The Dancer as Agent Collection: Curating Your Moves
Michael Helland in conversation with Chrysa Parkinson
The Dancer as Agent Collection invites an unwrapping of The Dancer as Agent Conference. Of the sixty dancers who attended the conference in November 2013, sixteen accepted commissions from DOCH to draw, write and speak about ideas that had been present there and have continued roaming since, occupying other times and places. Twelve numbered objects were made, including essays, conversations, maps, film, materials, active texts and a virtual location at Oralsite.be, in which the complete collection is housed. Using a variety of approaches, dancers articulate the dynamic interplay between the act of dancing, its history, the languages it generates and the values it brings to daily life. The collection creates a context in which the contours of agency that emerge from dancers’ artistic practices can be bounced off, wandered through, felt, fit and shared.
Chrysa Parkinson asked Michael Helland to speak with her about his artistic practice as a freelance dancer and he proposed the topic, among others, of curation in relation to dancers’ agency. Michael was in New York and Chrysa was in Berkeley. Early in September 2014, they video-called each other several times and spoke for hours. These conversations have been transcribed and edited. Chrysa and Michael met four years ago when Michael first moved to Brussels. Michael is a Brussels and New York-based dance artist performing and collaborating with various artists and creating choreographic installations. He has worked as a curator and for arts organizations internationally. Chrysa is a dancer, living in Brussels and Berkeley. She is the Director of the New Performance Practices MFA program at DOCH, Stockholm University of the Arts.