More than a year has passed without the proximity of the bodies of strangers, packed in a dark space, of sweat-soaked bodies moving in collective euphoria. All we can evoke are the memories. That’s precisely where The University of Rave steps in and poses the question: What can we learn from the party? How do we keep the revolutionary potential of the collective experience? What does solidarity look like in a world of ‘social distancing?
Over the course of two days, the dance floor will be broken down into its foundational parts, combining movement and voice workshops with discourse, writing and reflection, studying rave as a historical movement and a continuum, with the potential to shape new futures.
On Day 1, Stine Janvin will teach a vocal workshop in which the voice becomes a rhythm machine, invoking the deeply physical experience of repeating beats and melodic patterns using the techniques she developed for Echoic Choir and earlier works such as Fake Synthetic Music. Ula Sickle will guide the participants through the choreographic research for the performance, looking at various practices such as rave shuffle and its links to traditional folk dance, as well as trance dancing and its use of repetitive movement, in an effort to understand the elementary parts of what constitutes the rave experience.
Day 2 is dedicated to the written word. Writer and dramaturge Persis Bekkering will take the participants through a selection of essential texts, both fiction and theory, to collectively read and study the aesthetics and politics of rave. Participants will then be invited to write the rave themselves, understanding rave as a narrative device.
An informal roundtable discussion, open to all, will round off the University of Rave. Collectively we will imagine the dance floors of the future when bodies can safely sweat together again. In this caesura that the pandemic enforces on us, we will reflect on what we want to keep from the party’s past, and what we want to change.