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  • LA117, Lawrence Building, Froebel College


Research output per year

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Personal profile


My research focus is philosophy of dance, drawing particularly on analytic philosophical aesthetics. I teach on a variety of BA and MA modules with a philosophical element, and supervise PhD students. I have published articles and given papers at both dance and philosophy conferences on a range of topics, including the epistemology of practice-as-research, the mind-body problem, phenomenology and dance, the problem of 'lost' dance works and practices of re-enactment. I am currently completing a book (to be published by Oxford University Press) on the ontology of dance works. This explores - historically and philosophically - what dance works are, what can happen to them and how artists and audiences interact with them. 

I joined University of Roehampton in 2003, after five years teaching at what is now called Trinity-Laban, where I also completed my PhD. My thesis explored the impact of public funding on contemporary dance in Britain and France, examining how the political and economic environment shapes choreographic approaches and spectator response. The thesis also included an extended philosophical discussion of method and methodological issues in dance studies generally, and it was here that my interest in philosophy of dance began to take root. Prior to this, I trained in contemporary dance at the Centre National de Danse Contemporaine in Angers, France, and studied English and French at Balliol College, Oxford. I have sustained my interested in languages, and am a qualified translator from French to English.


MA (Oxon), PhD, DipTransCIoL

Research interests

Current research interests centre on the ontology of dances and choreographic works. I am interested in the historical development of the dance work concept, and in how an undertanding of that development affects metaphysical enquiry. My monograph project has piqued my curiosity about, Western theatre dance history and its conceptual basis. I also have a developing pre-occupation with those recent contemporary dance practices sometimes referred to as "conceptual choreography". I am interested in how far they challenge definitions of dance and the ontology of dance works I try to expound in my forthcoming monograph. In the past, I have published on the mind/body problem in relation to dance; phenomenology of dance; and the epistemology of dance practice as research (or artistic research, as it is sometimes known). I retain an interest in the issues and dance practices explored in my PhD, namely British and French contemporary dance of the 1980s and early 1990s, dance politics and funding, and contemporary dance spectatorship.

Professional affiliations

Member of the British Society of Aesthetics (and on the programme committee for the annual meetings in 2016 and 2017)

Member of the American Society for Aesthetics (and co-chair of the Pacific Division in 2014 and 2015; member of award committee, Selma Jeanne Cohen prize in Dance Aesthetics in 2016)

Member of the Society for Dance Research

Member of the Dance Studies Association

Member of the AHRC Peer Review College

Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists

Formerly Associate Editor and founding editorial board member for Research in Dance Education


Philosophy of dance, especially analytic philosophical aesthetics

Dance analysis

Dance history


Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output

Choreography Invisible: The Disappearing Work of Dance

Pakes, A., 19 May 2020, Oxford University Press. NY, USA. (Oxford Studies in Dance Theory)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Performance in Anglo-American Philosophy

Davies, D. & Pakes, A., 9 Jul 2020, The Routledge Companion to Performance Philosophy. Cull O Maoilearca, L. & Lagaay, A. (eds.). London: Routledge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Can there be Conceptual Dance?

Pakes, A., 25 Nov 2019, In : Midwest Studies in Philosophy. p. 195-212

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dance and Philosophy

Pakes, A., 21 Mar 2019, The Bloomsbury Companion to Dance Studies. Dodds, S. (ed.). London: Bloomsbury, p. 327-356

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Open Access
32 Downloads (Pure)

Atomos EChOs and the Process-ing of Dances

Jordan, S. & Pakes, A., 2018, Performing Process: Sharing Dance and Choreographic Practice. Blades, H. & Meehan, E. (eds.). Bristol: Intellect, p. 21-47 27 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Selma Jeanne Cohen Prize in Dance Aesthetics

Pakes, Anna (Recipient), 13 Oct 2018

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism (Journal)

Anna Pakes (Peer reviewer), & Theodore Gracyck (Editor)

8 Jan 2020

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

På Spissen / Dance Articulated (Journal)

Anna Pakes (Peer reviewer), & Leena Rouhiainen (Editor)

19 Dec 2019

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

Journal of the American Philosophical Asssociation (Journal)

Anna Pakes (Peer reviewer)

26 Feb 2019

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

National Science Centre, Poland - grant proposal review

Anna Pakes (Organiser)

22 Nov 2019

Activity: Public engagement and outreachMembership of peer review panel or committee

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft - Grant proposal review

Anna Pakes (Reviewer)

31 Jul 2019

Activity: Public engagement and outreachMembership of peer review panel or committee


Dance, Empowerment and Spirituality. An ethnography of Movement Medicine.

Author: Kieft, E., 2013

Supervisor: Grau, A. (Supervisor) & Pakes, A. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Experiencing emotional import in twenty-first century Euro-American contemporary theatre dance

Author: Piquero Álvarez, L., 18 Jun 2019

Supervisor: Pakes, A. (Supervisor) & Tomic-Vajagic, T. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Making Sense of Dance-Making: Interaction and Organisation in Contemporary Choreographic Processes

Author: Tahko, T., 29 Nov 2016

Supervisor: Pakes, A. (Director of Studies) & David, A. R. (Co-Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Modernising Contemporary Dance and Greece in the mid-1990s: Three case studies from SineQuaNon, Oktana Dancetheatre and Edafos Company

Author: Tsintziloni, S., 17 Jan 2013

Supervisor: Jordan, S. (Supervisor) & Pakes, A. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis