Space, time, body

  • Mirjam Sögner / Dance / Honours Programme

Mirjam Soegner graduated from the Bachelor of Dance and the Honours Programme in June 2013. As part of the Honours Programme, she conducted a theoretical and artistic study on the significance of the physical body in dance, and on how the materiality of the body can play a central role in dance. As part of the annual exchange with the Kibbutzim College in Tel Aviv, Mirjam was selected by ArtEZ to spend a short period in Israel after her graduation to work with students. At the end of the summer, she moved to Berlin to find new inspiration as a dancer/maker and to broaden her focus to include fine art, theatre, design and music.


Research for the Honours Programme
Mirjam’s research resulted in a final project about the division between the body and mind, and about the body that breaks out from under the suppression of the mind. ‘I’m interested in the theory behind this issue, but also as a choreographer. That’s why I studied the works of philosophers and scholars, and involved my own artistic work in the research as well.’


Stripped to the last layer
‘It all started with the question of what remains of dance when you limit yourself to just the essentials: space, time and body. What fascinates me, more than the character of a person, is the materiality and the physical of the body itself. I want to urge my dancers to create their own material and observe their body as intensively as possible. In practice this means that in my pieces I try to strip away layer upon layer until all that remains is the body as a mere physical skeleton.


I studied ideas about the division between body and mind, based on works by theorists such as Descartes, Merleau-Ponty, Deleuze and Guattari, and Barthes. I also looked at how other artists approach the materiality of the body. For my own piece, OOZE, I focused on the skin and the details of the body and I asked myself what would happen if I were to analyse this last layer as well. The knowledge that I gained during the Honours Programme was a true enrichment of my training as a dancer/maker and has helped me enormously to become the reflecting artist that I want to be.’


OOZE premièred at ArtEZ, was performed at the Korzo theatre in The Hague as part of Voorjaarsontwaken (Spring Awakening), and was selected for the programme The Makers Present: Dance ITs Festival in Amsterdam.


Film: OOZE trailer


Take a look at the Honours Programme research projects