Dance Studio/Clearing Conversations

Description of the project on the SKH site under Chrysa Parkinson and Frank Bock.

Project included in the VIS Journal for artitstic research.


VIS #10 – THEME: Circulating Practices


VIS issue 10 was published 24 October 2023.


Studio Conversations are documented meetings between a dance artist and one or more conversation partners that take place in a dance studio.

Studio Conversations invite the artist to speak about things that matter, from the perspective of their situatedness. This includes attention to an individual human subjectivity and  wider, dispersed senses of subjectivity. The conversations move between how dance practitioners are constituted and how forces such as affects, horizons and shared concerns can manifest choreographically. The Studio Conversation invites the consequences of textures, atmospheres, qualities, rhythms, and metaphors. The practice is loose, subjective, and open-ended.

Through the Studio Conversations, Frank and Chrysa, and their collaborators, have aimed to develop a means of question formation that does not ask for solutions or direct answers but instead proposes structures to support an embodied articulation of the unruly materials that constitute dancing and dance making. Studio Conversations explore the interactions, balance and negotiation  between somatic experience and language, prioritizing nuances that emerge in activated space and time.

This project has thus far focused on the communities working in professionalized concert dance and the academy in Northern Europe and North America. Studio Conversations were started as ‘Clearings’ by Frank Bock c.2008 and have developed into the current format in collaboration with Chrysa Parkinson. Later, Andrew Hardwidge joined the project specifically to guide aspects of documentation and presentation. In June 2022 Chrysa, Frank and Andrew Hardwidge hosted a presentation of the Studio Conversations research at Stockholm University of the Arts, Brinellvägen 58, Studios 12 and 13. Collaborators include: Alice Mackenzie, Andrew Hardwidge, Anna Westberg, Peter Mills, and Tilman O’Donnel. 

In Studio Conversations your own knowledge as a dance practitioner creates the site of discourse. As the dance artist, you meet a conversation host in a dance studio. You are provided with a simple palette of materials and respond to prompts and questions given to you by your conversation partner. You take c. 30 min to be with the questions, in the space with the materials provided, and consider your artistic experience in relation to the prompts. Then the conversation partner(s) come into the newly shifted space, asking questions, experiencing details – engaging with the nuances of the spatialization you have created. Some days after the conversation, you receive an audio recording and transcript for redaction, and return it to the conversation partner.


After the conversation is over and the transcript is done, sometimes,

The host and their fellow researchers will create objects that hold your conversation or stand in for it. 

Sometimes they will create poems from the transcripts.

Sometimes they will create monsters – mixing different transcripts.

Sometimes they make drawings.

They will almost never create video recordings of the studio conversation you had.

Out of respect for wandering and lost thoughts, for blurring, skipping, spilling…. 

Out of respect for mixing things up, and for what’s left in the dark, the researchers only publish scraps and partialities. 

This partialness of the documentation to the conversations is a principle.