May I speak about dance?

May I speak about dance?

Created by Boaz Barkan

Performed by Boaz Barkan and Jørgen Callesen

Dramatic consultation by Daniel Norback

Supported by the Danish Arts Counsel

Link to full performance on Vimeo:

A dancer moves in a relentless state of dance, while the other tries to comprehend.

Boaz Barkan invites performer Jørgen Callesen to help reference significant moments in contemporary dance.

In a Woody Allen-ish fashion Barkan comments along the way, getting tangled in various concepts such as non-dance, Basho and somatic practices. Barkan meddles in the approaches of iconic figures in contemporary dance such as Yvonne Rainer, Tatsumi Hijikata and Jerome Bel. Callesen dances on…

As an audience you are invited to join in an odd and playful exploration of the phenomenon of dance. Can we really discuss dance?

Do we have the language for it? Should dance not be experienced through one’s body?  Who’s body is dancing?

The performance involves you as a guest in an unpretentious and humorous exploration of what dance is and can, how is it experienced, and not the least how can it be discussed.

To all of us who find dance and performance tedious at times, this is a chance to enjoy quirky reflections and insight.

Duration: 50 minutes

remiered at Dansehallerne, Copenhagen, March, 2015


"After presenting 11 shows with May I Speak About Dance by Boaz Barkan at Edinburg Fringe Festival 2018, we have exciting reviews to share with you.

British Theatre Guide: ★★★★★

May I Speak About Dance: August 6, 2018 -  Jackie Fletcher

"...a clever and profound performance, simple and modest, witty and playful; it is meta-dance, and yet perfectly paced and controlled like Butôh itself, carrying the audience on a surge of energy to Hijikata’s liberating revelation. If you want to experience that revelation yourself, I can recommend you go and see the show."

Exeunt Magazine:(this magazine does not use stars)

Review: May I Speak About Dance? at Summerhall:

August 7, 2018 -  Alice Saville

"I felt I needed to go to see Boaz Barkan’s show. The title spoke to me. And the resulting performance was as comforting and needling and complex as I’d imagine a good therapy session would be, teasing out all the difficulties of translating movement into words."


“Trying to talk about art makes you feel vulnerable. Boaz’s lecture legitimises that fear, and that feels cathartic. The ideas and reference points he throws out are probably painfully familiar to people who’ve studied performance art and dance – but they’re put in a frame that makes them clear to newcomers, as well as newly vivid to people who’ve read them on the page. I come away feeling that it’s okay not to be good at speaking about dance. But by talking about it openly, he showed how central these questions are to the whole artform, he also gave me a hunger to try.”


International Times: ★★★★

Edinburgh Fringe Review  - May I Speak About Dance

“A funny, delightful hour dissecting and debunking contemporary dance clichés. Barkin & Callesen are a classy, dancing double act.”


The Stage: ★★★★

May I Speak About Dance? review at Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘strange, funny and educational’

August 10, 2018 -  Anna Winter

“In his engagingly energetic and casual style, Boaz goes on to note how Yvonne Rainer’s spectacle-denying tenets underpinned another side of 1960s avant-gardism in New York. All of this – the rejection of technique versus transformative pageantry – forms part of the perennial debate about dance.”


What the Audience said:

"Is like eating a whole meal after a lot of popcorns"

"Thank you for the chance to see this odd and delightful and very personable, intimate show"


Interview with Boaz Barkan at Radio Summerhall:

12’37 minutes in which you can understand the content of this play in more detail.


May I Speak About Dance is available for touring.

More info: Gitte Nielsen – // Karen Toftegaard –"