AT Dance & Utopia · Common Ground series by STUK

The Atelier Dance & Utopia: Imagining and Practising Possible Futures organised in December 2016 in Leuven, included a presentation by Steven Vandervelden, General and Artistic Director of the dancehouse, of the community projects of STUK Leuven under the label Common Ground.

Here we offer you an index/summary of the main topics as a guide to follow the audio of the session.

– Presentation of STUK (project and city context).

– Precedent of the Common Ground series: between 2006 and 2010 there was an increase of proposals for public space reflecting in social participation (above all from visual arts). Examples:

Animal Farm, by Stephen Wilks.

Sleeping Mermaid, by Wolfgang Weileder.

Short Cut, by Stijn Van Dorpe.

– Taking into account these examples, the artistic team of STUK started a research. The main questions appeared were:

– Is it art IN public space or AS public space?
– Is it really a new art form to approach reality?
– Is this kind of project exclusively open to visual arts? How to approach from dance?

 – Proposal: Common Ground project series.

– The artists were asked to develop projects…

– Scaled to Leuven
– Taking into account the local reality and the human conditions
– They must connect or disrupt, provide an image with an impact
– Reach extra audience
– Having the power of the storytelling

– Between 2011 and 2013 STUK developed 11 projects under this label. Some examples:

The Democratic Set, by Back to Back Theatre.

Crossing Paths, by plan b.

– Untitled (Leuven), by Sarah Vanhee.

Around the table, by Anne Kerzerho & Loïc Touzé.

Picture: The Democratic Set. © J. Busby