Feel free to take a nap is a performance score that focuses on dialogical processes between movement and language enacted by Mirko Guido (IT/DK), Petros Konnaris (CY), Rodia Vomvolou (GR/NL), and Evarogas Vanezis (CY). The project was born during the European program Micro and Macro Dramaturgies in Dance and since then is developing its research on embodied discourse and the process of live dramaturgy(ing). It proposes itself as a critical, collaborative interaction(s) with the audience/witnesses, denoting a practice of navigating through vital ambiguities, multiplicities, and contradictions.

The following proceeding is a collection of texts from the performers of the project who share their perspective on the practice and score in the context of the CARPA8 conference. Each one discusses with and about their position in relation to the project’s agents and the fields of performance, dramaturgy, and artistic research.

Feel Free to take a nap. July 21, 2023, Photographer: Pavlos Vrionides. State Gallery of Contemporary Art Spel x Sessions. Nicosia, Cyprus.

A space for not yet articulated thoughts

Feel free to take a nap is a performative space that borrows elements from the process of performance, dramaturgy, and artistic research. Using language and movement as its main tools, a three-hour score is created that begins with a touch. The score is made for four performers: two dancers, Petros and Mirko, a dramaturg, Rodia, and a writer, Evagoras. The four of them, alongside the audience/visitors, offer their movement, their thoughts and their time constructing a fluid, non-hierarchical environment to observe and wander, to activate, and question the findings that derive from each event.

Starting from the relationship to a performance, Feel free to take a nap is a circumstance of aesthetic, compositional and curatorial decisions made by the team. The event employs common procedures of performance creation: (A) the labor of performance practitioners, (B) using artistic settings, terminologies, and framework, (C) promotional tactics (press and social media). The event is open to the public, and the audience, or witnesses rather, are invited through instructions to stay, to observe, to participate, and engage with what is happening in any way they wish. These notions and structures are what suggest seeing it as a performative happening.

The dramaturgical ontology of the piece is drawn from its dialogical nature. Similarly to Jeroen Peeters in the book And then it got legs, we approach dramaturgy “as the development of a common ground for sense-making, for analyzing material and exploring questions, for constantly observing and articulating the creation process, for pursuing the unfamiliar and accepting the haphazard” (Peeters 2022, 8). Throughout the performance, there is an ongoing conversation with attempts to articulate the thoughts, the concerns and the questions manifesting from the practice. The process of articulation sometimes is disjointed and failed, sometimes appears as a physical response but always includes a curiosity and a drive to understand and showcase the thought process as precisely as possible. There is a strong emphasis in offering questions to each other and supporting the process, producing a fluid energetic, thought-provoking, and stimulating playground. This process, that would normally be found in a rehearsal setting, becomes a significant part of the aesthetics and the content of the performance that also acts as a meta level of commenting and referencing on the practice and current performance.

The project is surrounded by questions yet the main research topic(s) is not pre-selected but is rather constructed in and through the performative space. It derives from the first touch and what it triggers to the performers, the space, and the witnesses. The score starts with one dancer offering to the other a series of touches that begin this embodied process of thinking. The moment of the first words and the attempt to articulate the current findings is what formulates the main topic/theme of the day. Moving through the process, it offers a linearity and a sense of awareness that brings everything together. The methodological tools of this research are also embedded in its practice: to be aware of what is happening in space, what resonates in that moment, to be receptive to the findings and everyone’s proposals, and endure any possible stuckness that does not support the fluidity and the generative process.

Feel Free to take a nap proposes a companionship between performance, dramaturgy and artistic research that form a laboratory, or in better words, a live structure of shared knowledge that includes discourse, ethnographic and autobiographical material, movement and sketches, silences and not yet articulated thoughts. The performance starts from a touch and even though the end comes after three hours, the endpoint is unknown. It becomes about offering time to process the soft findings, gifts and artefacts that are generated when movement and language touch.

At the furthest edge of writing, nothing but touching happens.

(Nancy 2008, 11)
Feel Free to take a nap. July 21, 2023, Photographer: Pavlos Vrionides. State Gallery of Contemporary Art Spel x Sessions. Nicosia, Cyprus.

As there is never a neutral position from which to create, there is also not a neutral position from which to observe. If we understand performers and audiences as existing simultaneously in the same space but on different planes, Feel Free to Take a Nap challenges and shifts the limits between “performer” and the “observer”. Along two bodies that move, there is the company of a writer, a dramaturg and the audience, which is given manifold entry points into taking action. All participants enjoy rhythms of activity and rest.

As the performance field oscillates towards the horizontality of participation, this negotiation of rhythms is a tool with which agency is activated. From the perspective of a writer who produces texts during and along the movement of other agents, the oscillation becomes part of an effort to open up a space that hosts different modalities of reciprocity. Given that the word nap is in the title, which hints at an in-between consciousness state of light sleep, activity and inactivity also become a way to challenge the temporality of writing and reading and the expectations for understanding that we have from them.

The performance starts with a touch, and in between the seeming immediacy of touch and the appearance of the first words through the light of a projector, both bodies and language come to signify and feel like a quick nod to move forward, a prolonged blockage, a sustained caress. What writing means here is open to interpretation. It can be understood as mark-making on spatial surfaces. Reading – as the counterpart to writing – becomes a play with light and with how the body and other objects interject the appearance of writing, abstracting and changing its appearance and the surface upon which it is “written”.

Feel Free to take a nap. July 21, 2023, Photographer: Petros Konnaris. State Gallery of Contemporary Art Spel x Sessions. Nicosia, Cyprus.

The experience of the furthest edge of writing, where words succinctly create and yet are not the world, is paralleled to the experience of touch as that sense through which we recognise the limit of our own bodies and materiality. Perhaps more importantly, we recognise this limit as a property shared with myriad other organisms. Reciprocal limits necessitate an inside and an outside that are not in opposition but in extension: the inside is the extension of an outside, the outside is an extension of the inside.

Each enactment of the performance presents an opportunity to test out a methodology of writing within a specific time frame which does not feel as a deadline but as a generative field. What happens within this time is always different and in many ways reflects the energy and the affectual charge of the performance. This becomes especially potent when reading the text after the performance, as a way to track how the conversations went and how they changed.

As the writing is informed by the dialogue between the participants, it is also a space where silences, breaks and fragmentation in communication also pose a creative opportunity. Do they need to be filled, or can the absence of activity become part of the text? If so, how? There is an interplay between the roles of writer and scrivener, pushing the limits of authorship: who is writing and why? How many voices can a text hold? How do we open up to the messy time of co-creation?

In unison: dialogues in motion within the interstice of responsiveness

Feel Free to Take a Nap began as an encounter, an artistic dialogue between Petros and myself, arising from our shared curiosity in exploring the intricate dance between movement and language. This endeavor transcended the traditional frameworks of choreographic creation, embarking on a quest towards a space where practice and theory resonate in a dialogical dance. This wasn’t merely about crafting a performance, but envisioning a methodology for making – one that embodies performative characteristics while diverging from the conventional research, process, performance paradigm. This exploration, rooted in the relationship between movement and language and nurtured by touch, ventured into the fluid terrains of indeterminacy and precariousness, unfurling a rich tapestry of reflections on care, intimacy, playfulness and impermanence. As a hybrid realm of practice, research, and performance emerged, Rodia (dramaturg) and Evagoras (writer) melded into this journey, their presence acting as a catalyst that honed a sharper focus and a more nuanced articulation of the investigation.

At the core of this methodology lies a room – a realm of dialogical interactions where practitioners/researchers/performers venture into a continuous state of responsiveness. Here, dialogues morph beyond mere verbal exchanges, unfolding a rich interplay of affective circulations among movement, reflection, language, and text. This room, imbued with dialogic notions, serves as a fertile ground where materials and understanding organically evolve within a complex affective web. This methodology endeavors to dismantle the disciplinary silos often found between Dance, Choreography, Dramaturgy, and Writing, envisioning them as co-emergent processes in a shared space and time continuum. The mechanics are based on a routine, structured but open to the organic flow of the responsive process, with the aim that choreographic and dramaturgical crystallisations can emerge from within the ecosystem. In this live cauldron of creation, exploration, and reflection, the dancer, the choreographer, the dramaturg, the writer coexist, each contributing to the dialogical process unfolding organically within the shared space.

Feel Free to take a nap. July 21, 2023, Photographer: Pavlos Vrionides. State Gallery of Contemporary Art Spel x Sessions. Nicosia, Cyprus.

The spatial organization represents an attempt to architecturally house simultaneous activities, providing an environment for experiential learning and reflective discourse. The positioning of the writer, the distribution of emergent materials, the spatial mobility of the dancers and the proximity of the dramaturg become specific considerations that re-adjust to the evolving needs of the process. Crucial to this spatial organization is the notion of simultaneity, as eloquently captured by artist and researcher Hanns Holger Rutz: “Simultaneous as a shared space where things are not interlocking, they are alongside, but de-coupling the temporalities, thus including several temporalities” (Rutz 2023). This concept resonates with our methodology, and its attempt to allow different streams of activity to unfold simultaneously, sometimes merging, sometimes in isolation and sometimes in parallel. The coexistence of multiple temporal locations within this shared space nurtures an organic environment. Here, affective circulations between movement, reflection, language and text can flourish in unanticipated ways.

Dramaturg Synne Behrndt’s inquiry, “What is to create meaning out of methodological chaos?” (Behrndt 2023) echoes the essence of our approach: to embrace the fragility of navigating through a vague sense of chaos and uncertainty and to gradually become aware of the architectures that interactions shape – an effort to manage “in-betweenness” and to think through performing. At a poignant moment in the process, Rodia remarked: “There is something about the negotiation of boundaries”. This assertion resonated deeply as it focused on the sense of responsiveness that resides in our work. It is not merely about dissolving roles and perspectives, but about paying attention to the space that exists between things, and to sensing how we re-emerge at every encounter, at every divergence, at every collision, at every touch.

An exercise on soft boundaries

“What image does the phrase ‘a field of touch’ bring to you?” the dramaturg enters the discussion in a moment that feels like there is an opening. She is lying down in a yoga mat on the floor, observing what is going on in the room, following the movement, the words and the images emerging, as she would typically do from her role as a dramaturg. Except this is not just another rehearsal, but a public event in a performance space or in a conference. With two dancers, one writer and one dramaturg “on stage”, Feel free to take a nap proposes a process of researching-as-performance or performing-the-research. What does the negotiation between movement and language generate? How can an embodied discourse be created by the stream of consciousness of the four performers? How do thoughts, comments, reflections, memories, gestures feed the ongoing dialogue? And at the very end: How can artistic research be explored as a live dramaturgical process?

In Feel free to take a nap, a living structure is created that evolves and adapts at every moment, employing curiosity as a performative mode, and creating tension between knowing and not knowing. A process of live dramaturgy(ing) is revealed as an exercise: contextualizing from the inside, sensing what the space needs and trying to activate it, insisting on things, making shifts and twists, offering support or challenging it. Live dramaturgy(ing) means half-uttered thoughts, language failures, non-sense movement, and the risk of failure. It also means the two dancers, the dramaturg and the writer being equally responsible for holding the space for one or for three hours, each one from their own positioning, with their own tools and strategies.

A subtle tension between in and out, openness and closeness, exploring different ways to say no and yes is gradually created. “When is the right moment to introduce something (a word, a touch, a partner, a child)?” She writes in the A4 piece of paper in front of her and shortly after, she enters. Finding the right moment to enter the dialogue of the two dancers, the dramaturg softly bends the boundaries of what until that moment seemed like a close system. In the same way that the live text typing of the writer projected on a screen intervenes in the space. A constellation of intimacies and relationships is made visible gradually, allowing the boundaries to be put or to be pushed accordingly. Getting in is possible, but only softly and in the right time in order for the “commoning” to be created – one of the principles of dramaturgy according to Georgelou, Theodoridou and Protopapa (2017). “In the context of dramaturgy, we can search for the commons in the apparatuses that aim to draw attention to and create relations during artistic processes. […] Dramaturgy operating under the principle of commoning thus puts the plurality and relationality ‘at work’ ” (Georgelou et al. 2017, 57–59).

This invitation for commoning is extended to the spectators. “Feel free to engage with what is happening as much or as little as you want. Feel free to move around and change your perspective. Feel free to trace your thoughts in the papers in any form you like. Feel free to stay for as long or as little as you like. Feel free to come and go. Feel free to take a nap” the performer says in the introduction. What Feel free to take a nap proposes is the idea of soft spectatorship: the spectators are invited to “spend time with”, respecting or pushing the boundaries of participating as much or as little as they like. They create moments of rest, intimate exchanges, critical discussions, (day)dreaming, active participation, collective thinking or nothingness. What if being in a performance or a conference and taking a nap is actually a form of attendance or even commoning? the performative space proposes. It’s a balancing act between fragility, transparency and exposure, constructing a precarious space of tenderness and consent.

After all, what appears as the core of this performative practice is the notion of soft boundaries as a landscape of nuanced potentialities. The soft boundaries between movement and language. Between just being and reflecting. Between individual and collective thinking. Between the personal and the public. Between you and me. Between your skin and my skin. Between who is a performer and who is not. Between who is expected to perform and who is expected to be an observant. Between what is an appropriate mode of spectatorship and what is not. The soft boundaries between what is a practice and what is a performance. The soft boundaries between artistic research and dramaturgy. And all the negotiations they generate.


Behrndt, Synne. 2023. “Dramaturgy, devising and artistic research.” Keynote presentation, Colloquium on Artistic Research in Performing Arts CARPA8: Solvitur Ambulando, “solved by moving”, Dramaturgies of Artistic Research, Theatre Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland, August 26, 2023.

Georgelou, Konstantina, Efrosini Protopapa, and Danae Theodoridou. 2017. The Practice of Dramaturgy. Working on Actions in Performance. Amsterdam: Valiz.

Nancy, Jean Luc. 2008. Corpus. Translated by Richard A. Rand. New York: Fordham University Press.

Peeters, Jeroen. 2022. And then it got legs: Notes on Dance Dramaturgy. Brussels/Oslo: Varamo Press.

Rutz, Hanns Holger. 2023. “Beyond self and other: Shifting research from automation to endomation.” Keynote presentation, Colloquium on Artistic Research in Performing Arts CARPA8: Solvitur Ambulando, “solved by moving”, Dramaturgies of Artistic Research, Theatre Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland, August 26, 2023.


Mirko Guido

Mirko Guido (b. Italy) is a choreographer and dancer based in Aarhus, Denmark, collaborating as in-house artist at Bora Bora Theater. He holds a Master’s degree in New Performative Practices – Stockholm University of the Arts. As a dancer, he worked with several companies, including the Cullberg Ballet. His choreographic work spans theatres, art galleries, and public spaces. Addressing themes of interrelation, liminality and transformation, his practice situates the body in close dialogue with diverse materials, investigating the relationships between body and space, identity and existence, intimate and political.

Petros Konnaris

Petros Konnaris is working between the fields of live art, participatory art, and dance. His artistic practice manifests in the form of durational happenings, 1–1 (one with one) performances, public interventions, performance scores, and process-based artefacts. Konnaris’ research focuses on the embodiment of care, the materiality of words, the audience as a witness, and feminist and queer discourse. He holds an MA in Live Arts and Performance Studies (UniArts Helsinki, 2017) and is currently the artistic director of Dance House Lefkosia.

Evagoras Vanezis

Evagoras Vanezis’ practice engages with the production and contextualization of cross-disciplinary spaces and narratives, working between the fields of curation, art theory and creative writing. His methodology incorporates ecologies and fragments from varied sources including feminist and queer theory, personal and collective experiences. Since 2016 he has organized programs and publishing projects in collaboration with communities, institutions, and other initiatives. He is currently a participant of A Natural Oasis? Biennale of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean (BJCEM, 2022–2023).

Rodia Vomvolou

Rodia Vomvolou is a dance dramaturg and researcher based between the Netherlands and Greece. Her personal field of interest focuses on dramaturgy as a way of thinking and doing in the current sociopolitical context and knowledge economy. As a freelance dramaturg and mentor, Rodia collaborates with institutions, dance houses and universities in Europe, as well as with independent artists. She is currently doing PhD research on the self-positioning of the dance dramaturg in Utrecht University from where she also holds an MA in Contemporary Theatre, Dance and Dramaturgy.