Hello. If you are new to Reykjavík, or new to RDF, allow us to introduce ourselves. We are RDF, and we run a big awesome life-expanding festival of dancing, choreography and contemporary performance every August – as well as a super great programme of activities throughout the year.
This November – we have a super nice programme – which you would be a fool to miss – because the artists are great and the tickets are outrageously inexpensive.
All ticket information, as well as show times, can be found on this poster. And below are a collection of short notes that we the RDF team have written about things we have on our minds this November.
NOTE: IF YOU ONLY READ ONE OF THE FOUR NOTES, SKIP TO NOTE NUMBER 2.
See you soon – and meanwhile enjoy the stuff we’ve written.
RDF SHOULD STAND FOR MANY THINGS
Really Dancy Fun
Really Dirty Fuck
Really Dirty Feelings
Really Desperate Friends
Regular Daily Feelings
Regular Daily Fears
Regular Daily Funk
Regular Daily Frisson
Rampant Dreams of Freedom
Rampant Dreams of Fertility
Rampant Dreams of Falling
Rampant Dreams of Fisting
Rampant Dreams of Flirting
Rampant Dreams of Flying
Rampant Dreams of Filing
Rampant Dreams of Feminists
Rampant Dreams of Foxes
This list is a short excerpt of a game we at RDF used to play. It’s a silly game may be, but we took it seriously. The game was to try to imagine all the different things RDF could stand for, if it didn’t stand for Reykjavik Dance Festival. Of course, RDF – Reykjavík Dance Festival – already stood for a lot, but we used to play it to remind ourselves that what RDF stands for is still something we need to keep questioning.
When we - Ásgerður and Alexander - took over as co-Directors of the festival in 2013 - we knew from the beginning that we wanted it to stand for more than a five to ten day annual festival. We wanted to build a scene. We wanted to be the heartbeat of independent dance, choreography and contemporary performance in Iceland. We wanted to continue to grow our annual festival in August, but simultaneously work towards a nationwide international platform of residencies, workshops, labs, lecture series, supper clubs, parties, international co-productions, publications, nationwide radio series, outreach initiatives, city-responsive-art-commissions, international networks, think tanks, do tanks, performances, seminars and parties that spread across the city – and the island as a whole – throughout the year. It felt ambitious, it still feels ambitious, and perhaps a little unrealistic, but now – as 2015 comes to its end – all this has become a reality. We’re doing it. It’s happening. All of the things described above have taken place. We’re growing. We work with awesome artists. We have awesome audiences. And we’re believers. Woohoo!
We have not achieved it alone of course. We depend on many partners both here in Iceland and abroad to do this with us, but we have those amazing partners, we have amazing artists that we work with and we have an ever growing and awesome community of audience. A scene is being born and it’s exciting. Yeeeeeeah!
REFUGEES DROWNING FREQUENTLY
A friend of ours wrote on Facebook some days ago that she had a romantic moment with her duvet one morning when she woke to the sound and sight of rain pattering against her window. Seeing the rain, she curled up in pleasure, wrapping herself deep in her duvet. Oh the joy of rain on your window from the warmth of your bed. She was close to falling back to sleep when her daydream wandered off course and found itself in Lesbos, where rain is not a cosy background noise, but an ice cold horror of the sea. A Sunday breakfast, wrapped up in cosy pyjamas, whilst reading the news online does not await these people, but hunger, homelessness and food and water shortages. Here in Iceland, Lesbos feels tremendously distant. And the wars of the Middle East feel even further. But there are options. You can volunteer. You can send clothes. You can send money. It is all possible to do. You can do something, for sure. For every ticket sold this November – RDF will donate 50% to this organisation: www.lighthouserelief.org. Because If we weren’t here doing this, we would be volunteering there. Simple as that.
DANCING NEED NOT BE NOISY
Poisoned oceans, drowning refugees, striking doctors, striking nurses, striking dancers, bankrupt banks, bankrupt countries, depleted fish stocks, vanishing ice caps, disappearing rainforests, a melting middle-east, a melting planet, week long queues of people hungering for Dunkin’ Doughnuts, contagious deserts, hotels instead of homes, hotels instead of music, hotels instead of galleries, more and more loneliness, less and less hope, depression and mental illness in almost every home and so on. This list of crises can go on of course, and on it does. And when it will finally come to its end, surely nothing – not one single thing – will have escaped from its grasp. Because what is being described here is the noisy effects of a highly-developed, hyperactive and totalising globalised capitalism. And capitalism is nothing if not greedy.
This list could also be described as the noise of our time. A noise so cacophonous that it could equally be described as a silence. Many are trying, and trying very well, to explain the state of things – but has there ever been a time that is more confusing than now? How can we be sure that we are paying attention the the right things? Because whilst everything screams its crisis – very little speaks – very little can be heard. And it is this incapacity of things to speak – as well as this incapacity for us to listen – that is perhaps the biggest crisis of all. For philosopher Jacques Ranciere, this is the question of "political activity". Namely, how to make “visible" that which previously "had no business being seen”, and how to make "heard a discourse where once there was only place for noise."
Such is the sense of clarity and urgency among some artists, they have abandoned art altogether in the name of activism – in the name of direct action and direct resistance. But whilst this remains a curious and vital migration in many cases, there remains the question of how we are to proceed when such activist goals and alternative futures are not clear – and in fact remain wholly unimagined. Furthermore, whilst we fight for the future we must fight for the future of art too, right? This we should not give up easily. Of course where there is clarity to act directly and resist, we should be brave and bold enough to do so – but where there is only noise and confusion, we need tactics and strategies for allowing things to speak, and allowing ourselves to listen.
RDF’s November programme will stray quite far from speaking about the melting, exploding, collapsing, drowning catastrophes of our time – of which there are many. Instead this programme gives focus to a group of artists working with choreography, dancing and performance that explore – very deliberately – questions related to how we watch and listen, as well as how we give voice and place to things that often get lost in the noise.
Our first programme next year will be in February 2016.
Shows. Workshops. Lectures. Parties. Dancing.
Keep your eye out for the programme by checking back at our website frequently.
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