Dance So You Think You Can (2013)
DANCE SO YOU THINK YOU CAN is a discussion project created by choreographer Matthias Sperling, taking place in public spaces and online. Playing on the title of the popular television show So You Think You Can Dance, the discussion project seeks to open up reflection around mainstream media representations of dance, and to extend perceptions of what dance can be and how it can be relevant to us.
T-shirts bearing the slogan are printed and distributed for free in a public place by Sperling and others, provoking discussions with members of the public about what they might imagine the phrase 'dance so you think you can' to mean. Participants are invited to share and continue discussions through the project's website and Facebook page, where Sperling writes:
"Dance can be anything we want it to be - so what do we want it to be and why does it matter? Dance embodies how we choose to relate to ourselves and to each other, so I say that when we limit dance, we limit ourselves. TV shows like Strictly and So You Think You Can Dance play a part in shaping our ideas of what dance is - this project invites you to expand your own dance-shaped ideas to include any activity that un-limits us. What if dance is any activity that makes you feel ready for anything? I warmly invite you to join this space for discussion about what that means to you. What's your DANCE SO YOU THINK YOU CAN?"
Discussions are initiated through 'seasons' of activity linked with particular contexts, such as dance festivals, but the project is also an ongoing one: new responses are invited on the Facebook page at any time, alongside the growing archive of past responses to the project. When participants wear their t-shirts in public, the potential to spark further discussions continues.
Join the conversation: facebook.com/DanceSoYouThinkYouCan
Your comments are welcome on the Facebook page any time. Scroll down to see photos and join discussion topics from previous 'seasons': SEASON 1 was hosted by Nottdance Festival in Nottingham, UK, from March 7-17, 2013. SEASON 2 was hosted by SO Festival, Skegness, UK from July 6-7, 2013. SEASON 3 was hosted by Lincoln Dances Festival in Lincoln, UK on July 20, 2013. SEASON 4 was hosted by the Centre for Advanced Training at The Place, London, UK, from July 29 - August 3, 2013.
Dance So You Think You Can is produced by Matthias Sperling with support from Dance4 and Arts Council England. Thanks also to Nottingham Express Transit and Shirtysomething.com for their support.