Designing Spaces of Perception, Experience and Adventure: Art-Pedagogical Approaches in Dance for Young Audiences
As a field of cultural-pedagogical practice, mediation establishes relationships between artistic events and their audiences that give rise to aesthetic, sensual, or even physical experiences. Within dance particularly, there is a need for programs aimed at children and young people to give stronger consideration to the sensual and physical aspects of the experience. Dance enables a diverse range of perceptual-aesthetic experiences of the world; dance performances can therefore also serve as complimentary format for opening up different spaces of perception and experience. Taking this premise as their starting point, authors Lea Moro and Mona De Weerdt present the educational format they developed together with Leonie Graf and others involved in their children’s dance production Alle Augen Staunen (2020) (6+). They demonstrate how this format serves as an integral part of the piece by opening up the space of the stage toward the end, with the performers directly addressing the young audience members. This produces a shared moment of play and reflection that retells what they have seen on stage, and revisits what they experienced while watching the piece. In addition, the authors discuss how themes and imagery from the production were transferred to a digital medium in the form of an Instagram account, and the possibilities this opens up for reception and participation. The paper also clarifies the project’s twofold educational concept: On the one hand, the different formats used – such as posters, a participatory element immediately after the performance, and an Instagram account – are intended to enable a variety of points of access to the events on the stage. On the other hand, the opportunities this opens up for participation enable knowledge to be transfered beyond the theater, and for audience members to be sensitized to the natural, environmental, and ecological topics explored in the performance.

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