peer-led practice-as-research 2016

This is a message from Jenny Moy and Paul Hughes:

Dear all,

We hope your experience of following this blog for the past few months has been anything like as useful and interesting as participating in the DPaR class was for us. Although Simon Ellis has now left Roehampton, Dance Practice-as-Research will be continuing as a peer-led class next term with participants from last terms module, other Roehampton students and also people from outside the university. Class meetings will be Mondays 3.30-5.30 in Michaelis Studio from January 11th – March 21st but we also see the new DPaR blog as a way to fully participate in the module & warmly invite you either just to follow the new blog or  request to become an author so that you can also post. You’d also be very welcome to join the face-to-face meetings if you’re free at that time.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

All the best,Jenny Moy and Paul Hughes

for Jenny re tomorrow (Friday)

Title – Presentation as a Silent Dawn Walk: Friday 11th December
There will be two chances to join
dawn (7.15am) outside Michaelis Studio &
2 hrs after dawn (9.15am) outside Michaelis Studio – please come in together at 9.15
You can choose your own path – but if you want to be adventurous: wear sensible footwear & clothes you don’t mind getting dirty
Official explorations end at 9.35, but some may wish to stay non-verbal a while longer. Make your own way back to Michaelis by 10.50 for Orley’s presentation
Refreshments will be provided
Look forward to sharing this research with you

mattering and repeating myself

I understand a key aspect of any research process to be able to (eventually) respond to the question:

How does this research matter?

This is really about understanding how your practice-as-research might be framed – or indeed what frames it creates – and what the implications for those framings are. These frames might be practice as process, philosophical, gender, race (or any socio-political perspective), performance studies, performative, etc. I should add that frames aren’t necessarily discursive (but of course they might be).

What frame is most appropriate? This question depends on how you understand the nature of the practice (what is at its heart?). This is why iterations of the question, “What am I really doing?” are so important. Or perhaps, at this stage, “What have I really been doing?”.

I think there is a tendency in practice-as-research (although I’m not sure if more than in other research approaches) to not adequately address this question of why the work is important. I don’t mean important in some grand way, but rather how you understand your work to be contributing to the circulation of ideas, practices, and thinking that underpin artistic and/or scholarly work.

Yes,  I think I’m repeating myself here. It’s early.


some brain pickings from Butler

Ideally, we lose ourselves in what we read, only to return to ourselves, transformed and part of a more expansive world — in short, we become more critical and more capacious in our thinking and our acting.


An active and sensate democracy requires that we learn how to read well, not just texts but images and sounds, to translate across languages, across media, ways of performing, listening, acting, making art and theory.

And finally:

We have to continue to shake off what we sometimes think we know in order to lend our imaginations to vibrant and sometimes agonistic spectrums of experience.


This is from Carol Brown (and I’d recommend the Dempster writing she is responding to as well):

As both a subject who moves and a subject who writes, spoken and written language have mobilized my presence as an academic scholar. This normative practice is perpetuated in my current status as academic supervisor for a number of Masters and PhD students who are required both to perform their research and write about this performance as theoretically rationalized research outcomes. Like Dempster, I recognize that despite the ‘corporeal turn’ of much recent academic discourse, dance studies as a field has produced disciplined bodies persistently subjected to the commands of writing (see Lepecki 2006).


The twenty-first century presents us with a huge task: to understand the inherited knowledge and embodied practices of previous eras, but not to be so constrained by these that we cannot imagine different futures and ways of moving and creating. An evolving world demands continuously adaptable forms of creativity. it also demands recognition of the redundancy of those discourses that inhibit our ability to bring about a better future. As a choreographic researcher, I experiment and experience, I feel the angles and rhythms at the interfaces of performing bodies and performatively constructed worlds.

Link to Carol’s writing:

performance-presentation schedule

All welcome, all free.

Monday 7 December 2015

  • Paul Hughes, screen in Michaelis foyer: 9am to 3pm (ish)
  • Jana Prager, La.008 9:00 to 9:20
  • Dorit Schwartz, Lulham 09:30 to 09:50
  • Stephanie Pena, Mi.131 10:00 to 10:20
  • Courtney Stein, Mi.131 10:30 to 10:50

Friday 11 December 2015

  • Raphan Kebe, screen in Michaelis foyer: all day
  • Jenny Moy Mi.131 9:15 to 9:35
  • Orley Quick, Mi.131 9:50 to 10:10
  • Sam Pardes, Mi.131 10:10 to 10:30
  • Danielle Jones, Mi.131 10:50 to 11:10
  • Charlotte Ewart, Mi.131 11:20 to 11:40
  • Mariel Melendez: Mi.131 13:00 to 13:20
  • bonus presentation: 13:30 to 13:50

other than scholarly values

At present research focuses on the scholarly virtues: accuracy of reference and care in drawing conclusions. These are valuable because they counteract our normal sloppy thinking. However, there are many more qualities of thinking: grace, charisma, intimacy, spontaneity, wit, depth, simplicity, grandeur, warmth, openness, drama, intensity and generosity. These vital and passionate qualities are linked to the power of ideas, the ways in which ideas get inside our lives and come to matter in everyday existence.

– John Armstrong