Moving from an Artist-led Practice into Self-emerging Educational Approaches

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The starting point for this paper is an artist-led practice developed by choreographer João Fiadeiro during the past two decades, which has been designated as ‘Composition in Real Time’ (CRT). We explain how a radical and consistent artist-led practice can evolve into a methodology that today is as much appreciated in arts education as it is sought by non-artists from very diverse areas of society in general. While radical in its artistic and philosophical essence, the CRT is a very accessible hands-on practice that works as a catalyst for unique educational approaches and self-emerging social aggregation. We do not dwell on the currently heated debates on education versus schooling (Coleman, Postman and Weingartner, Stevenson, Kincheloe and Steinberg), but rather on the affordances of the essential aspects of education as inseparable from creativity, self-development and awareness of the ‘other’, emerging from local communities and resonating at the global scale. The presented work is the result of a university-based research project on Arts&Cognition, designated as ‘BlackBox’, aiming at the analysis of unique conceptual structures of three invited performing artists, and their respective ‘translations’ into digital visualizations, by crossing the empirical insights of contemporary creators with research theories from multimodal communication (human interaction, gesture studies, cognitive science) and computer vision. In the framework of this project, we have engaged with João Fiadeiro in collaborative research as our first case study. During the entire year of 2015 we intensively studied his compositional methods and educational model. Among the different outcomes up to now, two are particularly relevant in the context of arts education, as explained in the paper. First, we have produced four animated infographic films about key concepts of the CRT and their dramaturgical application in three stage works by Fiadeiro. Second, the complete body of work by João Fiadeiro in the last twenty-five years is being uploaded into our Transmedia Knowledge Base (TKB) platform since June 2016 in the framework of the Alkantara Festival, a major international meeting-point in Lisbon, Portugal for contemporary performing artists from all over the world. But what is radical about the CTR method, after all? In our perspective it is the challenge it proposes to only focus on ‘what the situation needs’. The state of mind required to perceive the initial conditions and the possible futures in a situation can only be achieved through suspending one’s habitual patterns of expectation for decision-making, and taking the time to tune in to the situation that develops in a stigmergic way. We argue that this extremely mindful process naturally gives rise to self-emerging educational approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-77
Number of pages7
JournalPerformance Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


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