MA Mediation in Dance

 

'Mediation'/ ‘Transmission Processes’ in dance and from dance offer diverse professional perspectives not only in the field of cultural education and mediation work. The field of 'mediation' today forms an exemplary space for negotiating questions relevant to society as a whole. The importance in dealing with the physical dimensions of learning, transfer and creative processes has fundamentally changed. There is a stronger need for body-sensitive mediation skills in a large number of areas of activity in various social contexts.

The consecutive master's program in dance mediation picks up on this development in terms of structure and content: Students develop and deepen dance-specific skills in a learning environment that promotes the development of innovative approaches to mediation in a practical and analytical way. This happens in dealing with singular artistic practices, with the conditions of collective (learning) processes, with aspects of physical reflexivity and 'embodied learning' as well as through comparative insights into mediation concepts in and from various educational contexts. One focus of the curriculum formats is on practical and theoretical testing. The reflection of group-oriented working methods that promote a conscious approach to diversity, as well as on methods that enable self-organized and self-responsible learning is another area of concentration.

All of the areas (e.g. dance-artistic-choreographic approaches, body and training practices, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches to knowledge transfer and educational processes, artistic research methods) are brought together through the continual individual project work of the students. With increasing specification of their respective specializations and their continuously acquired expertise, students also have the opportunity to set their own priorities through elective modules and individual support from mentors.

COURSE OF STUDY

Module 1 - Collaborative and Collective Methods in Dance I

Within this module, students deal practically and theoretically with characteristics, phenomena and concepts of group and mediation-oriented processes and work situations in dance. This includes a differentiated understanding of terms relevant in the field of work such as 'co-creative', 'collaborative', 'collective'. In addition, approaches from other areas of practice and science are included in an interdisciplinary perspective (e.g. principles of non-violent communication, feedback methods or structural framework conditions of collective/shared leadership). Within the framework of the laboratories, students conceptualize, design, explore and reflect on various mediation formats against the background of, in particular, group and mediation-oriented processes in dance.

Module 2 - Contemporary Dance Practices - Processes and Perspectives

The module provides a comparative insight into contemporary dance practices. These include choreographic perspectives, improvisational-compositional working methods, hybrid forms of training, somatic practices or interdisciplinary approaches. Students develop the widest possible range of practical dance experience as a frame of reference in order to physically and verbally grasp the differences in body-based mediation processes. The aim is to provide students with analytical and comparative skills in dealing with the systemic and systematic aspects of incorporated learning in dance.

Module 3 – Languages ​​of Mediation I

The module is dedicated to the interweaving of mediation with discourses of community, hegemony and social identity. Particular attention is paid to the complex relationship between mediation and language, as well as the requirements of language that is sensitive to diversity and critical of discrimination. Courses in the module integrate language-philosophical, linguistic, artistic, cultural and political concepts and approaches with the aim of providing students with a tool for the theoretical contextualisation of 'languages ​​of mediation'. At the same time, they encourage individual experimentation with writing formats and languages ​​in order to develop their own terminology. The module also includes an introduction to the current contexts, structures and networks in which the respective text types are formulated and read, e.g. in project management, funding and public relations work for mediation projects.

Module 4 – Training Research and Body Knowledge

The module focuses on 'training' as a routine activity that modulates processes of physical (training) education through its own temporality and intensity. Students can choose to take it at their own discretion in 2-4 semesters out of 4 semesters. Students take part on a continuous base and actively participate in self-chosen practical dance seminars in the BA Dance. They choose seminars according to their physical-artistic profile from the areas of contemporary dance technique, body awareness methods or improvisational/compositional approaches, they enter into a dialogue with the respective teacher regarding their teaching approaches and independently research, document and analyze their observations. In doing so, they are accompanied by mentors in phases: The mentors support the students in defining and sharpening their questions.

Module 5 - Collaborative and Collective Methods in Dance II

Based on the concepts and content imparted in the Module 1 'Collaborative and Collective Methods in Dance I', students develop, conceptualize, test and reflect on the design of more complex mediation formats. Students are increasingly sharpening the special features of their own practice and making them accessible through various strategies of transmission. Communication formats can, for example, take the form of laboratory formats for artistic research, presentation, mediation and exchange formats or settings for artistic-choreographic work.

Module 6 – Languages ​​of Mediation II

Building on Module 3 ‘Languages ​​of Mediation I’, this module encourages individual experimentation with formats and forms of writing in order to further deepen the development of your own 'language' of communication from a discourse-practical perspective. The spectrum ranges from the basics of scientific and creative writing to the formulation of concepts, program texts and funding applications. The teaching of field research methods enables students to prepare for the elective modules in the 2nd and 3rd semester. Through a basic knowledge of analytical and accompanying observation tools, one can record, classify and name specific contexts in which teaching projects can take place.

ELECTIVE MODULE AREA

The elective module area in the 2nd and 3rd semester focuses on a strong application-oriented student and allows students in its conception an individual deepening in specific fields and contexts, within which mediation processes take place. All elective modules are designed in such a way that they enable, promote and demand application-oriented teaching practice in the professional field. The implementation of internships and projects therefore form a significant part within the respective elective modules. You will be accompanied by mentors.

Students select two elective modules from a total of four thematic segments. Through their respective elective module constellation, they develop specific, expanded perspectives on their own practice in possible hybrid working fields in the future, but also specific fields of activity. Differing in their fields of reference and specific content, all four elective modules relate to each other and are coordinated in terms of structure.

The following elective modules are offered:

7a Mediation in the Context of Dance and Choreographic Practice

The elective module is aimed at students who have several years of physical and artistic practice and would like to further develop their skills in this area. As part of the elective module, students set their own priorities in the area of ​​'contemporary training practice', 'rehearsal and/or artistic work development' and/or 'artistic-choreographic research'. All of the formats mentioned represent complex settings, that combine somatic, body-exploring and imitative-incorporating approaches to learning. Students try out their own formats, reflect on and evaluate them. They carry them out as part of projects and in cooperation with partner institutions outside and inside the university.

7b Mediation in formal and non-formal Contexts of Cultural Education

The elective module is aimed at students who want to locate or further deepen their artistic voice in dance and dance mediation practice in the field of cultural education. Contents of this module include the reflection and analysis of the specific conditions of cultural education projects through, with and based on dance in various school and extracurricular contexts. A special focus is on the practical and theoretical examination of artistic-choreographic, artistic-researching, participatory and/or inter- or transdisciplinary procedures. Additionally, the framework conditions and reference systems of the value attribution of each given educational context for projects of cultural education is reflected. Projects/ cooperations take place, for example, with the Department of Music Education, Tanzvermittlung nrw and other partners, associations and educational institutions.

7c Mediation as a negotiation for global perspectives

The elective module is aimed at students who want to develop and reflect on their mediating practice in a global context. In individual and collective settings, practices and strategies of mediation are examined. These promote a critical-constructive participatory interaction and thus physically materialize and reflect on context-specific relationships between the individual and community, artistic and activist practice, social hegemony and resistance.

In this way, ethical, political and historical entanglements and tensions across different societies are examined in order to question trans-local conditions of working methods and practices in, with and through dance that focus on their respective situatedness, locality and spatiality. Students design, implement and evaluate their own projects in cooperation with various institutions and community-based actors in NRW and with recourse to their own networks and partners.

7d Mediation at the Interface between Art Production and the Public

The elective module is aimed at students who want to contribute to the development of experimental and context-sensitive formats close to the production and presentation of artistic work and who locate their practice at this interface. Mediation takes place here, for example, as a dramaturgical or curatorial approach, which today increasingly includes sensory-receptive and participatory aspects in the design of its formats in areas such as public relations, program work or audience development. In doing so, students deal with the specifics of different presentation dispositives (e.g. stage, exhibition, public space) and institutional contexts (e.g. theatre, museum, artistic and scientific laboratories). Students design their own project formats and apply them. For this purpose, projects/cooperations are initiated, e.g. with various public art institutions or with art colleges in NRW.

Module 8 – Methods and Practices of Artistic Research

Within the framework of the module, formats of artistic research are examined as a field embedded in larger interdisciplinary contexts of social knowledge production in the examination of their genealogy and diversity. Artistic research is recognized here as an increasingly institutionally independent and scientifically recognized field of knowledge production. Knowledge can be embodied and mediation can be experienced as a sensual, reflective examination of the mediality of mediation processes. From the field of mediation, students develop a practical-analytical view of various approaches, methods, practices and procedures of conceptualizing, systematising, archiving and documenting formats of artistic research.

Module 9 – Master Thesis

The master thesis is designed, carried out, documented, presented and reflected on in the course of the 4th semester. The topic can be chosen freely in regard towards student’s own profile, for example developed further in the elective modules. The master thesis consists of a practical and a written part as well as a reflective discussion with the examiners. For the practical and written part, the students are not specified in terms of the format. It is essential that the skills acquired during the course of study, including scientific research, practical dance reflection and socio-political sensitization, become apparent within the framework of the various stages and media formats in the processing of the research topic. Students are accompanied by mentors and present partial results and current issues of their research work in the mediation formats of their choice in colloquia.

PERSPECTIVES

With the MA Mediation in Dance in-depth, research- and application-oriented course is offered. The experience, knowledge and skills acquired in the degree program enable students to sharpen their dance, artistic-choreographic and/or physical mediation process profile in other fields of work from a politically and socially sensitized practical and theoretical perspective on 'mediation'.

In this regard, the curriculum of the Master's program enables students to acquire a comprehensive range of instruments for designing and analyzing body-based mediation processes in the practical and theoretical examination of dance. Graduates have acquired a well-founded, wide-ranging view and a comprehensive understanding of the variety and complexity of dance-related contexts and diverse (educational) contexts within which they can be applied. Depending on the focus in the compulsory elective modules during the course of study, the course qualifies you for teaching at art colleges, teaching in the field of pre-vocational training, projects in formal and non-formal contexts of cultural education,  training activities at municipal and state theaters and in the free market,  primarily mediating-assistant and/or project-accompanying activities in the field of dance-artistic-choreographic project work, mediating activities in interdisciplinary contexts and in projects at the interface of theory and practice as well as in artistic research.