Feedback Lab Goes Public

In a second step, feedback methods and approaches were specified with regard to different audience groups and first tested with the festival audience of Tanztage Berlin in January 2015. During the festival, Inge Koks and Sonja Augart, Sheena Mc Grandles, Eva Meyer-Keller and Jenny Beyer offered five different feedback formats as initial „try outs“. The aim was to offer and apply various approaches, ranging from „mapping“ – a graphic reflection of the performance made by the visitors – via a physical introduction that lets the audience engage physically with element of the piece they are about to see, to the „Liz-Lermann-feedback-method“ where feedback on an artistic work was given in a certain pattern. Also, the method of “chain reaction” was tested, in which the spectator giving feedback would not just refer to the artistic production but also to the previous speaker. In another format, the audience was asked to write down associations, which were discussed afterwards. The artists partly joined these „try outs“.  

In 2016, an 8-headed group from HZT Berlin and the Uferstudios created and offered various “Let’s Talk About Dance – Feedback Lab Goes Public” formats. Different approaches like ‘folding sculptures’, ‘word associations’, ‘body memories’ and more were tested in high frequency with an expert audience as well as with interested spectators. These formats, based on the results of the second „Laboratory on Feedback in Artistic Processes #2 – Audience” in January 2015, were concentrating on forms of cultural exchange with the audience. By repeating the formats important information was gained, on the role of the moderator for instance, and his impact on the dynamic of the talk. This information was useful for the development of „Let’s Talk About Dance – Feedback Lab Goes Public 2017”.

In the cooperation of „Feedback Lab“ and Tanztage Berlin the „Let’s Talk About Dance“-formats were developed and performed by Inge Koks and Sonja Augart. They decided to reduce the number of methods and to focus on formats of verbal exchange in combination with more playful and physical elements. They wanted to explore if these elements could help to get the conversation started in a more ‘organic’ way by using different senses and perception rather than to rely primarily on our brains and skills of articulation.

So, the “Let’s Talk about Dance” talks were not about creating a classic post-show discussion telling the audience about the background or ‘the making of” the artistic productions. Instead, Inge Koks und Sonja Augart start from the view that there are numerous reactions between the performers, the artwork itself and the audience that can’t be determined in an explanation of the original artistic intention. Mitigating the dominance of the maker’s authorship, Koks and Augart aim to overcome the hierarchic structure between the expert and the audience and avoid a consuming attitude of the audience. To them, watching a dance performance is an action, in which you open up to the artwork and its possible references and meanings, and decide for yourself how to perceive it, bringing up unpredictable emotions, thoughts and ideas. The “Let’s Talk about Dance” formats in 2017 wanted to catch these perceptions and thoughts, enticing a discourse and exchanging ideas between the spectators. The role of the moderator, of course, was crucial in this approach and was played in different ways by Inge Koks and Sonja Augart. The dramaturg and performance researcher Ana Vujanović participated in 3 of 4 formats as an observer giving her impressions back to the moderators.





Link HZT Berlin