Department of Dance

Visiting address
011 Michaelis, Froebel

Biography

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.

Qualifications

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 the Society for Dance Research

Member of the Congress on Research in Dance

Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists

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

Teaching

Philosophy of dance, especially analytic philosophical aesthetics

Dance analysis

Dance history

Links

Research outputs

  1. Dance works, concepts and historiography

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  2. Re-enactment, dance identity and historical fictions

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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