Dance and Academia – Moving the Boundaries is an Oxford-based interdisciplinary project set up and run by Miranda Laurence. Wanting to bring together the rich resources of academia and of dance present in Oxford, Miranda organised a seminar series, (Re)Moving the Boundaries in 2008, and in 2009 a day-long conference, Moving the Boundaries – The Body. Both these were programmed in the Dancin’ Oxford Festival 08/09 respectively.


During this year three seminars were held focusing on specific aspects of dance, one of which linked into a week-long project which explored the relationship between dance improvisation and drawing. The other two seminars were Contemporary Interpretations of the Classical, and the other entitled Movement, Touch, Emotion with talks from two visual artists who work with movement and touch. Interest in all of the events has been high, with attendance averaging between 15 and 25, ranging from academics based at universities, to professional dance practitioners, and other professionals with an interest in dance. The latest events have seen increased interest from beyond Oxford, particularly through linking with existing dance academics and research projects such as Watching Dance.


Dance in Body, Dance in Mind was the programme delivered as part of Dancin’ Oxford 2011 and included three evening seminars and a day-long conference, addressing a range of themes, including a concentration on dance and disability. The seminars and conference presented a mixture of ‘traditional’ conference papers and more practical workshops, and for the first time speakers were recruited through a call for papers. There were responses from across the spectrum of academia and practice, coming from across the UK and internationally.


As part of the Dancin’ Oxford 2012 festival, Dance and Academia presented a one-day symposium on 24th March 2012 entitled Space to Dance – Exploring Movement, Site and Surroundings.  This event brought together dance practitioners, academics and professionals from different fields to gain an insight into movement in, through and around space. The day included a practical workshop as well as papers, time for discussion and a unique opportunity for participants to explore the spaces around them both physically and mentally.


This year’s Dance and Academia conference will take place at the Old Fire Station on Saturday 9th March as part of Dancin’ Oxford 2013 and its theme is Dance, Identity and the Body.  The day will include some practical activity and a range of talks to inspire debate and discussion, and welcome attendees with or without a specialism in dance or an academic subject.


Once again Dance and Academia will be running a fascinating and thought provoking event alongside the Dancin’ Oxford Festival.  Dance Discourse brings together dance practitioners and academics in discussion and practical investigation of meaning in text and movement Sunday afternoon 2nd March in Merton College Oxford.  More information and how to book here.

For further information about Dance and Academia and future events:

You can find all previous Oxford Dance Writer postings about Dance and Academia plus related events and writings by clicking on the category Dance and Academia.

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