Dance and Academia: Moving the Boundaries is an Oxford-based project which aims to facilitate dialogue between practitioners and academics in any field who have an interest in any aspect of dance or movement. It aims to be a genuinely interdisciplinary platform where intersections between research and practice in dance can be explored.  To chime with this year’s Dancin’ Oxford Festival, Dance and Academia presents Dance Discourse in Merton College in the heart of Oxford University.

How do we approach meaning in text and movement?  Miranda Laurence has convened an interactive afternoon of exploration in movement and thought, where all attendees will be invited to join the discussion, and where the content of the day may take its own course. To guide participants through this process, three guest facilitators will open up conversations, using starting points from text, poetry, and movement tasks to generate debate, pose questions, and provide some tools for our explorations:

Hamish MacPherson is a choreographer and performer who works with movement, words and pictures to make performances, interventions and workshops. He is currently exploring how choreography can be used to reflect, discuss and act on politics. He will facilitate his ‘Open House’ movement score which is a short speech and movement task for a group of people. It uses verbatim text from the national parliament, making a game of the metaphors of political debates.

Alan Beattie is an academic attached to the University of Lancaster in the English and Creative Writing Department. His area of research includes cognitive linguistics and literary studies and dance as a key conceptual metaphor. Before academia, he trained as a professional dancer. He will share his current research ‘Moving Minds’ which brings a choreographic imagination to bear on the study of poetry, in particular looking at ‘survivors’ poetry, poems written about or out of their distress by people who have experienced mental health issues.

Lizzy Le Quesne is a dance artist, and has been making interdisciplinary performance for over 20 years. She is also a qualified Skinner Releasing Practitioner. Lizzy will lead some Skinner related movement tasks with us, alone and in pairs, which use the body and voice as their starting point to explore meaning and potential of embodied being.

All are welcome: come ready to contribute, with body and with words.

Convenor: Miranda Laurence

Project assistant: Rachel Gildea

In partnership with Dancin’ Oxford 2014

Sunday 2 March 2014, 2.30pm-6.30pm

Mure Room, Merton College, Merton Street, Oxford OX1 4JD

TICKETS: £8, available from or 01865 305 305.