Secondhand Knowledge




Secondhand Knowledge is a research project between Rósa Ómarsdóttir and Ásrún Magnúsdóttir where they look at dancehistory through the eyes of the geographical periphery of Europe.

Coming from Iceland, a very isolated island way up in the north, they relized that their perception of dance history was maybe not the same one as has been written about in central Europe. Their knowledge was mostly received second hand from the eurocentrically claimed history of dance. When their only insight into what was going on in the danceworld was through youtube trailers of dancepieces, they found themselves fill in the gaps and imagine what the rest of those trailers was. Often this misinterpretation lead to something completely else. 


Having a strong believe in the value of knowledge that is received secondhand, interpreted and often mistranslated, Rósa and Ásrún will travel through the periphery of Europe and work with people to discover their perception of history. By willingly dwelling in this socalled secondhand knowledge, they will make, remake and reconstruct danceworks that were important to them and others, with full artistic freedom to fill in the gaps. They will somewhat bypass the traditional sense of dancehistory, from the ballet tradition, as it is mostly irrelevant to our own history and many others we will work with.


We will focus mostly on people's own influences and their relation to history. The first jump start of this project started in August 2014 in collaboration with Alexander Roberts at Reykjavík Dancefestival. They asked everyone who participated in Reykjavík Dancefestival to mention their biggest influence for their work and their own dance history. These names were then printed onto t-shirts for the event Secondhand T-shirtology where they celebrated these named influences.