Tuesday 2nd October 2018, 18:00-19:30 

University of Roehampton

CDR research seminar | Martha Graham's Cold War: The Dance of American Diplomacy

Victoria Phillips will be talking about her forthcoming book Martha Graham's Cold War: The Dance of American Diplomacy, which examines Graham’s enduring influence as a female ambassador who performed American freedoms with modernism in dance on the global Cold War stage. 

Dr Victoria Phillips is a Lecturer in History at the European Institute, Associated Faculty at the Harriman Institute, and director of the Cold War Archival Research project. In 2018-2019 she will teach at the London School of Economics as a Visiting Fellow. She specializes in cold war history and cultural diplomacy. Her book, Martha Graham’s Cold War: The Dance of American Diplomacy (Oxford University Press, 2019), explores the international political work of Martha Graham and her company. 


Tuesday 23rd October 2018, 19:00 

Independent Dance, Siobhan Davies Studios, 85 St George's Road, London SE1 6ER 

A Crossing Borders talk | Maintaining spectactular non-progress | Heni Hale, Marina Collard and Nicola Conibere 

Discussions about time, waste, visibility and cleaning, following two very different projects. 

Marina and Heni question how the mundane everyday maintenance of our lives can become reframed within a practice of artistic enquiry. They discuss Dream Clean Clean Dream focussing on cleaning, its choreographic and aesthetic potentials as well as the inherent gendered political issues of an unseen workforce. A video project that examines the running of a B& B in France they aim to raise questions, such as where does the dirt go, how much of ‘clean’ is an illusion, are we erasing traces of previous lives? 

Nicola introduces House Services, a research project inspired by the body in states of excess, created at a time of national austerity. Working with a range of collaborators, her research has led to questions about acts of maintenance, wasted energy and proposals for not progressing. 


Tuesday 30th October 2018, 19:00 

Independent Dance, Siobhan Davies Studios, 85 St George's Road, London SE1 6ER 

A Crossing Borders talk | Choreo-reading: between knowledge and life | Efrosini Protopapa and Susanne Foellmer 

If choreography is usually perceived as an act of writing (dance), what does it mean for making to be understood through the notion of reading? How does the choreographic engage in the present with what is already there, the past, the historical, but also the forgotten or irretrievable? 

Dr Efrosini Protopapa is a London-based choreographer and scholar. Her research interests lie in experimental and conceptual practices across dance, theatre and performance and her recent work focuses on notions of thinking, negotiation, disagreement, friendship, value and labour in performance. She has presented choreographic work across the UK, The Netherlands, Germany and Greece, and recently toured a commissioned work by Siobhan Davies Dance that premiered at the Barbican Curve. Lately, Efrosini has been working on a choreographic research project entitled ‘the friend at work’, and co-edited ‘The Practice of Dramaturgy: Working on Actions in Performance’ (Valiz, 2017). She is a Senior Lecturer in Dance at the University of Roehampton where she convenes the MRes Choreography and Performance programme. She also teaches internationally and has published in journals, arts publications and catalogues for performance festivals. 

Susanne Foellmer, PhD, is Reader in Dance at Coventry University/Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE). Main research areas embrace aesthetic theory and concepts of the body in contemporary dance, performance, and in the Weimar Era, relationships between dance and ‘other’ media, temporality, historicity, and politicality of performance.  Most recent publications include: On Leftovers (ed., with Richard Gough), Performance Research 22(8), 2018; Performing Arts in Transition. Moving Between Media (ed., with Maria Katharina Schmidt/Cornelia Schmitz), Abingdon: Routledge, forthcoming (2019).  She also has been working as a dramaturge and artistic advisor for Isabelle Schad, Meg Stuart, and Jeremy Wade among others.


Tuesday 6th November 2018, 19:00 

Independent Dance, Siobhan Davies Studios, 85 St George's Road, London SE1 6ER 

A Crossing Borders talk | Don’t stop ’til you feel it: explorations in environmental empathy | Kat Austen and Rosemary Lee

Kat Austen: “For almost my entire life, I have been perplexed at my/our inaction towards climate change and what we couch as environmental damage. Inundated with scientific data, reportage, an overwhelming scientific consensus of not only the phenomenon, but also our part in it, I wonder about why we are not only reluctant to act, but incapable of it. My work focusses on aiming to answer the question: when we know so much already, what do we need to know in order to live more compassionately with/in the world and, most importantly, how do we need to know it?

To this end, I am particularly interested in the role of emotion in our relationship to climate change. One of the ways in which I research this is to focus on modes of engendering empathy, particularly in terms of acting with and upon the body. I create musical, sound and sculptural works and participatory practices that intervene with the minded-body in different ways, aiming to generate new types of empathy with that which we consider “other” to ourselves – be it another species or another ecosystem.”

Rosemary Lee: “Often rooted in our relationship to landscape, my practice of care and empathy has a deeply human focus. I am curious about the individual and the ensemble or collective, the creating of a community and illustration of it in the works themselves, the way the work engages a knowing audience in comparison to someone who stumbles across it, the responsibility I have for the casts and the audiences experience, the role language plays in facilitating movement and how our physical and sensorial knowing of the world shapes language.  An embodied understanding of our environment, whether through touch, sensory activation or or re-imagination is a form of gentle radicalism -politically and artistically.  I am curious about care as a state, a felt experience and how imagination, thought, opinion and action might be affected by it.  I suggest that care is infectious and familiar and can be awoken in us at any moment, how to value it and hold onto it is the challenge.”


Wednesday 7th November 2018, 12:45-14:00

University of Roehampton, Davies Studio 1

Elisabeth Motley | How My Body Should Move: Borderless-ness And Fluidity Of Identity Through Movement

A lecture/demonstration on how movement makes meaning that influences societal attitudes and cultural norms. Assistant Professor Motley’s ongoing movement and embodied writing performance practice challenges myths around able-ism and the social gaze on physical and cognitive variance. Led by Motley’s own neurological encephalitis, the research practice examines the structures that define freedoms of the body and links to overarching themes within Disability Artistry.  Developed as a 2018 Brooklyn Arts Exchange Grant recipient (NY. USA).


Elisabeth Motley is a New York-based choreographer, teacher and performer. Most recently, Motley received a 2018-2019 Fulbright US-UK Scholar Award and Brooklyn Arts Exchange Grant. Her work has been presented at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Gibney Dance, Festival Oltre Passo – Italy, Springboard Danse Montreal, Danspace Project, Movement Research at Judson, The Chocolate Factory Theater, Joyce SoHo, and The Whitney Museum among others. She has been an Artist in Residence at Chez Bushwick, Center for Performance Research, and New York Live Arts. Motley has performed the works of Yvonne Rainer, Pat Catterson and collaborated with Trisha Brown on a series of improvisational structures from 2011-2013. Elisabeth holds a BFA from the Juilliard School and MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. She is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Marymount Manhattan College and has previously taught at The Juilliard School, Snow College, Manhattanville College, and Bowdoin College.

Valeska Gert, dealing also with re-presentations of gender, politics and inter/mediality. Her most recent research approaches dance and performance from the perspective of “leftovers”, being examined in her current project “On Remnants and Vestiges. Strategies of Remaining in the Performing Arts” (funded by German Research Foundation/DFG). 


Tuesday 13th November 2018, 19:00 

Independent Dance, Siobhan Davies Studios, 85 St George's Road, London SE1 6ER 

A Crossing Borders talk partnered with CDR | We Are F*cked | Jo Bannon and Maddy Costa 

Delving into questions and provocations from the origins of Jo Bannon’s latest project We Are Fucked we will discuss what it means to be a heterosexual woman, and consider Jo’s experiences as a disabled person, as the lens through which she looks from within in a patriarchal society. How do these concerns sit within our currently changing political climate: living with a Tory government; Brexit; looking at the changes to reproduction rights that are happening in America and lots of other places?

Gradually the project has become about this idea of relentless penetration; on a personal, bodily and intimate level but also on a wider political level. Are we equally penetrated by our Facebook feed as we are by a dubious sexual encounter? We’re living in an age of being so permeable and so receptive to our exterior context and environment that it’s like a relentless onslaught into our personal identities. So it has moved into a bigger question of what penetrates us socially, personally and politically.


Tuesday 20th November 2018, 18.00-19:30  

University of Roehampton, Michaelis Theatre 

CDR evening screening of Movies by Movers with Cara Hagan Gelber 

A screening of selections from American Dance Festival's Movies by Movers series with subsequent discussion with Cara Hagan, visiting lecturer from Appalachian State University, North Carolina, USA.

ADF's ‘Movies by Movers’ is an annual, international, film festival celebrating the conversation between the moving body and the camera under the auspices of the American Dance Festival. This screening is a collection of short films from around the world which feature various cinematic approaches with regard to concept, style. This collection of films invites us to consider all the different ways dance film can be defined and how the boundaries of our art form can be made pliable." 

Cara Hagan is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice is informed by movement, words and digital space. Ms. Hagan has the pleasure of sharing her artistic pursuits across the United States and abroad. Most recently, Cara has set choreographic works on students at the UNC School of the Arts, Missouri State University and on professional dancers at the Dance Barn Festival in Battle Lake, MN. Her recent guest residencies have included Thirak India, where she taught, performed and lectured across the north region of India, and at James Madison University, where she taught a series of workshops on dance film. Further, Cara has made recent performance appearances at the Asheville Wordfest, the Taos Poetry Festival, the On Site/In Sight Dance Festival, and the Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh.  A recipient of several grants and awards, Cara recently received a 2014-2015 NCAC Choreographic Fellowship Award, a 2015 Sustainability in the Arts Grant and a 2015-2016 University Research Council Grant. Ms. Hagan serves on the dance studies faculty at Appalachian State University, as well as serving as director and curator for ADF's Movies By Movers, an annual, international dance film festival that hosts events at both the American Dance Festival and Appalachian State University. Cara's scholarly and creative work can be found in various publications, including the Snapdragon Journal of Art and Healing, Headwaters Journal of Expressive Arts, the International Journal of Screendance, and in the book, Dance's Duet with the Camera: Motion Pictures, edited by Telory D. Arendell and Ruth Barnes. Currently Cara is under contract to complete her first solo authored book through McFarland Publishing


Tuesday 20th November 2018, 19:00 

Independent Dance, Siobhan Davies Studios, 85 St George's Road, London SE1 6ER 

A Crossing Borders talk partnered with CDR |Shaking/Crossing/Weaving |Thomas Kampe and Simonetta Alessandri

Thomas Kampe and Simonetta Alessandri will talk about their experiments in negotiating borders between their work as Feldenkrais practitioners and dance artists. Drawing on experience of working in choreographic and educational contexts, they propose an unruly and nuanced practice of developing presence and the ability to question and re-form behaviour as a creative process of embodied inquiry. Their dialogue will address a thinking about emancipatory somatic/dance histories, and issues regarding embodied agency and dignified personhood embedded in the Feldenkrais Method that inform their dance practice. 


Wednesday 21st November 2018, 12.45-14.00  

University of Roehampton, Froebel College, Cedar ED 101

CDR lunchtime presentation by Cara Hagan Gelber, Visual Politics in American Dance Film

This research seminar explores stylistic and demographic commonalities found in American dance film through the curatorial lens of ADF’s Movies by Movers, an international dance film festival situated within the famed American Dance Festival. Between the seasons of 2015 and 2018, Curator and Director Cara Hagan surveys data derived from the submission pool to the festival with findings based on numbers taken for gender, race, age, and ability, as well as taking note of stylistic trends from season to season. While calling into question how the dance film community can be more intentional about the ways dance film is produced and presented with regard to representation, Hagan reveals instances of disparity found in American dance film while examining the relationship of dance film to the ideologies perpetuated by mass media and the world of professional dance. Hagan refers to her findings as visual politics. While the term is not new, in this instance, visual politics refer to the people and situations we see on screen with respect to the culture created in two-dimensional space by makers and presenters in the collective; influenced by socio-cultural norms in the real world; affected by the lens through which we view the arts and arts industries. With this definition as a basis, Hagan uses her data and interviews with curators and artists across the United States to paint a clearer picture of the representational landscape of dance film across America.


Tuesday 27th November 2018, 19:00 

Independent Dance, Siobhan Davies Studios, 85 St George's Road, London SE1 6ER  

Moving Kinship: choreography, performance & the politics of everyday life | Beatrice Allegranti and Jon Silas 

This conversation presents interdisciplinary choreographic, dance movement psychotherapy and neuroscientific practice, research and activism with people living with young onset dementia, their families and the artistic team Beatrice Allegranti Dance Theatre. Informed by feminist new materialism and cognitive neuroscience, we will explore the ethics and politics of creating dance not only for an audience but with and through audiences. As such, we propose ‘moving kinship’ as an integrated artistic practice that enables us to think about human and more-than-human-bodies and worlds simultaneously. We will include performative vignettes as ways to think through kinship with/in the choreographic process, performance and, for the living of everyday life. 

Dr Beatrice Allegranti: For over two decades Beatrice’s experience is influenced by several intersecting identities as an independent choreographer, UKCP Reg. dance movement psychotherapist, feminist writer, researcher and educator encompassing choreography and filmmaking (touring UK, France, U.S.A, Norway, Finland, Ireland, Hong Kong, Poland, Brazil), as well as clinical dance movement psychotherapy practice and supervision in the NHS (in adult mental health; dementia; special needs; autism) and in private practice.  


Wednesday, 5th December 2018 time tbc

University of Roehampton, room tbc 

CDR research seminar by Tamara Tomić-Vajagić 

A snap, a bridge, the dress and the fold: parallel structures in Issey Miyake fashion and William Forsythe's choreography 

In this presentation I explore parallel gestures and connective affinities (Heathfield, 2018) in William Forsythe’s choreography and Issey Miyake’s fashion. Particular focus is on their 1991 collaboration in The Loss of Small Detail (Ballet Frankfurt, 1991). The costumes used in this work belong to Miyake’s ‘a piece of cloth’ concept, which includes movement of pleating and folding. As seen in Forsythe’s dances, Miyake’s designs can be understood as ‘choreographic objects’ (Forsythe, 2011) in dialogue with the dance material, including the folding of balletic épaulement through operations of ‘disfocus’. Furthermore, Miyake’s folded clothes suggest a possible paradigmatic visualisation of Forsythe’s dance work as the fold (Deleuze, 1993), or an ontological multiple concerned with cohesion and continuity. 

Dr Tamara Tomić-Vajagić is a dance scholar with background in fine arts. She is a Senior Lecturer in the Dance Department at the University of Roehampton, London. 


Wednesday, February 27th 2019, 17:30-19:00 Terrace Room (GH002), Grove House, Froebel College

Dr ‘Funmi Adewole: 'Heritage' is the here and now?: Personal experience as a starting point for theorising performance. 

Choreographers and dance artists are often working at the crossroads of intersecting cultural, disciplinary, historical trajectories.  The focus of this talk is how my personal experience served as a starting point for my doctoral studies. I also discuss the idea of 'Heritage' and the issues raised by this and other terms such as tradition, modernity and the contemporary for the dance researcher looking into choreographic practices in the field of the dance of the African and Diaspora and other dance trajectories which are outside of a Euro-American theatrical dance canon. 

Dr ‘Funmi Adewole is a performer/writer and lecturer. She worked in the Nigerian media before moving to England in 1994 where she began a performance career. Her credits include performances with Horse and Bamboo Mask and Puppetry Company, Adzido Pan-African Dance Ensemble, and the Chomondeleys. She holds an M.A in Postcolonial Studies from Goldsmiths College, London and a PhD in Dance Studies from De Montfort University, Leicester where she currently lectures. Her research interests include black British choreographers, Dance of the Africa and the Diaspora with in the cultural industries, theorising and writing histories of African performance practices and storytelling as performance. 


Tuesday, February 5, 2019, 18:00-19:30, Digby Stuart College, Duchesne 001

Dr Prarthana Purkayastha: Decolonizing Human Exhibits: dance, re-enactment and historical fiction

This lecture-performance focuses on decolonizing exhibition practices and colonial archives. It begins with a survey of literature on nineteenth-century colonial exhibitions and world’s fairs as a cultural practice and the complicity of academic disciplines such as anthropology and ethnology in promoting violent forms of pedagogy. It examines the failed Liberty’s 1885 exhibition in London, specifically analyzing the nautch dancers whose moving bodies both engaged and disrupted the scopophilia framing such live human exhibits. In the final section, the talk examines how re-imagining the Liberty’s nautch experiences by embodying archival slippages might be a usefully anarchic way of exhuming the memories of those dancers forgotten by both British and Indian nationalist history. The talk will discuss the structural limitations of reenactments, a current trend in contemporary Euro-American dance, and argues that historical fiction as a corporeal methodology might be a viable decolonizing strategy for dance studies. 

Dr. Prarthana Purkayastha is Senior Lecturer in Dance at Royal Holloway University of London. Her monograph Indian Modern Dance, Feminism and Transnationalism  (2014, Palgrave Macmillan New World Choreographies series) won the 2015 de la Torre Bueno Prize from the Society of Dance History Scholars and the 2015 Outstanding Publication Award from the Congress on Research in Dance. Her research locates South Asian dance at the intersections of race, gender and nationhood. She is working on the British Academy/Leverhulme funded book project ‘Decolonising the Body: Dance and Visual Arts in Modern India.’


Wednesday, March 6, 17:30-19.00, Terrace Room (GH002), Grove House, Froebel College

Dr Marion Kant: "Our fatherland is a blessed country": German movement cultures in the early 19th century.

The talk would like to trace the impact modernity and industrialisation had on conceptions of the human body in movement from the early 1800s to the mid-19th century. I will juxtapose two responses to the French Revolution, the notion of universal rights and nationalism: Friedrich Ludwig Jahn's German gymnastics and Heinrich Heine's humanist movement revolution. (Heine provided the myth out of which the ballet Giselle was made.)

Dr Marion Kant received her PhD in musicology at the Humboldt University Berlin on An Inquiry into Gender. Romantic Ballet and the Women's Question (1986).  She has since worked on the evolution and the ideology of modern German dance, on the aesthetics of movement in the 19th and 20th century, on anti-fascist exile and on German-Jewish history.  Dr Kant is an affiliated lecturer in the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages, Pembroke College, Cambridge University.


Tuesday, April 30, 14:30-19:00, Duchesne, Room 104, Digby Stuart College, Forum and Panel Discussion sponsored by the Society for Dance Research

14:30-19:00 GMT. PhD Student Forum: So What is a Tree?: “If a tree Falls in the Archive…”  with Dr Victoria Phillips, Dr Victoria Thoms and Dr Stacey Prickett

17:00-19:00 GMT Cold War Politics and the Modern Arts: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Emerging Approaches and Scholarship:  Panel Discussion with Dr Jens Giersdorf, Dr Gay Morris, and Dr Victoria Phillips

The event brings the Cold War into dialogue with dance, music, visual art, theatre, sport and other creative industries. 

Dr Jens Richard Giersdorf
Professor of Dance Studies, Marymount Manhattan College

Dr Gay Morris
Dance and art critic and historian, Boyer College of Music and Dance, Temple University

Dr Victoria Phillips
LSE-Columbia University Visiting Professor, Department of International History, Columbia University, European Institute, Harriman Institute, Department of History

This panel discussion will be live streamed to the Society for Dance Research Facebook page. For further information, please contact or