about communication in contemporary dance


table of contents

Excavating your Artistic Fingerprint

Who (are you?)

  • What defines your identity, as a person and as a professional?
  • What are your core principles and values, as a person and as a professional?


  • Why do you want to create work?  What is your necessity or urgency to create work?
  • Why through dance?
  • What do you want to be responsible for as an artist?
  • What is your mission?
  • Why is your work relevant?  Does your work relate to the world around you?  To dance, society, contemporaries, history, politics?


  • How do you refer to yourself and your practice in daily conversation?
  • How does your background (personal, artistic, educational or other) affect or inform your practice / the work?
  • How does the place(s) your art is being created resonate in the work or your approach to the work?
  • How do you define artistic research within your practice?
  • How do you approach a question?
  • How do you approach your collaborators?
  • How do you translate your essence in work/image/footage?
  • How do you invite people into your work/process?  Is this something you feel a responsibility to do?


  • What is your desired outcome?
  • What do you consider to be at the heart of your process?
  • What kind of methods do you use?
  • What is the craftsmanship behind the work?
  • What does the work look like?
  • What makes your work specific?
  • What is the atmosphere you will be trying to create through the work?
  • What is your desired impact?
  • What kind of dance are you presenting?  Does it refer to a certain style or code or do you create your own code?  If so, how?
  • What kind of themes are you/have you been working on (over the years)?
  • What is your personal connection to the work?  Can you explain this in everyday language?
  • What elements are recurrent in your artistic language? 

With whom

  • How do you define collaboration?
  • When considering collaboration, what is the difference between co-ownership and co-authorship?
  • Who are your performers?
  • How does the essence of your work define which/what kind of performers you need to work with?
  • What kind of bodies does the audience see on stage?
  • Can co-ownership exist around your work?  Is that different from co-ownership around a project?

For whom

  • Who is your audience? For whom do you create?
  • What kind of venues/sights/sizes?
  • What kind of relationship do you want to create with your audience?  How does the work resonate with your audience?  Visual, tangible, intellectual?
  • Do you see gaining audiences as part of your job?
  • Do you believe in co-ownership by an audience?  How would you define this?


  • What words do you choose to describe what you do?
  • How do you present yourselves to colleagues/funding bodies/audiences?
  • What words are given to you and your work by outsiders/experts?


  • What is your preferred method of communication?  Physical, written, verbal or visual?
  • Are there any key moments of realisation or learning when you look back at how you have been communicating about your work so far?
  • Can you think of moments in which communication was successful?  How did you know it was successful?  And how did it affect the communication about your next project?
  • When did you fail to communicate?  What was causing the miscommunication?