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Thinking Artistic Material in Music and Dance

"RELAY - Thinking Artistic Material in Music and Dance" is a three-year artistic research project made possible by the ERASMUS+ program "Cooperation Partnerships". It focuses on artistic-pedagogical developments in the fields of choreography, dance, music and composition.
The title and goal of the project refer to the relay or relay as a moment of "handover" and "passing-over. "At the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the Japanese team unexpectedly won the silver medal in the men's 4x100-meter relay, even though all team members individually ran slower than their competitors. Instead, the secret of their success lay in optimizing the handoff of the relay baton from one runner to the next. This saved them valuable seconds in the tight race. This analogy illustrates the theme of the project: fostering collaboration, transitions, and handoffs between the collaborating institutions, the programmed events, the artists* involved, and the audiences with whom they interact.

RELAY Mailing List

If you are interested in the RELAY project results and activities, you are welcome to sign up for the RELAY mailing list.

Impressions from the Symposium Relay
Gruppe Studierende auf dem Tanzboden und im Hintergrund ist das Relay-Logo abgebildet.
Studierende sitzen auf dem Boden und sprechen miteinander.
Gruppe Tanzstudierende die eine Choreografie einstudieren.
Gruppe Tanzstudierende die auf den Boden sitzen.
Studierende stehen im Innenhof und studieren eine Choreografie ein.
Gruppe Tanzstudierende studieren eine Choreografie ein.

Aim of the project

The EU project RELAY emerges from four different contexts. They all aim at sustainable conditions for work-life balance and artist career longevity as well as increased awareness of local contexts and situated knowledge:

Artistically, the project stems from a current trend in contemporary dance and choreography. This uses movement as a method to investigate the supposed dualism of the material and the immaterial. In addition, RELAY explores the extent to which dance and music can function as a common basis and "tools of the trade" in such an investigation.
In relation to the issue of sustainability, the project starts from the fact that both dance and music are global phenomena and the actors involved in them often travel. RELAY explores how to work in a climate-conscious way with the transnational and cross-cultural exchange that is a crucial element in the development of the two art forms.
The pedagogical context of the project stems from the innovative potentials that arts education gains in terms of teaching and learning environments when they include a focus on student participation and input. At the same time, it explores how principles of sustainability can be found and/or applied in the field of artistic research, teaching and art production.
And last but not least: a diversity of perspectives. Geographically, RELAY brings together partners* from Northern, Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, with different organizational forms (academic institutions and independent organizations).
The core of the project is 1-2 week workshops with students in the fields of choreography, dance and music. Researchers from the partner institutions accompany the workshops as mentors*. Research materials will be developed from the experiences of the workshops and presented at public events (symposia and conferences). In addition to the on-site learning, teaching and training activities, three multiplier events will take place: two symposia in Cologne and Montepulciano, and a conference in Aarhus in the context of the IETM Plenary Meeting 2023.
Two tangible project outcomes will be developed during the lifetime of the project:

  1. A RELAY ARTicle on the process, including challenges and insights considered relevant to the field of arts teaching, innovative education in general, and arts research.
  2. A RELAY ARTwork: Documentation of a continuously developing and evolving artistic material that is passed from person to person throughout the life of the project.

Facts and figures

  • February 2022, Opening (LTT1), Cologne
  • May 2022, "Form and Content" (LTT2), Copenhagen
  • September 2022, "explore the generation and transmission of artistic material through movement and sound" (LTT3), Bucharest
  • April 2023, (LTT 4 + Symposium): "form/RELAY/content", Cologne
  • June 2023, "Sharing: Project results" IETM Annual Meeting 2023/ Conference, Aarhus
  • August/September 2023, "Being (in) a fortress" (LTT5), Crete
  • May 2024, Symposium, Montepulciano