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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.

Brazilian Bodies and Their Choreographies of Identification: Swing Nation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)

Cristina Fernandes Rosa

This book retraces the presence of a particular way of swaying the body that, in Brazil, is commonly known as ginga. Cristina Fernandes Rosa's research retraces its presence across distinct and specific realms: samba-de-roda (samba-in-a-circle) dances, capoeira angola games, and the repertoire of Grupo Corpo.

British Multiculturalism and Interweaving Hybridities in South Asian Dance (Performance Research, 2020)

Avanthi Meduri

Research conducted by Avanthi Medhuri shows how Shobana Jeyasingh, Akram Khan and British South Asian dance organisations used ‘hybridity’ as a multifaceted, historical, institutional, theatrical, choreographic and political trope to integrate South Asian dance forms into mainstream British dance milieu in the forty-year period from 1979 to 2020.

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.

The Practice of Dramaturgy: Working on Actions in Performance (Valiz, 2016)

Efrosini Protopapa

Drawing on different views on the notion of dramaturgy, this book co-edited by Efrosini Protopapa addresses dramaturgy as a shared, politicized and catalytic practice that sets actions into motion in a more speculative, rather than an instructive way; providing a combination of practice-based insights alongside theory, opened up to different artistic, social and political perspectives.


Nicola Conibere

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.

Dancing with Parkinson's

Sara Houston

Sara Houston's research has transformed dance provision for people with Parkinson's, transforming their lives, significantly improving their wellbeing. Her work was the first in the UK to scrutinise how dance as art was experienced by people with Parkinson’s, the effects of dance on social and emotional wellbeing, balance, posture and gait, as well as the influence of people with Parkinson's on dance practice.

I Can’t Find Myself

Beatrice Allegranti

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.

I can't find myself

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.

(Dance Research Journal, 2016)

Alexandra Kolb

In this article, Alexandra Kolb investigates the three versions of Mary Wigman's Hexentanz (Witch Dance) in the context of the different political regimes in which they were performed, showing how Wigman's dances present a kaleidoscope of different treatments of the witch motif, encompassing the life reform movement, an intercultural fusion with oriental performance traditions, and a strand of paganism that also influenced National Socialism.

‘So you see, the story was not quite as you were told’: Maleficent, Dance, Disney, and Cynicism as the Choreo-philosophical Critique of Neoliberal Precarity (Dance Research, 2017)

Helena Hammond

Looking beyond dance's unwitting complicity in the neoliberal contracting of the body, in this paper - taking Maleficent (2014), the Angelina Jolie popular cinema radical retelling as a case study - Helena Hammond focuses on dance as an emergent critical aesthetics that calls attention to the incorporation of the geopolitical by the post-statist neoliberal project.


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