CRITNIC (= Critical Picnic)

Dance interested people! Please join us for the very first public Critnic: a structured (but not too formal) conversation model for dance. Critnic is similar to a book-club - but instead of talking about books we’ve read, we’ll talk about dance performances we’ve seen.

Sunday 24 November at 2pm
Lucy Guerin Inc Studio
Wine is by donation.
Snacks provided.

The first edition of Critnic will focus on professional contemporary dance work presented in Melbourne between August and November 2013.
A couple of years ago, dissatisfied with her own competence to articulate thoughts around dance works she’d seen and wondering if polite post-show foyer conversations could be a little more in depth, Nat Cursio started setting up critical picnics with a small group of people (dancers, choreographers and other dance interested people). They met and discussed a list of dance works seen locally over the previous 3-6 months. “We seem to be all over work-in-progress discussions but with finished works, we sometimes leave the analysing to the ‘official’ critics. So Critnic is an attempt to work towards better conversation, open dialogue and confidence-gaining amongst the dance community and beyond”

The idea is that we recognise straight-up that there are going to be many different opinions, interpretations and responses to live dance performances (we move directly past the good/bad thing) so that we can open up more interesting, challenging and complex thoughts and questions around specific pieces of choreography and their related dramaturgies and audience experiences.
First you register and tick the boxes to indicate which of the listed works you have seen. (This is so we can have some assurance that the performances works we select for discussion actually correlate reasonably well with the work that Critnic attendees have actually seen)

From the registrations we draft a list of works to discuss - this will include a range of works by choreographers of various perspectives and experience and works made by both local and visiting artists.

You simply show up on the day at 1.50pm for a 2pm start - there will be wine (of course) by donation and we’ll provide snacks.

We provide a format (based around a grid of picnic rugs on the studio floor) that will allow you to go from labelled picnic rug to picnic rug… selecting the works you’d like to talk about for a nominated time frame. You can choose to stay on one rug for more than 1 round or move to the next rug.

Do I have to be a dancer or choreographer to attend?
No, anyone with an interest in dance can come along

Is it ok to come along if I haven't seen much dance in the last four months?
Yes you can come along and contribute as much or as little as you like. You may just be there to listen.

How long will it go for?
2hrs with a break in the middle. That may seem like a long time but you'd be surprised how quickly the time goes once you get stuck into it!

Is it possible that the choreographer whose work we are talking about will be sitting at that rug?
No, we are going to ask choreographers of selected works not to sit at 'their' rug. Critnic is not a feedback session for choreographers and we feel that having the choreographer at the rug may stifle conversation. (you can always ask the choreographer a burning question during the break or after the session!)

Will dance writers and critics be there?
We hope our local dance writers / critics can make it along - but they won't be there in positions of authority - just as people like us who have thoughts, opinions, ideas etc.

Will I have to speak in front of a whole lot of people?
No only in small groups

Can I show up if I haven't registered?
Yes absolutely. 

This project has been supported by Arts Victoria and Lucy Guerin Inc