Department of Dance
Research

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In her study of the Athens Festival (Greece) between 1956 and 1966, Dr Stacey Prickett is investigating how the American, British, and Soviet governments used their elite ballet companies as instruments of ‘soft power’ during the Cold War. 

Funded by the British Academy, Dr Prickett is undertaking archival research and oral history interviews to establish interrelationships between funding, political rhetoric and artistic imperatives, and to analyse the ballets' reception by Athenian audiences.  Dr Steriani Tsintziloni, a graduate of Roehampton Dance Department’s PhD programme, is conducting research on the project in Athens. 

Image:Swan Lake (act II), September 7, 1961, Odeon Herodes Atticus in Athens.  Used with permission from the Athens & Epidaurus Festival

Professor Theresa Buckland has examined the evolution of the modern English waltz, which developed out of its Victorian form in the early 1920s.

Her research identified the impact of World War One on social dance practices in fashionable London, the response of the press and the dance profession to the post-war dance craze and how English ballroom was influenced by and competed with ragtime dances and tango.

Read more in the journal Dance Research

Staff from our Department have completed a four-year study, in partnership with the English National Ballet, that concluded that organised dancing offers physical and mental benefits to people with Parkinson’s disease.

The study, led by Dr Sara Houston and Dr Ashley McGill, concluded that dancing provides Parkinson’s sufferers with physical improvements, greater motivation and improved mental health.

Image: Dance for Parkinson's participants with Jennie Harrington, English National Ballet artist. Photo: Belinda Lawley

Leading Dance Scholar and Head of our Dance Department Professor Ann David is producing a biography of dancer Ram Gopal, who brought Indian classical dance to the western stage.

Her biography will raise awareness of the artist, who debuted his work at the end of the 1930s in London and whose pioneering performances spanned countries, including the UK and United States.

Professor Emilyn Claid’s work with somatic movement techniques and psychotherapy has led to a research project on the physical, metaphorical and psychological impact of falling.

She was invited to collaborate in an experimental event at London's Tower Bridge, to offer somatic support for people who experience vertigo when crossing the walkways.

Project website | "Walking on Glass"