A TRADITION GROWS IF SOMETHING WORKS. In February 2018, the third edition of Common Ground took place at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp. It's a week of alternative art education where all disciplines meet. Students and teachers participate, most of the time in a world they don't know as much. A TRADITION WORKS IF YOU DARE TO MAKE CHANGES. This year, Common Ground expanded by collaborating with the Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. This project is about crossing the usual borders in order to find common ground.
A new aspect to the project is that during the week a group of students, the self-called Common Ground Editors, create a centralised booth where spectators can collect information about the event. From that stand the members depart to capture and report on the performances of the day. Those interested can also follow them on their Facebook page
From the varied education programmes in different disciplines of drama, music, dance and visual arts, students and teachers look beyond their repertoire and try to expand their practice and that of others. During the project week, they immerse themselves or welcome fellow participants into a new world and collaborate towards an installation, an exhibition or a performance - and in this edition also a VR experience. And yet, it is not the result that counts: exploring does, as well as going beyond the usual boarders and embracing failure.
Common Carmen, the eventual performance title, reveals the starting point: opera. Two drama students invite musicians and singers to experiment on scenes from La Bohème, Carmen and Mahagonny theming love and satirized human society.
In KultiWurst the audience can enjoy a private meal while watching their waiters and waitresses perform as if delivered at home. The performance itself is menu-based as well, with dance and music.
Classical music blends with contemporary dance.
Staging to find the perfect atmosphere.
Ditigal and VR
One could easily stick to the dimensions and registers one feels comfortable with, excel in that and ignore technological evolution. More fruitful would be to explore how more advanced peers cope with new technologies, and, for those 'techies', how their discipline can blend together with a more traditional one. VR, however, is new to most of the students.
Digital drawing and performance.
The participants to Ritually Immersed are a mix of music, dance and drama students. In this picture they're proudly watching how VR immerses a spectator, and how they make that happen.
During this week, all participating students and teachers have pushed their boarders, and guess what: musicians can move, actors do have rhythm, dancers can seduce the camera.
Common Ground is a research project about inter- and transdisciplinarity, how it can stimulate and enrich the artist's practice and expand the artist's world.
Research in general is a fast-growing key aspect to both the Royal Conservatoire and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp.
Do you want to find out more? Check out our research page and visit our Articulate Research Days in Fall.
Organisation: Mathias Coppens and Karel Tuytschaever
Photography: Common Ground Editors, Pieter Desmet, Kristof Timmerman and Tine Marguillier.
You can discover here all of our research projects.