Nottdance 2019 welcomed Matthias Sperling as co-curator alongside, Paul Russ, Artistic Director of Dance4.

Through their collaborative dialogues they sought to highlight and bring together a sampling of the practices, urgencies and contexts that they perceived as making vital contributions to the current field of dance and its ongoing evolution, with a focus on the ecology of practices in the UK.

Within this, Sperling contributed a particular focus on ‘Magic & Science’: tuning into how a growing number of artists’ current practices are concerned with conjuring bridges between the magical and the scientific, the imagined and the actual, the subjective and the objective, or – as Sperling explores in his own practice – mind and body. The term ‘Magic & Science’ comes from Aby Warburg (1866-1929, Germany), an art historian who placed movement at the centre of his way of understanding the world.

Nottdance 2019 invited you to witness current practices and thinking from the UK and beyond, to contribute to the future of the field and to explore your place within it. View the 2019 Festival schedule here.

Discourse events were FREE to attend and the festival operated ticket deals for evening performances Thursday to Saturday with concession prices available on the deals. All full price tickets had concession prices available – see our concessions policy here.


Matthias Sperling is an artist, choreographer and performer whose work manifests in an increasing range of forms, including performances in theatre, gallery and museum contexts and public spaces.

He proposes seeing each of the participating artists through the lens of another concept from Warburg: that of the practitioner as ‘seismograph’, a person who is tuning in to particular frequencies, resonances and ruptures that are vibrating in the environments around them, diagnosing their epicentres, and bringing them to light to be perceived.

“Each of the participating artists have been selected for the different yet related tremblings that their works and practices bring to attention.”

Sperling, 2019