lecture presentation on the process of creating a toolbox for teaching contemporary dance to children

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Proposal Form

"Teaching Form[less]?- 3rd IDOCDE Symposium Vienna, July 24th-26th , 2015


- FULL NAME: Barbara Meneses and Jesus de Vega

- PHONE NUMBER: +31 (0)6 48 52 01 46




lecture presentation on the process of creating a toolbox for teaching contemporary dance to children


ICKamsterdam, run by choreographers Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten, currently collaborates with the Amsterdam School of the Arts (AHK) on developing a toolbox aimed at building creative lesson plans for teaching dance to school children aged 10 to 12. The aim is to have this ready in October 2015.

The purpose of the toolbox is to offer a creative method for working with the social aspect of dance, focusing on collective energy. This approach, which is closely connected to the AHK’s vision on transculturality in dance education, is an alternative to most educational tools, which seem to focus on the individual experience and expression rather than the collective, and on form rather than underlying principles, notions and intentions. The source materials used for developing the toolkit are the vocabulary and the artistic and physical principles in the work of Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten that bear a relation to the collective aspects of dance. 

During the presentation we will elaborate on the different steps we are taking in the process, a process of analysing the principles in the work and then disconnecting them from their original form and aesthetics to come to a workable tool.

We would like to open up a discussion on all the questions that have arisen in that process of translating the essence of a specific artistic work to a practical toolbox for children. How to step away from the literal translation of shape, style and method and how to actually detach the content from the form, if at all possible.

A Short History of EG | PC Research

Since 2005, dance company Emio Greco | PC – now the International Choreographic Arts Centre (ICKamsterdam) – and the Arts Practice and Development research group at the Amsterdam School of the Arts (AHK) have worked together on the development and dissemination of the Double Skin/ Double Mind interactive installation, a virtual version of The Double Skin/Double Mind (DS/DM) workshop, which was originally conceived by dance company Emio Greco | PC in 1996. They have used it for teaching dance ever since, and it became a foundation for the creative work of its choreographers Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten.

Starting in 2006, the interdisciplinary research project (Capturing) Intention formed the framework for an examination of new modes of dance notation and documentation to lay the analytical groundwork for the transmission of the DS/DM workshop. In 2008, a book, interactive DVD-ROM, film documentary and the interactive installation itself were presented to the public – providing some answers to the performing arts field and raising many questions, possibilities and expectations regarding the relationship between dance and technology. Initially targeted at non-dancers, the pilot version of the installation was presented at the 2008 Dutch Dance Festival in Maastricht.

The two-year collaborative interdisciplinary research project Inside Movement Knowledge provided the opportunity and expertise required to further develop and test the installation. In 2010 the installation became available to both professional and non-professional dancers, for use either as a pre-performance experience or as part of the Modern Theatre Dance curriculum at the Amsterdam School of the Arts.

When in early 2014 ICKamsterdam developed the educational project Roccito (little Rocco) together with dance teachers in the field and students of the course Bachelor Dance in Education at the AHK, it marked the first moment that primary school pupils were in contact with EG | PC choreographic material. What would have been very helpful in this first encounter of children with contemporary dance through EG | PC material, was for the teachers to be able to start out with a selected number of principles, a set of inspirational rules and games to use in their lessons. A toolbox designed to stimulate the teacher’s personal skills in order to enhance the social aspects of dance and to channel the collective energy of the children participating.

That is what we have been researching in the past year. A process that we would like to have the opportunity to share with the international community of dance educators in the upcoming symposium.

- SUMMARY OF CONTENT DESCRIPTION (max 60 words; for publishing)

ICKamsterdam and The Amsterdam School of the Arts are developing a creative toolbox for teaching contemporary dance to children aged 10 to 12 based on the principles in the work of choreographers Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten. In this lecture-presentation we will open up our process and discuss the questions that have arisen while translating the essence of a specific artistic work to a practical toolbox for children.

- SHORT BIOGRAPHY (max 60 words for publishing (if co-taught all in all max 60 words)

Barbara Meneses (Spain, 1976) has collaborated with company Emio Greco | PC as dancer, rehearsal director and teacher. She currently is the artistic coordinator of the Academy of ICKamsterdam.

Jesus de Vega (Spain, 1974) is a dance maker, performer and teacher. Aside from his creative work, he also teaches Double Skin/Double Mind workshops (Emio Greco | PC) and workshops on his own artistic practice


Minimum 6 people.

Dance teachers, dancers, choreographers, with experience or a serious interest in teaching children aged 10-12 and/or an interest in research into transferring principles underlying artistic work for educational purposes.


-2 sessions of 3 hours each, on consecutive days.

1 hour each day is dedicated to the workshop Double Skin/Double Mind

2 hours each day are dedicated to a theoretical and practical sharing of the ins and outs of the test version of the toolkit.

- TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS (audio, beamer etc):



- SPACE NECESSITY (studio size etc):





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Michael Jahoda Eligible Member // Teacher
Hi Barbara, Very much looking forward to attending your symposium. I am very much looking forward to the tool box growing full.

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