Sarma, the online platform for dance and performance criticism, was initiated by Myriam Van Imschoot and Jeroen Peeters in 2000. Sarma’s aim is to stimulate critical reflection in the broad sense of the word, which goes further than art criticism in general. For that purpose Sarma is operating in the discursive field in between artistic practice and academic research. This fragmented field is thematised in the organisation of Sarma along two tracks:

On one hand, one could call Sarma a digital archive. Its aim is to collect texts that circulate in the discursive realms of pre-performance and post-performance. By fulltext publications – newspapers, international critics, thematic anthologies – Sarma is giving insight in the dynamics of contemporary dance and performance. In this manner Sarma is offering a recent-historical horizon for the artistic practice nowadays. By funneling the texts into new circuits of readership, Sarma creates an interface between writers and readers, a place of convergence rather than one of dispersion.

On the other hand, Sarma is organizing discursive and performative events which put the classical conventions of knowledge and transmission into question. By developing workshops on theory, dramaturgy and perception, Sarma is unveiling an actual tendency within criticism. Criticism is a mode of looking and the classical notions of distance and positioning have become unsustainable.

These activities are supported by the website Apart from an online text database, the site is offering audio-visual documentation. In the future the website will also host rather autonomous projects, for example artists or writers in residence. A new website will be launched in april 2007 in order to stress the content and diversity of Sarma’s project.

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