idocde » Symposium

The Importance of Being [Un]Necessary - 2016

4th IDOCDE Symposium on Contemporary Dance Education

July 29 - 31, 2016 at ImPulsTanz – Vienna International Dance Festival


The Importance of Being [Un]Necessary 

Tapping into the body’s potential for relationship, subversion and emergence.

What parts of your dance practice are relevant in the context of today?


Many activities of those who practice dancing, dance making and dance teaching, have shown an immense potential for encouraging different types of personal, creative and relational developments. Particularly autonomous, subversive, intelligent and compassionate strategies for approaching the challenges set forth by living in a global contemporary society.

What if we regard the attention that we, as dance practitioners, give to the subtle, detailed, discrete and relational, as politically relevant? How does this focus influence the attention invested into dance practice, specifically teaching, and what are the forms we choose for this?

“The Importance of Being [Un]Necessary” discusses what other aspects of our daily repertory we can recognize as valuable and relevant: What kind of knowledge do we practice and attend to? Where and when is knowledge stable or rather ephemeral? And how to make use of our documenting and communicating abilities to enhance this investigation and its potential?

Parallel to questions pointed „inwards“, we also want to look at the mechanics of dance practice in relation to our realities and environment. These include market economy, survival, achievement, perspective, values and politics -  influencing the choices we make. Are you, for example, arguing your art / teaching “for art’s sake” or is there a purpose in your work that reaches outside dance? How do you deal with the increasing need to justify contemporary dance and its education by other (outside) standards?

“The Importance of Being [Un]Necessary” is about coming together and making visible, as a common base, what is already there; it provokes to recognize what we agree on and share as much as to what is excluded and where we differ from each other.

It is an invitation to study, reflect, and discuss together the development of strategies - all for better attending, pursuing and communicating.

It is about valorizing the sensible, sensitive, fragile and soft - the ephemeral - in a world which is predominantly concerned with something else.


For further questions on the symposium, please contact Olivia Schellander

For technical issues/ idocde website, please contact

More info on work exchange options in and around idocde & the symposium and on registration will come soon.


Your symposium and REFLEX project team:

Defne Erdur, Eszter Gál, Pavle Heidler, Kerstin Kussmaul, Olivia Schellander, Martin Streit 


The IDOCDE symposium is part of the EU program REFLEX EUROPE.

REFLEX researches and uses documentation as a tool for reflection in order to improve the teaching and to increase the impact on the learners in contemporary dance.