Dance, culture and society
This research theme investigates dance as a cultural practice that embodies values and relations of powers using anthropological and political research, challenging the Eurocentrism of dance studies and broadening its focus to include popular, folk, social and ritual practices as well as theatre dance.
Philosophy and dance
In this area, our research interrogates the nature, values and assumptions of dance practices in various cultural contexts and historical moments. We maintain expertise in different, complementary philosophical approaches, including analytic, continental and feminist philosophy as well as contemporary critical theory.
Do-Re-Me, conceptualised and choreographed by Nicola Conibere, has been shown at the Hayward Gallery, London; The courtyard of the Royal Academy of Arts, London (Part of Block Universe); presented by NNContemporary, Northampton; and Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, presented by Dance4.
Dance, health and wellbeing
Embodied research methodologies investigate the use of dance for physical, cognitive and emotional wellbeing, including in uses for vertigo, Parkinson’s disease and young-onset dementia.
Beatrice Allegranti’s short film ‘I Can’t Find Myself’, follows her established creative methodology, which allows people affected by young onset dementia and their families to understand and deepen their capacity to engage with life and kinship bonds in embodied, accessible and more-than-human ways. The film and soundscore is based on collaborative fieldwork and interviews undertaken in the UK and in Norway with people who live with dementia and their carers from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Created in collaboration with composer Jill Halstead, I Can’t Find Myself aims to create a wider understanding of people living with dementia and how engagement with the entangled relationship between dance and music can enhance kinaesthetic and affective responses – not only for those who live with dementia but also, crucially, for their carers.
Dance Analysis and History
Through choreomusical research and through critical interrogation of ballet works and practices, our research analyses dance and its history. Close analysis plays an important role in our political, philosophical and historical research, including interests in dance history spanning nineteenth-century social dance practice, South Asian dance and ballet, modern and contemporary dance from Europe, America and the Global South.