LAB 2023

Convivial (adj.)
Etymology: from Late Latin convivialis “pertaining to a feast,” from Latin convivium “a feast,” from convivere “to carouse together, live together,” from com “with, together” and vivere “to live.”

H2DANCE would like to welcome you to our second edition of Fest en Fest—LAB in association with Sadler’s Wells and Dance Umbrella. This year’s —LAB is centred around the convivial as a way to think and experiment with questions of networks, relations, ecosystems, and infrastructures. We have curated a week of studio and dinner conversations inviting artists and curators of dance and performance. 

Fest en Fest—LAB is a strand of Fest en Fest, aiming to dig deeper into expanded choreographic and curatorial practices and to create a space in which to share, reflect, and imagine alongside one another.

We have situated the —LAB in the convivial to think together about the value of social space as zones of mutuality and social interaction which we see as a meaningful site for knowledge production; a room where new knowledge might emerge through the practice of being together. The convivial highlights choreography as a critical mode of gathering; whether through techniques of unison and dissidence, the rehearsing of social formations and somatic revolutions. As a form and a method, the convivial allows for our research to be situated collectively, where knowledges share space horizontally – emanating across lived experiences and years of practice. Together we will explore other modes of relating to our field or, creating a field that recognises difference and embraces entanglement. The aim is to gesture to differences that do not organise themselves into a vertical order but rather forge relations of being adjacent and next to;- not in fixed positions but as moveable objects which shift, sometimes slightly and at other times in more significant leaps. We will try to establish spaces that introduce alternatives and pluralities, confusing and destabilising hierarchical forms; not aimed at finding resolution but as an opening of new horizons.

We seek to open a space that encourages active listening, practising responding rather than repeating prepared answers and gestures. Allowing us to develop additional sets of tools that resist mainstream interests, turning to the other and the strange according to responsive, flexible and unfixed trajectories. 

We hope conviviality can hold space for care and allow us to wiggle about in our comforts and discomforts, where we dance together in singularity. That means we come together for a moment in our differences to then fall apart. We see the table here as a stage, a space that we have curated, which in turn will produce dramaturgy and choreography which we will call – a dance off-score. There is power in a group coming together to support, have fun, be silly and test ideas and to fail in supportive environments. It encourages us to move, stay in the bend and become mischief-makers. 


Hanna Gillgren and Heidi Rustgaard H2DANCE
Dramaturg: Noémie Solomon
Producer:  Natalie Richardson
Events manager: Sammy Gray
Graphics: Kaisa Lassinaro
Website: Design Print Bind
Photo: Henri T
Funded by
Nordic Culture Fund, Embassy of Sweden, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Finnish Institute
Nordisk Kulturfond, logotype set in a modern geometric sans serif tyeface on two lines in black.
Big thanks to: Robyn Cabaret and Chiara Lynch at Sadler’s Wells for the invitation, Natalie Richardson, Lauren Wright, Noémie Solomon, Martin Hargreaves, and all the artists, choreographers and curators involved.