With Dance Play I refer to a set of activities in which play and dance intermingle with each other. Playing becomes dancing. Dancing becomes playing. Play is an aesthetic process which creates new meanings (Linqvist, 2001, p.42).  Play, just as dance, is never purely re-production: it is creative action (Linqvist, 2001).


In the first phase of this artistic project I captured several spontaneous dance events of my daughter (Hotel Dance, Living Room Dance and Beach Dance). I became specifically interested in affects, intensities and a sense of being aliveness. This aliveness, I believe,  is still present in the pictures. 


I wanted to understand how these affects and intensities can resonate between bodies, using photography as a medium.


In the second phase I therefore decide to handed over the material to Paula Ferreira Guzzanti ( a dance practitioner and researcher based in Ireland) and Sofie Hub ( a dance practitioner based in Denmark). Through re-enactment of the original material, I want to explore how affects and intensities can travel through different bodies. Again this is closely related to the concept of participatory sense-making since it is assumed that affects flow and resonate in the space in-between (Mühlhoff, 2015). 



Re-Enaction of Spontaneous Dance Play - Carolien Hermans, 2019

                              Mail: 2 july 2018


Dear Paula,


It was really nice to see you a second time. In Chichester I asked if you would like to participate in my artistic research. Underneath I will explain a bit more. 


One step in my research is to spontaneously capture physical play (and also dance) of children. This material I then hand over to professional dancers, with the aim to  re-enact an event of which they initially were not part of. I am specifically interested in energy, intensity, vitality affects, having fun/enjoying, being in the moment and also in excessiveness and overabundance. 

In your case, I would like to ask  to re-enact a hotel-dance of my daughter.  Last year I went with my daughter (Lisa, at that time 11 years old) to a conference in Coventry were we did a performance lecture together on 'the animal body'. When we were back at the hotel (in Coventry) my daughter spontaneously started to dance and I captured that with the camera. I refer to this little instant dance as 'hotel dance'.


What I would like to ask you is the following: look at the pictures first, choose 3 to 4 images that resonate or appeal to you (in whatever way, you don't have to explain this, the resonance can be entirely on an affective non-linguistic level) and then you try to recapture the energy, the vitality affects, or just something that grabs you and takes you along. It's quite important that you don't think to much about it, so that the body and the affects it produces guide you. The comment can/should be quite short, since I am mostly interested in your initial embodied response. 


It would be great if you film (or in another way) document this response.


If you feel any hesitations, please let me know.  Kind regards, Carolien

(I will send you the images by we-transfer)

In the second phase the images (not the video) were  handed  over to Paula Ferreira Guzzanti.

Response of Paula Ferreira Guzzanti, first session 10th of July 2018, Dublin

Hotel Dance

Lisa Scheers, Brittania Hotel in Coventry, as part of the Dance and Somatic Practices Conference, 7-9th of July 2017,  at the Coventry University.

Response of Paula Ferreira Guzzanti, second session, 10th of July 2018, Dublin

                                              Mail: 10thof July, 2018


Hello Carolien, thanks for asking me to do this task. I got a sense of powerful rapture and force from watching the images. I watched them once and responded with an improvisation where I incorporated what there was in the studio. When I arrived there was a theatre setting, and I decide to work with that -in a way it resonated with the hotel space. Then I thought that I wanted to have a second go but without the influence of the furniture. Working in a clear space was an invitation to played with voice, which is very much part of my practice. The material is very raw, as you will see. If I was to create or continue to work with this material, I will be looking at the force and the rapture that I received as a first affect in my body. I found that in the first improv I was holding on too much on the body shapes that I saw in the photos. I feel that the second improv has a fresher approach to the task. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts! Paula

During the second dance improvisation, Paula uses her voice, probably to give way to affective melodies that emerge. I believe the sounds that are  produced resonate quite well with the original Hotel Dance. I therefore decided to extract the audio from the video file and to use only the sound material in the next phase.