Who Needs a Dramaturg? Workshop with Guy Cools

Who Needs a Dramaturg? Workshop with Guy Cools

Workshop on Dance Dramaturgy and Creative Process, for choreographers and their artistic collaborators.

By Guy Cools, Dance Dramaturg

As a choreographer you don’t necessarily need a dramaturg, but you could develop your own dramaturgical reflection on your artistic practice. In this free four session workshop with Dance Dramaturg Guy Cools, participants will be provided with the practical tools and exercises to reflect upon, to evaluate and eventually to transform their creative process.

Using the cross, circle and labyrinth as graphic symbols, we will discuss the essential polarities of the creative process: perception, formation, intuition, experience.

The workshop will focus on perception (what to look for), articulation (how to express oneself best in order to get what one is looking for) and interdisciplinary practices: looking at how artists work in other disciplines and finding creative ‘translations’ of this toward one’s own practice.

Through practical and physical exercises we will explore how dramaturgy/the dramaturg can contribute to this process as witness, dialogue partner and ‘editor’. We will focus amongst others on the importance of rhythm and transitions inside the editing process.

The final goal of the workshop is to gain a different, renewed perspective of one’s own creative and choreographic process and methodologies through discovering the diversity of practices of the other participants.

“The generosity and openness of Guy Cools made this workshop even more rich and informative: we were thinking together” Evaluation of a participant



The workshop will be held on Zoom and consist of 4 x 2 hour workshop sessions

  • Friday 5 February | 10.00 – 12.00
  • Monday 8 February | 10.00 – 12.00
  • Friday 12 February | 10.00 – 12.00
  • Monday 15 February | 10.00 – 12.00

Participants will also be provided with access to additional written materials and recordings to engage with in between sessions.


How to Apply:

This workshop is free to attend and open to professional dance artists who are based in Scotland.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be based in Scotland
  • Be working in physical or movement based practices
  • Have choreographed and created at least one live production that has been widely performed

This opportunity is not open for those who are in education or training.

To apply please fill out this form with your name, contact details, a statement as to why a workshop in dramaturgy is important for your creative practices at this time (max 100 words) and a copy of your CV (this will just be used to confirm your eligibility and provided to Guy Cools for context ahead of the workshop).

Deadline: Monday 11th January 2021, 11.00



How we are selecting:

We hope to be able to accommodate all applicants, but the workshop does have a limited capacity of 20. If demand outweighs the number of spaces available, the places will be allocated by Dance Base


Bio Guy Cools:

Guy Cools is a dance dramaturge. Recent positions include Associate Research Professor at the research institute Arts in Society of the Fontys School of Fine and Performing Arts in Tilburg, and Postdoctoral Researcher at Ghent University, where he finished a practice-based PhD on the relationship between dance and writing. He has worked as a dance critic, artistic programmer, and policymaker for dance in Flanders. He now dedicates himself to production dramaturgy, contributing to work by choreographers all over Europe and Canada such as: Koen Augustijnen (BE), Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (BE), Danièle Desnoyers (CA), Lia Haraki (CY), Christopher House (CA), Akram Khan (UK), Arno Schuitemaker (NL), and Stephanie Thiersch (DE). He regularly lectures and publishes, and has developed a series of workshops that aim to support artists and choreographers in their creative process. His most recent publications include The Ethics of Art: ecological turns in the performing arts, co-edited with Pascal Gielen (Valiz, 2014); In-between Dance Cultures: on the migratory artistic identity of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Akram Khan (Valiz, 2015) and Imaginative Bodies, dialogues in performance practices (Valiz, 2016), a series of published, live interviews with major contemporary artists which Cools curated from 2008 till 2013 for Sadler’s Wells, London. With the Canadian choreographer, Lin Snelling, he developed an improvised performance practice ‘Rewriting Distance’ (see also: www.rewritingdistance.com) that focuses on the integration of movement, voice, and writing.


Creative Scotland
Supported by Edinburgh
Supported by the City of Edinburgh Council