Fri 15.06.2018    19:30    map

How To Watch Dancing (Looking Away From The Naked Emperor)

How To Watch Dancing (Looking Away From The Naked Emperor)

Text/Stage Design: Steve Batts

Music: Chopin Nocturnes – Brigitte Engerer

Light: Barry Davis

Length: +/- 60 min

The show will be followed by a discussion with Steve Batts. The next day Steve will hold a masterclass dedicated to dancers and professional actors and amateurs with a little experience - @​Poetic Movement // pre-festival masterclass // CBF 2018

Part the lyrical dance of a middle aged man, part polemical rant, part analytic lecture, part stand-up comedy.

This new work, many years in the making, is Steve Batts’ response to the feeling that dancing has been kidnapped... torn away from its roots in the natural poetic capacity that everyone has in their movement. Disconnected from the fundamental organic ways that people understand, and are moved by, other people movement.


We’ve been persuaded to think that dancing is about bodies, shapes, athletic tricks, static sculptural measures. We’ve been told that the aim is to perfect the body, make the perfect shape, achieve the most spectacular trick and look artfully sculptural in cleverly lit photographs. Apparently these are the measures of good dancing and they condition our thinking, judgement and taste... but these measures and the values they represent create a dissonance in relation to the fundamentals of how we make, discover, treasure meaning in movement. They underlie so much in the main forms of training, the language the social interactions in dance that even when there is an explicit commitment to different ethics and aesthetics these values creep themselves into the creative practice; into the movement, the disposition, the presentation, the framing of the dance. 

Somatic practices are proposed as an alternative but the undoubted riches contained in the wide variety of such approaches tend to be enclosed in a bubble of individual private experience which can easily turn from self-development into random wiggling and self-indulgence while never really becoming activated as poetic resources.

This piece is about a different way to watch dancing.

BIO "At the centre of the work is my experience of how disciplined attention and research can lead us to a great depth of complexity and mystery. The point is not so much to explain things as to appreciate them more deeply." Steve Batts has been dancing and teaching Contact Improvisation and related practices for around 35 years. He creates work, performs and teaches internationally as well as being artistic director of Echo Echo Dance Theatre in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland.


> Ticket Info

- 35 lei - full price, before the performance - 20 lei - for tickets purchased online ( - 20 lei - discounted price for students

This performance is part of the ​Contact Bucharest Festival 2018​, organized by ​PETEC​ and supported by ​Centrul Naţional al Dansului Bucureşti