OPENLAB: Autumn 18

OPENLAB Season 7
Autumn 2018

Chisenhale Dance Space | Research Studio


OPENLAB‘s Season 7 will kick off on Friday 7 September at Chisenhale Dance Space. The season will start with a ‘White Canvas’ session and it will continue with a programme alternating both ‘White Canvas’ and ‘Facilitated OL sessions.

Here it is the Autumn Term’s line-up for your diaries:

* Shannon Stewart is a New Orleans-based artist invited to the UK by Christopher Matthews as part of a 2-day event of curated dance classes and talks at Chisenhale Dance Space. Shannon will be teaching two classes: PERMISSION TO DANCE – QUEERNIQUE and WHAT DOES THIS BODY MAKE? on Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 September. OPENLAB is collaborating with Christopher Matthews and Janine Harrington to further introduce Shannon Stewart and her work within the context of a ‘Facilitated OL session on Friday 14 September.
Image by Cynthia Post Hunt



OPENLAB is a model for professional self-development for performers devised by Antonio de la Fe. It hosts open sessions for anyone interested in a shared space for performance practice. In this way, OPENLAB could be understood as a co-working space for performers. At the same time, OPENLAB proposes a frame of work that revolves around a basic question: what does ‘to perform’ entail?

OPENLAB’s model is fluid: always changing, always open to dialogue within the group. OPENLAB sessions are developed by a constantly changing group of people. Any person can join the group at any time according to the personal needs and circumstances. Each member of the group may use these sessions the best way they suit them. Generally, the members of the group are artists interested in performance, movement, the body and in the actions the body can deploy as an artistic medium.


What’s the difference between ‘White Canvas’ and ‘Facilitated OL sessions?

OPENLAB will continue alternating between ‘White Canvas’ sessions and ‘Facilitated OL’ sessions.

‘White Canvas’ sessions don’t have an outspoken facilitator or pre-decided theme. We will aim to have a participant in the studio that will serve as an anchor for other participants who may feel they need it. Participants may still be responsible for their own time in the studio but this time they’ll have not only the support from doing it with others but also the support from the anchor person. The possibility for ad lib exchange within the group is also always there. ‘White Canvas’ sessions are 2-hour long.

‘Facilitated OL are sessions with a theme and a facilitator guiding the group throughout. ‘Facilitated OL sessions are 3-hour long.

All sessions take place at Chisenhale Dance Space and are pay-what-you-can (recommended donation £5 for the ‘White Canvas’ and £7 for the ‘Facilitated OL sessions).