CfP The Street as a Space for Choreography : Receptions, Participations, Changes

The CETAPS laboratory from the University of Rouen and Atelier 231 – National centre for Outdoor Arts in Sotteville-lès-Rouen, will be jointly organising an international conference entitled “The street as a choreographic space: receptions, participations, transformations” that will take place on the 4th and 5th June 2014.

This conference is part of a cross-border cooperation project involving French and UK outdoor arts organisations and universities and bringing together researchers, artists and professionals. In this project, a significant focus is put on the development of research work around outdoor arts.

This conference will explore the artistic physical practices (dance, circus…) taken out on to the street – a generic and metonymical term used to designate another performance space, the town and its pavements, its rooves, its pedestrian areas, its squares, its markets, its walls, its waste wastelands, its gardens, etc. Not only do these artistic propositions shift the usual codes, norms and artistic values, but they also question the place of the body in the urban space or, more specifically, in the public space. What influence does the “proud power of the body in action”, to which Denis Darzacq refers, have on the public space and what does this space changes in the artistic action? In other words, it seems that the corporealities produce images, which would then perform in the space they are being produced.

If the street is perceived as a space [of/for] freedom, it also exists within a specific, functional framework, within specific rules as a functional space referring to the organisation of the city. Outdoor arts as a project aims to question the organisation of a peaceful coexistence turn the street into a space for experimentation, getting round the rationalisation of its use. Physically speaking, the street allows use the environment and the constraints while confronting the noise, the cluster, the weather.

Three areas will be explored: receptions, participations, changes.

1. Receptions

Using the street as a space for choreography is about making performance suddenly appear (burst in) where it is not expected. Opening up to urban spaces offers different approaches and processes on how a show is received as it becomes possible to move about, around the performance, to comprehend its volume, to see / struggle to see /to not manage to see at all. It is about analysing the specificities of the activity of the member of the audience in the public space – a space where the limit of a monocentered vision is replaced by a plurality of interpretations.

2. Participations

The place of the audience member (Fried, 1990) is disrupted by the investment of public spaces by dance. How does this change the relation to performance and how does the participation of the spectator – should we still use this term? – change the relation of our society to its own representation?

How do we approach alterity and disability? Do inclusive shows shift the way the spectators see the performers, actors, dancers? How do such shows lead to thinking about coexistence and engagement with the public space? As a sector using accessibility and democratization as its structuring values, how do outdoor arts grasp the issues of professionalization and the programming of shows supported, created or performed by disabled artists?

This is about questioning the different forms of corporal appeal related to the “spect-actor” and its variations (Chaumier, 2007) to see how the true and symbolic limits of our daily lives are redefined to create a “community of participation” (Duvignaud, 1973 : 158). In other words, the question is to know how, when choreography takes on the street, it offers a different view on the democratic foundation of the public space.

3. Transformations

What is at stake in the way the public space is being choreographed? Where does dance stand in outdoor arts, in which it has recently been introduced? The multiplicity of the proposals (performances, written plays, interactive shows, festive walkabouts…) calls both to the specificity of outdoor arts – heterogeneous, multidisciplinary, transgenre – and to interrogations about the way shows are programmed and about the artists’ own position. In the end, what is the effect of outdoor arts on dance at a time when indoor venues shows “street performances” on a stage? How does “the street” penetrate the conventional space of choreographic practices?

This call for proposals aims to appeal in priority to researchers in human and social sciences whose works fit within the suggested themes.

The conference will take place at the Maison de l’Université (Mont-St-Aignan campus) and the evening of the 4 June will take place at Atelier 231.

Organisation committee:

At the Université de Rouen:

Betty Lefèvre (PU, CET APS, Université de Rouen), Pascal Roland (Mcf, CET APS, Université de Rouen), Magali Sizorn (Mcf, CETAPS, Université de Rouen)
At Atelier 231:

Daniel Andrieu (directeur), Anne Le Goff (administratrice), Julia Duchemin (chargée de mission), Sylvain Marchand (chargé du centre de ressources), Caroline Lelong (chargée de l’action culturelle et de l’éducation artistique), Mathilde Vautier (coordinatrice du réseau ZEPA 2)


Laboratoire CETAPS (EA 3832), UFR STAPS
Atelier 231, Centre national des arts de la rue
Réseau ZEPA 2
Département Métiers de la Culture (UFR de Lettres et Sciences Humaines) Maison de l’Université

Région Haute Normandie IRIHS

Scientific Committee:

Betty Lefèvre, PU, Université de Rouen
Pascal Roland, Mcf, Université de Rouen
Magali Sizorn, Mcf, Université de Rouen
John Lee, Programme leader for Street arts, Université de Winchester Amos Fercombé, PU, Université d’Artois

Andree Grau, professor, Université de Roehampton Pierre-Albert Castanet, PU, Université de Rouen Roland Huesca, PU, Université de Lorraine
Peta Tait, Professor, La Trobe University, Melbourn

Anne Gonon, docteure, chargée des études et de la recherche à HorsLesMurs, centre national de ressources des arts de la rue et du cirque.
Georgiana Wierre-Gore, PU, Université Blaise-Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand 2

28th February 2014: deadline for the reception of the proposals

15th March 2014: decision from the scientific committee

15th May 2014: Deadline for the registration of the speakers

4th and 5th June 2014: conference at the Maison de l’Université (Mont-Saint-Aignan) and at and 5 Atelier 231 (Sotteville-lès-Rouen).

Speech proposals:

The speech proposals will be presented as a text document of approximately 3000 signs, with a title and 5 keywords. The proposals will be received both in English or in French, and the speakers will be able to speak in either language during the symposium. The name and first name of the author, his/her status, institutional assignment and email address will have to be mentioned on the document.

The summary in the form of a digital document will have to be uploaded on the website



No registration fee.
The participants, speakers and non-speakers, are invited to register as soon as possible through the website.

Practical information:
The speeches and discussions will take place at the University of Rouen, in the auditorium.

Maison de l’Université de Rouen Place Emile Blondel
76130 Mont-Saint-Aignan

Public transport: from Rouen city center, take the TEOR 1 line and get off at “campus”.

The evening of the 4 June will take place at Atelier 231.

Atelier 231
231 rue Auriol
76300 Sotteville-lès-Rouen