnings of performances – if they suck you loose the public for the rest of the show! 

Let’s cheat – we have a rich resource here for teacher bio’s. Let’s get lost even more! A few out of the 50 I gazed randomly yesterday:

“For sixteen years, Patricia Olive developed an individual and sensitive artistic approach in connection with nature, places of heritage and a human being’s place.”  Patricia Olive

“After graduating in Translation and Interpreting I have worked as a freelance translator, language and dance teacher.” Paola Napolitano

“Kira Kirsch is a movement artist born in East-Berlin and currently traveling around the world with her little family.” Kira Kirsch

“In 2009 I've graduated from Movement and Performance Research program of International dance department of North Karelia college, Outokumpu, Finland.” Vera Lapitskaya

“I’m a dance Teacher , specially interested in new ways of thinking pedagogy.” Lucas Pablo Condro

“Born in 1965 in Japan.” Ryuzo Fukuhara

“Visit for more informations my website.” Damian Gmuer

“I am teaching Contact Improvisation, Improvisation and instant composition, site specific approaches to performance and movement classes that are inspired by around 30 years of postmodern dance and somatic practice (though I never tried to get a degree or certificate in any of them).”  Gesine Daniels

“Nina Meško belongs to the generation of dancers and choreographers that began its artistic creation in the 1990s, when Slovenia withdrew from the federative Yugoslavian story.” Nina Meško

“As I started to teach in Hamburg, I have seen that what I had to teach, i.e. what I learned myself from the choreographers I worked in Paris with, ao Pierre Doussaint, Isabelle Dubouloz and Jacques Patarozz, was something the dancers here didn't know.” Antoine Effroy

 

So here in idocde I see that we write about what we teach, our focus in teaching, our key interests, where we were born, our background info in dance –schools of graduation/teachers studied/performances–, our mission and vision in teaching, our relation to our audience, historical context of ourselves and our teaching, our fields of work and our outreach… when we write about ourselves. Some of us even use third person point of view. (This is my biggest dillema for years, I am writing about myself and I pretend that somebody else is writing it…hmmm. But it reads better, or fits in the institutional presentations better… does it? Or why does it have to fit in? hmmmm hmmm)

I will not do the same scan for class descriptions…  I believe you have already done that if you are sharing my concerns. But the questions hang in the air as the sword of Democles… Who? What, When, Where, Why, How?

Who is my public when I write teaching propositions to an organization? Am I writing it for the institution and should I try to fit my frame to theirs and I make sure they see I am very competent, talented and fit teacher for their program? Or am I writing it for the prospect participants? In that case I have to make sure that I give comprehensive content about the work and how I teach it so that they will be curious and willing to come along? And how can I really differentiate my writings from other teachers. At the end of the day don’t we all end up writing similar things but teach totally different?

But maybe some of us try to differentiate… I know that k3 - Centre for Choreography | Tanzplan Hamburg is trying to figure out a way to help teachers differentiate themselves and provide more specific information about themselves and their teachings. Here is a little interview I had with Kerstin Kussmaul who is the curator of K3’s training program and is working with Kerstin Evert to develop a questionaire for teachers.

Following the line of differentiation then, how do I write… Focusing on the way I write could be one other option! Should I try and reflect the approach I am teaching in the writing? For example, am I too serious in the tone of voice where my classes seek joyful and playful ways? Should I try and reflect this joyfullness in between my lines? How? But what if “they” do not take me serious… huh?! Should I write descriptive? Or maybe more inspirational and artistic - totally tacit? If I write too long will people read it? In that case can it be representative?  What if I am a great teacher but a terrible writer? Even in my classes maybe I am not a wo/man of words yet still teach with my presence!? By the way Malcolm Manning’s MA thesis has a great anaylsis of different kinds of teaching of great masters and also a great example of well framed and expressed writing... (Maybe you can poke him once in awhile to ask for help. Malcolm?)

 

As the LEAP Project is about to tip over its first year, where the first Teaching Recidencies have come to an end with the Finland meeting and we are waiting for their idocs to be shared on line and offline during the 2nd IDOCDE Symposium; where Teaching Across Borders announcements are being posted on our Bulletin Board Forum  and are still waiting for teachers to get Eligible on site and send teaching proposions and bios for the coming term, I could not NOT WRITE about writing!!!

And since most part of idocde is also about writing, I find it relevant to reflect on this together here… We can think of the same same questions for idocde and help each other develop our writings and other ways of documenting and presentations here. That's why were are all here for, no?!

 

Defne Erdur

May 30th, 2014

 

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