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Performing Arts Research

Surreal Dictionary

«Surreal Dictionary» is a series of collaborative online research sessions in the form of readings, live dance practices and reviewing dance performances between Russian performing arts curator Anastasia Proshutinskaya and Swiss choreographer Maud Blandel.

The subject of this collaborative online research was the concepts and methods of surrealism in artistic practice in general and in contemporary dance/dance dramaturgy in particular. As a result of the sessions, Anastasia and Maud created a «Surreal Dictionary».

Anastasia describes the experience of professional interaction with Maud as follows: «In the course of one year, from June 2022 to July 2023, we called each other regularly, about once every three weeks. That way we had time to read, watch plays, formulate ideas – and share it all in a regular session. During that year we got used to relating everything in one way or another to surrealism, which was conceived primarily as a way of perception and as a movement in this real life, not as an aesthetic canon.

Maud and I knew each other before this project, I had seen her performances and I really appreciate her as a choreographer. But our year-long dialogue has allowed us to reach a different level of professional understanding. And the fact that we are in completely different countries and circumstances, think in different languages, but still can understand each other in such a complex subject and even produce a common knowledge about it – that is incredibly valuable. The «surrealist» project turned out to be, in the current circumstances, the most appropriate and sensible thing we could have done».

Image © Margaux Vendassi & Camille D Tonnerre, selectionsuisse.ch