The RAPP 2015 Experiments

This time around, we received a stunning 52 applications from about 20 different countries for RAPP 2015. We are very grateful for all your fascinating, original and crazy ideas, and we sincerely wish that we could have selected more than 3 experiments.

But we are very happy to present the RAPP 2015 experiments that we find both intriguing, touching and highly qualified. All 3 of them include a form of audience involvement - so we'll be needing YOU this year to participate in the experiments, as test audience or in a workshop concept. Follow our facebook page for more info about participation.

RAPP Experiments at Godsbanen, Aarhus, March 12-19, 2015.
RAPP Conference at Svalegangen, Aarhus, March 20, 2015.
RAPP student workshop at Godsbanen, Aarhus, March 21, 2015. 

'Contact Improvisation as Self-Observation' by Ana Jordão (PT) and Xiri Tara Noir (DK),
an exploration of how contact improvisation mirrors the way we relate to each other, and what bodies communicate.

"It has always been very obvious for me that the 'form’ of contact improvisation enables a very honest and spontaneous expression of people’s personal and relational tendencies and desires.
We want to gather information about how contact improvisation naturally mirrors our personalities, and we aim to further this awareness into discovering how much of this is influenced by social and political factors. In a sense, one can imagine a contact jam as a microcosmos of social life; where we meet, share a moment of togetherness, search for understanding, and then leave again.

This observation first occurred to me as I was teaching in the Palestinian Circus School. There it was obvious that the condition in which Palestinian people live was written in their bodies, and that the religious, political and social conflicts were reflected in the way they engage in physical contact. This was what originally made me want to use the tool of contact improvisation and body work, in order to explore the consciousness of the body, develop trust, explore intention and impulses, develop non-verbal communication and a supporting and uplifting dialogue through movement."

Ana Jordão (PT/DE) is an multidisciplinary artist working in the fields of contemporary circus and dance. After completing a BA in Media and Cultural Studies (Edinburgh) and a degree in Circus Arts (Berlin), Ana is currently working on her first solo piece as well as conducting independent research regarding the connection between mind, body and social environment through improvisation practices.

Xiri Tara Noir (DK/ES) is an independent activist, performance artist and choreographer with a background in visual arts and dance. The main interest and artistic concern in her work is to break the limits between academic research and creative investigations and practice. Her intention is to encourage the present audience to actively participate and thus explore the boundaries and hierarchies between performer and audience, and in that way propose an artistic platform for dialogue and exchange.

Xiri and Ana met in an arts residency in Brussels, and later worked collaboratively in the Barcelona International Dance Exchange. The aim of repeating the contact improvisation experiment in conflict zones such as Palestine brought them together, and was the first driving force behind the creation of this research project.


'I Remember...' by Lise Aagaard Knudsen (DK) and Karen Eide Bøen (N),
an exploration of memories and sense manipulation.

"Our vantage point is childhood memories. How do we remember, what do we remember and what significance do memories have? We want to explore whether our memories are a crucial part of what defines us – as people and as artists – and then connect the memories to the five senses. The senses are our means of perceiving the experiences that become our memories, and sensory information can trigger memories. Sharing childhood memories implies selection, censoring and filtering based on where and with whom we stand in the present moment. We find that in listening to each other’s memories, we are constantly reshaping our understanding of the person, or our understanding of the story based on our previous knowledge of that person."

Lise Aagaard Knudsen (DK/UK) is a Danish theatre practitioner and performer based in London. She graduated from the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama in 2014, and is currently working on finishing her second MA in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Copenhagen. She is fascinated by autobiographical work, the use of senses in performance and a close relationship between the performer and her audience. She is writing her master’s thesis on the human archive and the connection between senses and the memory, while experimenting with how best to use her academic background in her performance practice.

Karen Eide Bøen (N) is a dancer and choreographer working with movement site-specifically and for stage. Karen holds a BA in Dance Theatre from Laban centre, London, and was a performer for six years with dance company thud!moving endangered spaces. Since 2011 she has worked as a freelance dance artist, based in Bergen, Norway, taking part in many cross-disciplinary projects involving movement, sound, visual art and text. As part of lang sang produksjoner with musician Eva Pfitzenmaier and dancer Brogan Davison, she premiered the piece “Stål i ben og armer” in January 2014. 


'Birds' by Sarah John (AUS) and Sigrid Moses-Jacobsen (DK),
an experiment with collective participatory audience experiences.

"A world of birds set out. Crossing the seven valleys, the birds encounter the universe as they’ve never known it before: planets and particles, moments and days, themselves and their surroundings flex and mould into each other – and everything they thought they knew slips through their feathers …

We wish to experiment with collective participatory audience experiences.

We aim to investigate how to place the participants at the centre of an experience - inviting them to touch, explore, rearrange, build their own world and uncover their own sense of meaning, whilst moving collectively into a poetic and deeply felt experience.

Through a weave of rejuvenated myths, tactile objects, space, light & darkness, sound and smell we are seeking to experiment with how to create a poetic game that listens to and grows from the participants. We wonder if such an experience can cultivate a sensitivity, a way of being in the world, that brings us closer to ourselves, each other and the world around us. 

We will use The Conference of the Birds by Persian poet Farid ud-Din Attar (c.1145-c.1221) as a stepping off point. This epic poem explores the notion of a connected whole by telling the story of a disparate group of birds who journey together into the unknown in search of greater meaning."

Sarah John
(AUS/DK) makes performances and installations. In 2014, she directed Time Woke Up in Darkness for Carte Blanche and co-directed Phoenix for Wunderland.

Sigrid Moses-Jacobsen (DK) is a KaosPilot. She works variously as a storyteller, musician, performer, project leader, installation designer, and event designer. She is a member of the indie music group Nór.

Together, Sigrid and Sarah go by the name of Mermer - an Indo-European word meaning 'to vividly wonder', 'to exhaustingly ponder', 'all that we think we know but cannot grasp'.