Studio talks are a vital part of artistic practise, from preparatory art schools to academies and further into professional artist life. However, communication tends to become restrained when embedded within a hierarchical structure; serving the purpose of positioning oneself, rather than nurturing courage and kindling insight. How to deal with this issue? How to establish a common space, where the status of the speaker doesn’t obscure the topic; where the query actually reveals diverse perspectives, and in the end benefits the person getting feedback – without losing critical edge and declining into flattery?
At the DAS Theatre Academy of Theatre and Dance (Amsterdam University of the Arts), a feedback method has been developed to address these questions. The model provides a methodical toolkit which, to my experience, well serves the intention expressed by the staff of DAS Theatre:
The central aims for the feedback situations are: to empower the artist who is getting feedback on his or her work, to go beyond the pronouncement of judgments, to allow fundamental criticism, to create a sense of (self-)discipline for the sake of precision and clarity, and, last but not least, to increase the enjoyment of giving and receiving feedback.
For the last few years, I have been part of a peer-to-peer network continuously practising the DAS Theatre method. As a process leader, I have also found it valuable in educational situations – and will happily share. Learn more:
A Film About Feedback