What did you think of the workshop itself and what did you learn for your own practice as a critic?

First of all I have to say that I’m very happy to have been part of this workshop and I appreciate the effort you put into making it possible!! Thank you very much!

The workshop itself was very much worth taking part in, I took a lot with me. What made the workshop so special was, that within our group very good conversation was possible – the group worked very well together and it was very enriching to have this exchange between people from different cultural backgrounds. Also what I found very important was that we had two different “mentors”, Anna Tilroe and Pieter T’Jonck, two specialists who brought in different points of view into the workshop!

From Anna Tilroe I learned some important basics, rules of journalism in general (like the 10 commandments for an Art Critic or how to do/write interviews), which was very important and vital to start off with. Equipped with that knowledge, we went into Pieter T’Jonck’s part of the workshop, from which I especially took with me, how to write critiques specifically related to contemporary dance/performance (for example, not to draw conclusions right away, but to think about what you’ve seen again, and then draw those conclusions). The things we learned about, we can actually really immediately apply to our writing, we can use them as guidelines, as tools to help us grow in our writing, and also maybe to give us new directions.

And what about the logistics (VTi, Beursschouwburg, lodging, food, transport … ) and the following up by Ultima Vez, Eline and myself?

I found everything, especially according to the quite stressful circumstances, very well organized (Eline did a great job with organizing our food even when plans changed last minute J). It would have been great, if the buildings hadn’t been so far apart – most of the time it was no problem, only when we had to head back and forth, it was a little bit annoying. However, it gives you the chance to see a bit more of the city!

What about the tool online for publishing your texts / audio?

Actually, I wish we had been introduced to this website much, much earlier! Like on the first day… It would have been really good to get acquainted with the tools that are available right away – if you have the chance to get familiar with it earlier, you’re likely to use it better and more often! So, I think it would be good, if the next time the website (if one is provided) is introduced on the first day of the workshop!

It was nice to have Christine taping the sessions, it’s good archive material, especially for the participants I believe (and maybe less for “outsiders”). In the beginning I thought the taping was going to bother me/the group, but turns out it didn’t at all!

What about Working Title as the frame of the workshop?

It’s a good idea to have a group of “young” journalists confronted with a festival featuring “young” performers – it would have been a completely different situation had it been a festival presenting renowned artists. What I felt was a bit of a “problem” was that there were too many performances crammed into not even two weeks, of which we went to see most. If the workshop is linked to a festival, I think it’d be good if there was a choice of say 10 performances which the workshop-participants have to see – and then they can decide for themselves if they want/have the time to see more. Of course I understand, why it makes sense to see (almost) all the performances of the festival, however, coupled to an already challenging workshop, I think it would be easier to keep the number of “mandatory” performances lower. And it might also give the participants an opportunity to write more, because there’d be more time for that.

What would you additionally recommend for the next edition in 2010?

I can only repeat what I said above – the workshop itself was very enriching, very well organized and I enjoyed it a lot. However, it was very stressful, and I think it would definitely help, if the participants got “a little more air”… Less performances, or less consecutive hours of workshop – I preferred the time management of the second part of the workshop more, because we were off in the afternoon and had time to write on our critiques, and didn’t have to do it in the night. I think that’s it.

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