Symposium: Dancers at Work

  • von

November 22nd, 2018

14 – 18 Uhr

Studio’s Tanzquartier


Organized by Kunstverein Archipelago in collaboration with Tanzquartier with support of the Delegation of Flanders.

“Dance is not close to work issues because it can function as a representation of work or an image of the working process, but because it is work in terms of its material rhythms, efforts and the ways in which it inhabits space and time.” (Bojana Kunst, Artist at Work, 2015, p. 118)

As part of the ongoing, durational performance, Negotiations, Kunstverein Archipelago organizes an symposium that focusses on the notion of ‘the artist at work’ and that researches models to improve and make the working conditions for dancers and other freelance artists more sustainable in Vienna.

An important aspect of Negotiations is to highlight and make visible the fact that dancing is also a form of highly skilled and physically demanding work, which needs a daily practice. At the same time, the actual working conditions of professional dancers are becoming more precarious everywhere in Europe. In order to discuss this tension between the actual needs and the real support, we invited Dr. Pascal Gielen, director of the research institute, Culture Commons Quest Office at the University of Antwerp, who studies how the situation of freelance artists can be improved and made more sustainable at city level through creating commons.  The Flemish dance scholar and sociologist Annelies van Assche studied in depth the working conditions of project-based dance artists in Brussels and Berlin. She will present the result of her research, which will be complimented by the Nomad Sessions, two short artistic documentaries by the Montreal based choreographer Sarah Manya, which give impressions of the working conditions of freelance artists in Amsterdam and Montreal.


Ulrike Kuner, managing director of IG Freie Theaterarbeit will present the results of the pilot study analyzing the working conditions of independent performing artists across ten European countries, commissioned by the new European Association of Independent Performing Arts.