Conference presentations at:

‘Performing Process: Sharing Practice’ at C-DaRE at Coventry University on 6 June 2014 (live)

‘Questioning the Contemporary in 21st Century British Dance Practices’ Symposium at Leeds Metropolitan University on 18 July 2014 (video)


A discussion that doesn’t have a specific outcome (which is often the case) is not usually considered to be ‘enough’. Why is that?

Discussion as object

Discussion as methodology

Discussion as a mode of production

Discussion as a process

Discussion as a product

Discussion as a form of action

Discussion as a mode of working (talking instead of doing – Trio Collective’s Skype discussions instead of studio rehearsals and Self Interview)

Discussion as performance

Discussion in performance (Low Pieces by Xavier Le Roy, These associations by Tino Sehgal, What is violence? by Katerina Paramana, Table of Contents by Siobhan Davies, Production by Mårten Spångberg & Xavier Le Roy)

Discussion as a mode of communication with the audience (post-show talks, are pre-show talks more useful?)

Discussion as marketing tool (‘meet the artist’ – something that is extra to the performance, giving context to the work)

Logocentric view of the world (speech or language as a primary need and primary medium for communication)

The roles and uses of a language – e.g. through language we share but we also keep secrets

Discussion as a tool for audience engagement (to equip audiences with frameworks that enable them to appreciate/’understand’ the work more, knowing the ‘rules’, building cultural confidence, to make art more accessible, current trend of participation, Arts Council policy -> engagement vs understanding )

Discussion as an academic/theoretical mode (practice-as-research, lecture demonstrations)

Training: dance as physical/non-verbal activity vs dance as intellectual/thinking activity (binary not useful, instead we could speak of a spectrum of dance activity, also discussion doesn’t have to be verbal?)

Discussion in the working-process vs discussion in performance (two different modes that require different skill sets)


Can one distinguish between the work and the artist (what if you love a piece of work but hate the artist/the way the artist talks about it?)

A discussion takes time to emerge – spreading vs depth

The impossibility of communication: Is it ever possible to fully understand/communicate with another person?

Conversation as a mode of participation – a sharing of this impossibility

Conversation means loss – to initiate something with certain expectations of loss (yet, it’s not about ‘loss’ or ‘gain’ it is about ‘shifting’)

What is the point that we can no longer allow for conversation? When does discussion become non-negotiable? (Attack on Art Exhibition at Tate Britain, Rothko ‘tag’ at Tate Modern)

What is the implication of discussing in the digital sphere (Open Letters)? What influence does technology have for these modes of discussion (across time/space barriers, internet as a non-hierarchical place?)

Transformation of substance (food as a reminder of transformation in a discussion)

Words and movements as ATOMS that transform from one to another but also combine to make something new.

The difficulty of finding an end to this discussion.

Tuesday 14 January (11am-2pm)
Discussing Discussions in/as Performance
Hosted by Trio Collective


Our discussion of Discussion will touch on current trends in integrating conversation into performances, in the form of pre-show talks, post-show Q&A’s, etc. as well as the recent emergence of certain conversational formats such as Choreographic Forum, Dance and Critical Theory Group, Coffee Mornings, Groundswell Meetings, etc. in the field of dance. It will aim to unpack ways that discussion can be a mode of production for researching, working, communicating, promoting, rehearsing, bonding, exchanging, and performing. Must we “do?” Can’t we just “talk?” Discuss.

We can talk about all of these things, none of these things, and more. 

You need not bring anything but yourself. And maybe some cake.

Chisenhale Dance Space

64-84 Chisenhale Road

London E3 5QZ 

Organised by Gillie Kleiman, an independent dance artist and proud member of the artistic community around Chisenhale Dance Space, kindly supported by and held at the organisation. All artists, members and non-members, are welcome to come and join in. Information about previous Coffee Mornings can be found here.


Trio Collective is presenting Another Chair Dance at Vibe Gallery on 14th June.

Join us for an evening showcase of new works by young contemporary artists. Experience an eclectic mix of music, dance and performance art works in a relaxed gallery environment.

Tickets £3

Drinks available at the gallery’s bar.

For the full programme, please visit:

Trio_03 HD
Trio Collective will be performing Another Chair Danceat circuit 2013.

‘circuit’ is an exciting and free event showcasing new contemporary performance and Live Art. Bringing together practitioners, programmers and audiences, it provides the opportunity to see new performance and network.

Sunday 9th June 2013, 12-5pm, at De Montfort University, Leicester
Performances by Jack Britton, Rosana Cade, SC Durkin, Ehsan Gill, Robert Hardaker, mingbeast, Irresponsible Decorators and Trio Collective. 

6pm onwards:  Informal networking and attendance at performance festival Hatch: Scratch at Embrace Arts, Leicester

Confirmed professionals offering feedback are Nathaniel Miller (Artist/Hatch), Michaela Butter (Embrace Arts, Leicester), Aaron Wright (Live Art Development Agency), Helena Goldwater (Artist/Senior Lecturer at De Montfort University) and Rosie Garton (Zoo Indigo).

Please see our website for further information.

Or for further information contact Helena Goldwater, Senior Lecturer in Drama, De Montfort

Location details: PACE building, De Montfort University, Richmond Street, Leicester LE1 1BH
The PACE building is number 26 on the Campus Map.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Supported by De Montfort University and the Live Art Development Agency

Trio Collective publication

Trio Collective: A Self-Interview has been published in The Swedish Dance History Vol. 4

Trio: A Self-Interview is a performance that takes the form of a self-interview of the collective, which acts as a mode for questioning, understanding and performing our collaboration. The text is based on several self-interviews that took place during our creative process and served as methodological tools for our performances. The performance derives from texts developed in June 2009 and in April 2012, therefore making explicit a gap in both our personal and collective memory, as well as interrogating our collaborative process through past, present and future times.

We will discuss issues arising from our collaboration including the relationship between talking and doing, different modes of communication, misunderstandings and failures, responsibility and decision-making. The members of the collective are both interviewers and interviewees –exchanging roles and seeking identities. Questioning issues of authorship and non-hierarchical working structures, we are trying to define and organise the fluid boundaries that exist within our modes of production.

Seeking alternative ways to work together (not always being able to be at the same place at the same time), we have formed a virtual rehearsal space that acts as a platform for collaborative performance practice. The resulting blog is a curious archive. It flattens the perception of time as a linear development and presents it as fragmented and incomplete. It gives the illusion of Trio as a coherent entity (we are all on here together), but has yet to overcome its differences and inconsistencies.

Conference Presentations:

4 May 2012: Symposium ON COLLABORATION at Middlesex University, London

15 May 2012: CADRE Research Student Conference 2012 ON PERFORMATIVITY at the University of Wolverhampton

30 July 2012: In Dialogue Symposium at Nottingham Contemporary – with a special performance by Michelle Lynch on Skype

What are the modes of communication (in the process)?

Elena Koukoli: E-mails. We are mostly using e-mails and dropbox. We delegate tasks and then we share them with each other through dropbox. We are still meeting and arranging rehearsals but only during the time before shows.

However this is the case just for the three of us, the ‘Londoners’. With Michelle there is skyping and dropbox, yes… a little skyping and dropbox and no rehearsals before shows.

Michelle K. Lynch: The 5371 miles between where I’m based in San Francisco, and London make a big impact. Since I left London in 2009, we’ve transitioned to a virtual space; especially for me, I have been a ghostly collaborator. While Stella, Antje and Elena are able to meet face to face, my communication is mostly email, with Skype conference calls as often as we can. We use a file sharing system – I have a popup feature enabled on my computer, so I see the ongoing Trio activity as messages that appear briefly on the corner of my screen.

Stella Dimitrakopoulou: It’s been 3 years since we were all four together at the same time and space (geographically). Since then we have been communicating a lot through skype, dropbox, yahoo, hotmail, gmail, wordpress and other virtual spaces using videos, texts and live stream videos or calls. When at least two of us were in the same place at the same time we kept meeting in person. The rest were informed later on the outcomes of that meeting, or not.

Antje Hildebrandt: Our modes of communication are virtual and actual, real and fake, individual and collective, online and offline, intimate and alienated, distant and close, critical and silly, live and recorded.

How do you deal with misunderstandings and failures?

M.K.L.: Misunderstandings and failures are a part of the collaborative process, in all ways very small and quite large. Especially when long distance is added, failure of technology makes its mark. I’m thinking of dropped calls and shitty skype connections. When Trio first started, failures were more traumatic to me, but as we have grown they now seem integral. Messiness is more vital for me, and perfection far too boring. I respond to work that does not shy away from its own difficulty coming into being (as well as the being itself). In terms of how we deal with them: we talk and we re-work and then we talk some more. For example, last winter, we were working on re-re-twothousandth-re. I was renting studio space in San Francisco, recording my rehearsals and sending them digitally to the other three in London. The performance was set to be part of Resolution in London, and I was set to fly over for final rehearsals and to perform – finally, Trio could be a quartet like it was meant to be! A few weeks before my slated departure, my stepfather was in a motorcycle accident and his life was being held onto by, well…not too much. He and my mother live on the east coast of the US, and I made the choice to cancel my trip to London and go there instead. His health was too fragile, and my mom was in pretty desperate need of emotional and logistical help. So, Elena, Stella, and Antje rose up out of that failure and shifted the piece to three performers at the last minute. I wonder how they feel about what the piece became out of that failure. Failure of bodies and time and timing. As a side note, Paul’s health is greatly improved. He had what will hopefully be his last surgery last Monday.

S.D.: Misunderstandings and failures are integral to collaboration. It seems that it is not distance that makes things more difficult but rather friction, friction as a result of contact. We‘ve got to know better each other; in this collaboration we are co-workers but also friends. This often makes things easier, but when it comes to misunderstandings it can be very complicated and can result to emotional and personal failures, that cannot but influence the work within the collective. Talking helps, letting time to pass helps, taking distance sometimes helps…

A.H.: A while ago now there was an uncomfortable awakening. One marked by naivety and the impossible notion of neutrality. Wanting to be invisible or at least not be here or there. Close my eyes and hide from the difficulties and conflicts. When happens when work becomes personal? Or is it not already? Where do we draw the line? Which side to stand on when middle ground becomes impossible. Or are we in a triangle and there is no middle ground? And we withdraw and then we pick up the pieces. We continue – despite of what is lost. And so we do do do.

E.K.: I don’t deal well with misunderstandings and failures. I think as a group we ignore them or I mostly ignore them and pretend they are not there. And when they are confronting me I get paralysed. I think I need time to get over the difficulties and then I feel the need to collaborate again, to re- or-co-exist as Trio, although we are four, although we have failed several times to be four.

How are decisions made?

S.D.: We started by discussing on everything together before we decide on something. This was good but very time consuming. Trust is the first step. Trust to the others, when due to time limits it is not possible to discuss on everything before we decide on everything. The next step is to agree on those things that need to be discussed by all before a decision is taken and those that can be trusted to one or two or three, without all needing to be there. What is more important and what is less. It’s definitely easier said than done.

A.H.: I would still say collectively, partly consisting of practical reasoning and partly of conceptual thought.

E.K.: Collectively or individually if there is no time to discuss because of a deadline and a member of the group thinks it’s worth, say, applying for an event.

M.K.L.: Decisions are made through conversation – in virtual and physical space. I have deferred decision-making quite a bit over the past few years, since I have been less actively involved. I trust all of my fellow members, and part of our structure is to create a collaborative environment that is flexible and allows decision-making to be consensus-based or directorial/dictatorial or somewhere in between as we respond to different circumstances and different artistic projects.

What is the relationship between the collaborative process and the final product?

A.H.: I feel we are a lot more opportunistic, and I hate that word. Let me explain, we are all busy people, simultaneously trying to do our own individual practice, earn money, have a private life, fulfilling expectations set by others and by ourselves. Time is definitely an issue. Even more than being in a space or place together. We don’t have the luxury of seeing and having time for each other like we used to two years ago. I always want to recycle, use material that is already there, re-contextualise, re-use, re-make, not to start from the beginning, not to start from nothing, not to start fresh or anew. I don’t necessarily like this way of working and its neither my area of interest but I have become more realistic about what we can do with the time we have together. I want to produce and do do do, and I realize that I constantly fall into the trap set by late capitalist neo-liberal politics that I despise. But how to escape in a time where time is money and money is time? Maybe it’s time just to meet for a coffee and be with ourselves, what do you think?

E.K.: For me it remains the same: the collaborative process is the final product. And by collaborative process I mean the time, ideas, people and therefore, the investment of each one of us into the group. Each of these components is an integral part of what our work is at the moment.

M.K.L.: Collaboration is a real action: the theory of working together meets head-on with the practicality of four people from different backgrounds and styles of working meeting to answer conceptual or artistic questions. We skype at what is very early in my day, and quite late in theirs. We interrupt each other all the time, not to mention when day to day life creates schedule changes or last-minute issues. There is lag in email communication, and clashes of native languages. I think our final product reflects this interplay and friction of our Ideas of collaboration and the Reality of it. The work that has come out of this has focused on notions of language and reading, failed or spontaneous attempts at reconstruction, and frequently makes prominent gaps or absence – of technique, of originals, of reference, of ourselves. So, yes, the collaborative process is always integral to the final product and in fact becomes the final product.

S.D.: I find hard to answer this one. I just checked the answer I gave 3 years ago. I disagree with myself, the collaborative process is not reflected on the final products. The process is far more complicated than the product. During the process we are working with many different ingredients coming from all four of us, some of them fit well together, others not. Some bits are kept and others are thrown away. In the process we work as filters for each other in the product we are altogether in one. It’s like cooking. Some ideas are thrown on the table, a vast variety of smells and colours and tastes, some are selected then tested, sieved, re-tested, formulated, cooked or overcooked… In the end we present a cake, from which you get a piece.

Trio is presenting “Trio Collective: A Self-Interview” at CADRE Research Student Conference 2012

On Performativity 

14th – 15th May 2012

University of Wolverhampton

Admission free

This annual conference is intended as a forum for discussion, an informal survey of current PhD research and a social occasion for the facilitation of networking and exchange amongst PhD students in Art, Design, Craft, Performance and Social and Critical Theory.


Centre for Art, Design, Research & Experimentation

School of Art & Design

Lecture Theatre MK045 (Ground Floor)

University of Wolverhampton

City Campus North, Molineux Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1DT

 For more information please follow the link



This Thursday, 8th Dec, Trio Collective will be performing for the last time this year at the Private View of Q-Art’s annual exhibition at APT Gallery (Deptford, London).
Another Chair Dance – A Duet will be on around 7.30pm but the space is open from 6-8pm. Come along and have a mulled wine with us!