The Trouble with Dance
co-curated by dr Martin Hargreaves & Monika Blaszczak (2019/20)
hosted by Trinity Laban Students’ Union
This series of events challenges and troubles the prevailing discourses and practices in contemporary dance, as a resource for questioning structures of power, flows of information and politics of visibility. We welcome conflict and uncertainty to our conversations and after Erin Manning we propose that there is "always more than one". We will be joined by artists who deal with the "blind spots" of contemporary dance and art in their work and more broadly in their struggles with various forms of power.


17th October: Staying with the Trouble
Martin Hargreaves, Monika Blaszczak, Mateo Dupleich Rozo and Alice Weber

7 th November: Unchoreographing Institutions
Martin Hargreaves, Monika Blaszczak, Bakani Pick-Up

21st November: What’s the Problem with Ballet?
Martin Hargreaves, Monika Blaszczak, Bianca Scout

5 th December: Queer Ghosts of the Future Past
Martin Hargreaves, Monika Blaszczak

The Trouble with Dance (2)

5th March: Queering the Neuronormative
Martin Hargreaves, Monika Blaszczak, Danni Spooner


12th March: The Trouble with Disability
Martin Hargreaves, Monika Blaszczak; and readings from Annie Edwards, Paul B. Preciado and Judith Butler

17th March: The Trouble with the Studio (postponed due to the pandemic)
Martin Hargreaves, Monika Blaszczak

27th March: Why is Contemporary Dance so Middle Class? (postponed due to the pandemic)
Martin Hargreaves, Monika Blaszczak, Tom Heyes

Difficulty in Dance Symposium
co-curated by Alice Weber and Monika Blaszczak
12th January 2019 | 12pm-5pm 

Laban Creekside
(this is an independent event with space kindly provided by Laban)



Is dance research too comfortable in its homogeneity? Is it achieving the diversity and risk it aims for, in all it's aesthetic and political dimensions? An afternoon of talks, performances, lectures and more addressing gaps in dance discourse around the notion of difficulty.

This symposium is a space to share ideas that might counter/clash/distort/distress hegemony in dance research, both practice and theory.

We invite difficulty and tension in our aim to move away from comfortable aesthetics. We aim to break open the discourse that determines not only what can be said, but by whom. We encourage responses that queer, decolonise and neuro-diversify dominant perspectives.



Presenting artists and researchers include:

Eve Stainton (UK)
Elena Azzedín (ES)
Jianan Qu (CN/AT)
Ben Harris (UK)
Charlotte Ackery-Hawthorn (UK)
Luisa Mateo Dupleich Rozo (BO/UK)
Monika Błaszczak (PO/UK)
Laura Davis (UK)
Michael McEvoy (UK)
Lorea Burge Badiola (UK)
Taylor Doyle (CA/UK)
Alice Weber (AU/UK)
Bakani-Pickup (ZW/UK)





The symposium is scheduled in four sessions:

Queer and Slippery
Reshaping Research
Making Labour Visible
Difficult Viewing



Full programme below:


Queer and Slippery
12:00 – 13:30

Eve Stainton - initiating provocation
rubby sucky research
Eroticism power naked lesbian movement choreography strategy complex body. Revenge imagination fantasy sex polyamory codependency obsession radical honesty. Complicated fashion messy.

Taylor Doyle - presentation
Intentional Binding
Research on wrestling, the pursuit for intuitive decision making, and crashing into one another.

Luisa Mateo Dupliech Rozo - performance
Space is treated as a canvas, objects as equals, light as acrylics and phenomena as the protagonist. Responding vividly to the vulnerabilities of the body, exhibiting the human flesh, nerves and bones as a measuring device of phenomena.
The audience is free to move around the space.



Reshaping Research
13:30 – 14:30
(concurrent across two rooms)

Ben Harris - lecture
Performing in a Planet
How can a monkey, an octopus, and being in outer space help?


Charlotte Ackery-Hawthorn – performance lecture
Choreography as an alternative to philosophy, through class- and neuro- difference.


Michael McEvoy - lecture
Laban's Effort Graph as a Gender Scale: a choreological perspective for acting.


Bakani Pick-Up - lecture
Expectation Effect
Audience expectation creates systems of aesthetic economics that adhere to western notions of self and other.




Making Labour Visible


Elena Azzedín - talk and installation
In crescendo
The urban interventions of weaving fences is about its literal semantics as much as about the symbolic value of the action - the presence of the body in the public space, magnifying a historical female repetitive labour belonging to the private sphere.


Laura Davis - reading and poetry
I joyously quit
On stealing back my time from an exploitative employment.


Lorea Burge Badiola - presentation
Obedient dancer
Reflections on performance work where boundaries are unclear.


Jianan Qu - performance
feed up time
The performing artists Monika Blaszczak and Mateo Dupleich Rozo (originally Jianan Qu and Viltė Švarplyt) perform the making of a human pizza, transforming human body into an information container & deliverer.





Difficult Viewing
16:30 – 17:00


Alice Weber – presentation
On difficulty
Exigencies in dance aesthetic.


Monika Błaszczak - performance
Soliloquy 12.01.2019
Approaching the limits of my language and the limits of my body. Soliloquy takes a different shape every time it is shown to a public, questioning how dance produces and reproduces its bodies.


Taylor Doyle - performance
Hours after practice, but before a shower
A performance by Taylor Doyle and Anais Lalange that considers wrestling and/as intimacy.