Screendance Circle

Activity: Public engagement and outreachPublic speaking engagements


The Screendance Circle is the further iteration of an international project to create a spoken word/first person account of aspects of the contemporary form of screendance. It is an opportunity to capture informal conversations between artists and researchers whose contributions have been instrumental in shaping the field. The Screendance Circle @LCDS forms part of a week of special guests to LCDS at the invitation of Dr Katrina McPherson, Course Leader of the MA Screendance. 

One of four MA courses offered at London Contemporary Dance School, the MA Screendance is 12-month full time course and the only one of its kind in the world. It offers the opportunity for students to develop a dance film practice, working in a community of learners, and supported by a core team of specialist lecturers and visiting artists.
Screendance is an interdisciplinary practice that merges dance, performance, film and video, music and visual art to make unique work for the screen. The creative engagement between dance and the moving image goes back to the beginning of cinema. It’s only in the past few decades that screendance has emerged as a flourishing global artform.

MA Screendance Course Leader, Dr Katrina McPherson says: “We are delighted to be hosting The Screendance Circle at London Contemporary Dance School. It’s happening as part of a week of special guest artists and lecturers to the MA Screendance course. The Screendance Circle includes some of the people whose published writing, films and curatorial activities have, over the past few decades, contributed to the evolution of the expanding artform of screendance. The event comes at an exciting moment in the development of the postgraduate and research programme at The Place and though this and other planned events and symposia, LCDS MA students have a unique opportunity to access world leading artists, scholars and researchers.”

Participants in the Screendance Circle @LCDS are:
• Dr Erin Brannigan: writer, researcher and Associate Professor in Theatre and Performance at the University of New South Wales, Australia. Erin’s publications include Dancefilm: Choreography and the Moving Image (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), Choreography, Visual Art and Experimental Composition 1950s -1970s (London: Routledge, 2022) and The Persistence of Dance: Choreography and Contemporary Art 1990s-2020s (NYP, 2023).
• Dr Simon Ellis: Associate Professor at the Centre for Dance Research, Coventry University, Simon works with practices of choreography, filmmaking and dance. His recent work includes Children of the Soil (2022), Dance after lockdown: living with paradox (2023), Lithium Dancing (in plain sight) (2022), and Force Majeure (2022). 
• Cara Hagen: mover, maker, writer, curator, champion of just communities. Cara is the author of Screendance from Film to Festival (McFarland, 2022) and is on the faculty of the New School, New York, USA.
• Dr Katrina McPherson: director, screendance artist, writer and educator, and the author of Making Video Dance - a step-by-step guide to creating dance for the screen (Routledge, 2006 & 2019).  Katrina was recently awarded a PhD by published works from Edinburgh Napier University and has been Course Leader of the MA Screendance since September 2022.
• Douglas Rosenberg: artist and scholar and Professor at University of Madison-Wisconsin, USA. Doug is the author of Screendance, Inscribing the Ephemeral Image (OUP, 2012), editor of the Oxford book of Screendance Studies (OUP; 2016) and was a founding editor of the International Journal of Screendance.
• Dr Heike Salzer: Senior Lecturer at the School of Arts and Digital Industries, University of Roehampton, Heike is a dance artist fluidly operating in performance, choreography and site specific screendance. Heike’s publications include Wandering with a camera: site-specific scores for the making of somatic landscape screendance In: The Routledge Companion to Site-Specific Performance [forthcoming], Latent Spaces (WECreate Productions, 2018-2023) and ‘Being a videographer!’ In: The International Journal of Screendance (2015)
• Gitta Wigro: freelance dance film programmer and curator who has worked with a wide range of international festivals, institutions and projects. Gitta is core lecturer at the MA Screendance at London Contemporary Dance School, and in that role facilitates the student-led dance film festival Frame Rush.

The Screendance Circle @LCDS begins at 1.15pm with an informal free buffet lunch in The Place Theatre Foyer, where participants and guests can meet and mingle. This is followed by the 90-minute Screendance Circle conversation by invited participants, with students, faculty and visitors as audience. The discussion will then widen out to include all present, with the event finishing by 17.30pm.

While the Screendance Circle conversations are only minimally moderated, the prompts for this version are:
• What was your earliest understanding of screendance as an art form?
• How did you encounter this work, i.e., on television, streaming, at a festival, etc.?
• What do you imagine and/or desire for the field moving forward?

The first Screendance Circle took place at the Screendance Symposium in April 2022 at University Wisconsin-Madison, USA, initiated by Professor Douglas Rosenberg. The goal of this project is to build an open-source repository for oral histories, documentation and media- based histories of the field of screendance. This archive is hosted as an open-source research portal at the University of Wisconsin-Madison:

Estimated audience numbers (if applicable)

Period27 Jun 2023
Event titleThe Screendance Circle : 3. The MA Screendance at London Contemporary Dance School hosts The Screendance Circle
Event typeOther
LocationLondon, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Screendance, oral history,