Within Practice

October 5–10

Alpha Dance, Will Rawls, 2018, video still

Within Practice​ is a festival for contemporary dance practices. Six choreographers, Kristin Ryg Helgebostad, Jennifer Lacey, Michikazu Matsune, Rani Nair, Will Rawls and Björn Säfsten, share their views on their ways of working through presentations and workshops. The festival is a collaboration between choreographer Björn Säfsten and Stockholm University of the Arts and aims to create a meeting ground between an ever-increasing dance audience, students and professionals within the field of dance. Welcome to a week of exploration of the term practice.The week also offers a format for sharing between and with everyone that takes part in the festival. This year we have invited INSISTER SPACE to create a stimulating democratic sharing format.

Creating Within Practice sprung from a desire to take responsibility for and provide an opportunity to delve into the various practices that exists as part of our discourse. Today many dance makers talk about their practice and the term has been so frequently used that it’s hard to know what it entails. Is there a risk that as the field grows better at communicating through a common language, that our popular terminology tends to become watered down? Take the different meanings of practice/practise/a practice; it is an incredibly differentiated term. It can refer to how one works with choreographic practice, e.g. through a leaf blower, footwork-based practice, a text etc or how one practices or rehearses dance and choreography. As we today within our field know that choreography can offer a perspective, deal with, create, stimulate, shape and transform almost anything it takes upon itself, it ́s varied aesthetics and expressions might make the term practice so varied that it’s hard for us to know what it really entails. Rather than reducing the openness of the term, the festival aims to create a larger meeting ground where a major part of our field can come together, explore and continue discussions.Using this as a base, we wanted to approach 7 artists and show the differences of their work, taking their specific practices as a starting point for sharing. Their workshops and practice presentations alongside with forums for everyone to share their knowledge would then be the structure that makes meetings happen. The purpose is to stimulate the field, possibly build a knowledge bank through shared action and giving a possibility for common references. A practising of the language within our field, the dancing, the talking and the sharing.—Björn Säfsten

The festival takes place in a few different locations during the week. The practice sharing sessions are held at MDT and höjden. The workshops takes place at Stockholm University of the Arts and the performance program is presented at MDT.Tickets and registration is available from 15 June 2020. Descriptions of the formats and contents for the six workshops will be released later this summer! As we all know we might not be able to meet live in October. If that is the case Within Practice will move online.


  • Björn Säfsten, Initiator and Curator, Säfsten Produktion
  • Kristine Slettevold, Co-curator and Head of Department of Dance, Stockholm University of the Arts
  • Anna Efraimsson, Curatorial conversation partner, Theater director of MDT
  • Magnus Nordberg, Initiator and Head of production, Säfsten Produktion/Nordberg Movement
  • Anja Arnquist, Producer and co-ordinator Eric Ericsonhallen, Säfsten Produktion
  • Karin Hauptmann, Producer at Department of Dance, Stockholm University of the Arts.

Within Practice 2020 is a collaboration between Säfsten Production and Department Of Dance, Stockholm University of the Arts, MDT and Dansalliansen. Special support provided by The International Dance Programme at the Swedish Arts Grants Committee. Säfsten Produktion is supported by the Swedish Arts Council, Stockholms Stad and the Swedish Arts Grants Committee.


Björn SäfstenBjörn Säfsten
10.00–12.30, SKH
Rani NairRani Nair
14.00–16.00, On-line
Will RawlsWill Rawls
14.00–16.00, On-line
Will RawlsWill Rawls
16.15–18.15, On-line
Rani NairRani Nair
10.00–12.00, On-line
Björn SäfstenBjörn Säfsten
10.00–12.30, SKH
Rani NairRani Nair
14.00–16.00, On-line
Björn SäfstenBjörn Säfsten
14.30–17.00, SKH
Will RawlsWill Rawls
16.15–18.15, On-line
Eleanor BauerEleanor Bauer
13.00–17.00, MDT
Practice presentation
Björn SäfstenBjörn Säfsten
19.00, MDT
Practice presentation
Björn SäfstenBjörn Säfsten
21.00, MDT

Björn Säfsten

Photo: Chrisander Brun

In my practice I aim to scrutinize, dissect and expose the connected actions of the body and the mind. One focus is to research how different methods of thinking patterns can alter the way we move. The choreography at hand is seen as a result of a dialogue between each individual performers movement heritage and the choreographic proposition. The work takes visual twists and turns, often moulding itself while being performed, establishing itself anew each time for each audience encounter.I aim to expose physical dilemmas, deliberately creating situations where the performer’s thoughts are revealed, opened up to the viewer and seen as material. The work fools around with the notion of language—striving to confuse and divert the viewer from the regularity of bodily reading.In recent years I’ve been obsessed with repetition and the impossibility of it regarding movement. I use repetition as a strive for researching my own consciousness, but also to create a continuous transformation where the agency between the doer and the practice gets engaged in dialogue. At the same time I’ve expanded my practice to now also include sound, text and singing—seeing how it can correspond with the practice at large—searching for a state where representations from different expressions can be superimposed and create an ambiguous language.

Eleanor Bauer

Eleanor Bauer’s 80% seminar, in two parts, will be held 1-3 October at Dansens Hus and 9 October at MDT. Eleanor Bauer is a PhD candidate in choreography.

PART 1: 
Performative Artistic Research Exposition
A lot of moving parts VII (Sleeping Giant Dreams) 

When: 1-3 October 2020 at 19:30-21:30
Where: Dansens Hus
Dansens Hus: read more and booking

Practive-Based Seminar/Discussion

choreo |graphy within practice

When: 9 October 2020, 13:00-17:00
Where: MDT
MDT:  read more and tickets

In  A lot of moving parts, choreographer Eleanor Bauer prods at the Greek etymology of her own discipline: khoreía “dancing together” and graphia ”writing” to understand the place of writing in the embodied, social, and oral practices and traditions of dance-making. Working with the frictions, collisions, translations, love affairs and gaps between dancing and writing in a choreographic search for “simple containers in which the complexity of dance may thrive,” Bauer and her collaborators toggle dancing and writing practices in search for the ways that these two media of thought can serve each other best.  

A lot of moving parts dwells in the untranslatable, sensual, absorbent, expansive, non-linear, protean, and mercurial nature of embodied thought, by getting intimate with uncertainty, making the invisible visible, knitting sense with the senses, and knowing by feeling. In Swedish, to feel and to know are the same verb – känna< - coincidence, or poetic justice? Bauer and her collaborators create a porous and open context in which the audience can feel their way through the performance with all of their senses. In a landscape of modular matter, light, sound, movement, and words, A lot of moving parts continuously reconfigures the physical, imaginary, and symbolic space of the performance, together with the audience.

As a malleable framework for Bauer’s artistic research practice concerning the relationship between writing and dancing, A lot of moving parts is a flexible container for her ongoing inquiry, evolving over time, and uniquely assembled for each performance. 

For A lot of moving parts VII (Sleeping Giant Dreams) on 1-3 October at Dansens Hus, the second group iteration of this project and the largest yet, 18 performers will bridge the khoreia and graphia through rhythm and orality, with a dancing-together practice accompanied by renowned Jazz percussionist Robert Mehmet Ikiz, and a collective “re-mything” practice, which is an oral speculative fiction practice developed by participating dancer and performer Eva Mohn. For this unique iteration, 9 members of the Coven Press* dancing-writing group and 9 Guests of the Press will gather to create the largest group iteration of this project heretofore.

On the 9th of October at MDT, choreo | graphy within practice, presented in collaboration with Stockholm University of the Arts, is an opportunity to open up and reflect together on and through Eleanor Bauer’s artistic-practice based research as a doctoral candidate in choreography at Stockholm University of the Arts. Joined by experts from the fields of dancing-together (choreo), and writing (graphy), Bauer will share her choreographic practice research in practice-based conversations with choreographer and dancers Jennifer Lacey and writer and performance maker Bronwyn Bailey-Charteris.
Attendees of the choreo graphy within practice seminar are warmly welcomed but not obliged to attend also the A lot of moving parts VII (Sleeping Giant Dreams) performances at Dansens Hus.

*Coven Press, conceived in August 2019, is a collective dancing-writing pod born out of Bauer’s research, who together originating the term for and specialising in the practice of Sensual Journalism has included, in different constellations on and offline: Season Butler, Peter Mills, Juliette Uzor, Kai Evans, Tilman O’Donnel, Stina Nyberg, Halla Ólafsdóttir, Adam Seid Tahir, Alice MacKenzie, Zoë Poluch, Eleanor Sikorski, Flora Wellesley Wesley, Stephanie McMann, and Eleanor Bauer. >Download Coven Press‘ Fake News Paper.

Full cast and credits for A lot of moving parts VII (Sleeping Giant Dreams) will be found on the Dansens Hus webpage.

Jennifer Lacey

Photo: Meredith Mullins
Workshop info coming soon!

Kristin Ryg Helgebostad

Photo: Simen Dieserud Thornquist

In my practice I love to focus on the connection between what you see and what you hear and how we as performers can explore these connections. I have a genuine urge to work with others and I often experience that the sum of what we create together can transform the work into something unpredictable which at its best can change us a little bit.I am interested in supporting one another as an artistic approach. Cheering has a potential for changing atmospheres and assembling forces. Cheering is maybe a physical desire for something to happen and a strange mix between an empathic exercise and my own will. In my practice I am curious about how we can support one another, listen to one another and have a real taste of the complex ambiguity in the both vulnerable and strong aspects of being together.Carillonist Laura Marie Ruelåtten and I, together with the handbell band Ula Metall, have developed what one can call a practice through the pieces CHEERS, THEE TOO and different concerts with Ula Metall (the band consists of the dancers Marianne Kjærsund, Pernille Holden, Irene Theisen, Sigrid Kopperdal, Kristina Søetorp Wallace, myself and composer/carillonist/performer Laura Marie Rueslåtten). In the piece CHEERS, we are distorting cheerleading, a group phenomenon that is totally dependent on a group working together. In CHEERS, Ula Metall and THEE TOO we are working with handbells, and we think of the sound and the movement as equal components. We are working with placing the sound, the attention and the physicality somewhere in the middle of the group and let it physically affect us together and individually.


We have to do it, yes! We have to do it now! Come on, do it! I have to do it right now. You have to… yes, they  have to… now, come on come on come on! Now now now now now! In this workshop we will explore the magic of cheering! I would love to share some of the practices we did when me and my colleagues were working on the performance CHEERS, a distorted cheerleader show. We focused on the close connection and the interaction between sound and movement that we can create as performers and how these relationships can make something else happen. We worked with developing our own cheers and chants and with complex rhythmic patterns, choir singing, choir dancing and grooving improvisations. We also focused on the physicality of cheerleading, a practice I have been doing since my early teens. Within cheerleading, we search for alternative performative strategies with a sincere wish to insist that positivity is just as complex as anything else. To support is a physical and energetic action that I would also love to explore more with you as a phenomenon in itself and as a generous way of connecting to the world around us. As a teen, I was a cheerleader for the local ice hockey club. Since then I have, through my artistic practice, been searching for ways back into cheering through different states, sensations, shapes and physicalities.


In the presentation I will do my very best to present the essence of the practices we developed in the work with the performance CHEERS. I will show how we work with the unpredictable forces and energy that arise when we join up to cheer someone or something along. The presentation looks nothing like the show, and maybe this indicates that the physical exploration we did in the process with CHEERS have a flexible quality that can transform and make something else happen that we dont yet know what is. I made CHEERS together with composer Laura Marie Rueslåtten and the performers Marianne Kjærsund, Sigrid Kopperdal, Berglind Rafnsdotir, Charlott Utzig and Julie Moviken. The focus in the practices grew out from a collective place, but in this presentation I will present physicalities straight from the core of the show, this time with only me. I  think that the physical approaches in this work has an important value independent from the amount of people doing it and in that sence, I am interested in how we can implement strategies from collective works into different contexts, also the ones we are seemingly alone in

Michikazu Matsune

Photo: Michikazu Matsune

About the presentation:

Under the working title “For Instance”, this practice presentation is constructed with a series of instruction-based performative scores. It is developed with the students of the 3rd year who interpret the tasks suggested by Michikazu Matsune.
These performative and choreographic tasks play with dynamics in the gaps between expectation and realisation. the working method examines the balance between conceptual frames and improvisation, something concrete and abstract. Poetical, absurd, simple, realistic, fun, impossible.

About my practice in general:

I am usually unable to sleep through the night in one stretch. Quite often I wake up in the middle of the night. Lying in bed and trying to fall asleep, I regularly start thinking about random things, sometimes work-related things, sometimes just anything. Eventually I’d fall asleep again. When I get up in the morning, I drink green tea and have some fruit. I do some exercise then, either some fitness on YouTube or yoga or jogging. Afterwards I eat a proper breakfast. I have a small studio – well, just an empty room with a desk in the corner – in the 10th district of Vienna, the city in which I have lived for the last twenty years. On my way to the studio, I might drop by a café where I do some office work on my laptop, for example writing this exact text right now. In my studio I go through different phases of working modes. Sometimes it’s researching topics I am engaging with in my work, sometimes it’s making sketches of actions, objects or texts for a performance. Then, I have a quick lunch somewhere in the neighbourhood. Again back to work in the afternoon. I try to concentrate on what I am working on, although an occasional afternoon nap would be great. I drink coffee and try to work some more. When will I conclude the endless string of to-dos? Time runs out. Well, it always does quicker than I expect. It’s already 6pm, I should go home. Cook dinner. Eat dinner. Watch TV. It’s time for bed. Good night. I hope I can sleep well. But… I am usually unable to sleep through the night in one stretch. Quite often, I… (Please repeat from the top of this text.)

Practice Sharing events led by Insister Space

During the week, Within Practice offers a format for practice, sharing by and with everyone that takes part during the week. This year we have invited Insister Space to create a stimulating democratic sharing format. They will host sessions at MDT, on Monday October 5, and at höjden Friday October 9.

Insister Space’s practice is micropolitical; Insister Space puts things at issue. Issue: an important topic or problem for debate or discussion.Issue: personal problems or difficulties.
Issue: the action of supplying or distributing an item.
Issue: a result or outcome of something.
Issue: the action of flowing or coming out.
Issue: supply or distribute (something).
Issue: formally send out or make known.
At issue: under discussion; in dispute.
Make an issue of: treat too seriously or as a problem. Take issue with: disagree with; challenge.

Founded in 2017 and located in Stockholm, Insister Space is an artist-driven organisation, platform and a network of more than 50 freelance artists within the field of dance and choreography. We work collectively and continuously to question and affirm conditions and methods of artistic work. Our vision is to create a broad platform for professional freelance dance artists to share, collect, and reorganise artistic practices. We wish to reshape the neoliberal structures in the dance-field; instead of promoting individual artists, we create supportive structures where our members can work with their own interests, but in solidarity with each other.

Rani Nair

I work as a dancer and choreographer with a special interest in decolonial practices and postcolonial aesthetics. My choreographies have been programmed at the Centre National de la Dance Paris, ImpulsTanz Vienna, Spielart Festival in Munich, Ignite! Festival of contemporary dance in Delhi, Singapore International Festival of Arts, Gothenburg Dance and Theatre Festival and at the The Swedish Biennial for Performing Arts. My work is also represented at the Performing Arts museum, Dansmuseet in Stockholm and in the book Oxford Dictionary of Dance and Re-enactment.

Memory and archive is recurring thematic in my work, firstly through a reconstruction of my inheritance of Kurt Jooss last choreography, Dixit Dominus, created for the Sweden-based Indian dancer Lilavati, and later on as a second order performance, a performance about the performance, Future Memory. I also participated in the curation of Ong Keng Sen in the Archive Box, an exchange between Japanese dance makers and artists of the Indian contemporary dance scene.

Last summer I performed the duo An evening with Astad in Munich in a programmation discussing “post-migrant dance”. The work stages Astad Deboo 70 years old, a pioneer of Indian contemporary dance and takes a closer look at his early avantgard solos from the 1970-80s.

I’ve collaborated in various settings and networks, such as the self-organised Sweet and Tender collaborations and was a founding member of Rörelsen – koreografer i Skåne. Together with Jassem Hindi (France) and Mia Habib (Norway), I performed as the trio WE Insist in varied settings from apartments in Morocco, galleries in Damascus and abandoned houses in Vardö, Northern Norway.

I’m currently a member of the artgroup Ful, a collective of artists from different fields working with queer feminist theories and postcolonial aesthetics. Ful art magazine was awarded Best cultural journal 2010. Leading up to the Swedish election 2014 we created the anti-nationalistic cabaret Europa Europa, with the electronica duo The Knife,  toured Sweden 2014, Europe 2015 and collaborated with local artists in Mexico and North America 2016. During the last election autumn 2018 we created Mother’s Manifest which toured in a blow up tent to various places in Sweden.

As a dancer I’ve worked with Shobana Jeyasingh Dance co, Jayachandran Palazhy, Julie Nioche and made projects and workshops in Madagascar, India, Mongolia, Syria, Turkey, South Africa. Influenced by the South Asian Underground club scene, I created my first experimental solos at The Place Theatre London to music composed by the late dj and composer State of Bengal.


Will Rawls

Photo: Luis Rodriguez

In my work I immerse myself in the slippery places between dance and language, movement and speech, and try to hold onto these slippery places while trying to communicate. Choreography helps shape these experiments through sequence, image, story and sound, but I like to keep structures elastic. I’m primarily invested in how these tools can question the certainties of abstraction in the encounter of historically, racially marked bodies.

Within Practice 5-10 Oct 2020