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The Critical Endeavour in the frame of the explore dance festival was a quite interesting experience,
although some questions remain.
At least for me, it wasn't clear, how the participants were selected or to be precise, what where the
criteria for the selection of the participants – for example experience in (journalistic) writing, age,
(theoretical) background, etc.
It was a great possibility to get to know people from other countries, but given the diversity of the
group a constant mentoring – one mentor for the whole ten days – would have been better. For sure
it's nice to get to know different approaches through various professionals on the other hand a lot of
time is used for introducing and get to know each other.
Another issue for me was the question if the workshop is about criticism or judging/awarding and I
think there should be a clear distinction, since for me criticism is more about describing, developing
thoughts and discussing the raised questions within the piece. And although I consider it as quite
important to contextualize a work within the dance field, other dance works it's not primary a
question of this one is better than that one. Since Critical Endeavour took part and will take part in
the frame of a festival, it might be a possibility to distinguish between the performances, which are
to be judged/awarded (Jardin d'Europe - selection) and works which constitute the program of the
festival, which are critiqued.
Regarding the judgement/prize in general: Since it wasn't clear, how the selection process of the
works was made, at least for me there were no clear criteria, it was almost impossible to set up
criteria for the nomination. The terms young/emerging can be applied to everything and nothing at
the same time and given the development of contemporary dance, everything can be a choreography
but how to compare a market space, a lecture performance and a “classical“ dance piece? –
regardless the fact, that the choreographers of the market space, already won the Prix J'ardin the
year before and it wasn't so clear if they regulations would allow it, to award them the price a 2nd
time.
Given the fact, that there were many performances to watch, the tasks of awarding and writing
critiques, a lack of time was quite obvious, still I think the Critical Endeavour is a great possibility
to get in touch with other people of the European dance field and I think there should be more
programs and initiatives who support ”emerging“ artists, critics, curators.

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