Photo by  Edu Lauton  on  Unsplash

Photo by Edu Lauton on Unsplash


Workshop: Decolonising dance criticism: towards formal and structural change 

Critics and dance professionals engaging with critical writing are invited to apply for a two-day workshop on decentering knowledge and dance criticism, at  CODA Oslo International Dance Festival, 19th and 20th October 2019. The workshop will be facilitated by Critical Interruptions, a Romanian-Serbian critical cooperative. The workshop will consider ways to challenge formal and structural elements of criticism as a practice that continues to operate through a white, colonial logic. 

Criticism constitutes, engages with and reproduces networks of power. As a practice, it is entangled with (neo)colonial regimes of knowledge and thinking, reproducing and often reinforcing racialised, gendered and Western-centric ideas about rationality, authority and authorship. These regimes can appear most visible in form and language of criticism but they are also, and importantly, structural. Resisting the lure of mastery, as shown by Julietta Singh, is resisting its colonial logic and rethinking relations of dependence. A meaningful discussion of decolonisation, as argued by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, accounts for social forces that have ‘made it both an issue demanding our attention and a problem calling for a resolution’. 

Over the course of two sessions facilitated by Critical Interruptions, we will pool knowledge and experience, share resources and practices, and together ask:

  • How does criticism reproduce structural inequality?

  • What frames do we think about, and do dance criticism through? How do they relate to colonial, racialised, gendered, ableist forms of knowledge? 

  • What is recognised or seen as legitimate criticism, and what practices are rendered marginal, even as they engage in rethinking and decentering knowledge-formation in criticism? 

  • What are the ethical and political questions surrounding decolonisation and dance criticism? 

  • What new relations between dance and criticism, the body and critique can we develop? 

  • How do we produce alternate forms of dance criticism? What forms, languages, labour conditions and relationships might it require?

To apply, please fill in the short application form here. 

The application will require sending a sample of a critical text (or other form of criticism) in Enligsh or Norwegian, and a 200-250 word paragraph on your relation to decolonisation and interest in the workshop. The workshop can accomodate 8 participants. The workshop language is English. 


Saturday Oct 19
10:00 - 13:00 Workshop

14:00 - 16:00 Panel talk on themes from the workshop. Panel: Diana Damian Martin (Critical Interruptions), Sanjoy Roy (dance critic, The Guardian), Grace Tabea Tenga, dancer and critic ( Moderator: Hild Borchgrevink (critic, Performing Criticism Globally)

Sunday Oct 20
10:00 - 13:00 Workshop

Place: Skatten Oslo, Tøyen Torg, Hagegata 22-24, 0653 Oslo, Norway. The venue is wheelchair accessible. 


Transport: Any subway line to Tøyen. Bus 20 to Tøyen, bus 60 to Tøyen skole 

Deadline for applications: 2nd October, 18:00 (CET).  Applicants will be notified by 7th October. 

Critical Interruptions (Diana Damian Martin and Bojana Janković) is  Serbo-Romanian critical cooperative exploring performance criticism. With little regard for review, we search for critical forms and strategies in dialogue with performance, wonder how to develop rigorous and relevant critical writing, and lure new writers into thinking about radical and experimental work. Collectively, we have occupied galleries, museums, studios, theatres, universities, digital spaces and streets, to talk, perform, write, and think about (amongst other things) migration and Eastern European identities and diasporic cultures.

This workshop is part of Performing Criticism Globally, a series of workshops and talks curated by critics Anette Therese Pettersen and Hild Borchgrevink in collaboration with Performing Arts Hub Norway.

The workshop is a collaboration with Performing Arts Hub Norway with support from Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is programmed in collaboration with CODA Oslo International Dance Festival.