Dance and Academia‘s fascinating seminar series programmed by Miranda Laurence continues this week with its third session presented by Professor Nicky Clayton and Clive Wilkins (Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge):

What is dance without an audience? An investigation beyond language and the complexity of our social interaction to explore wordless thoughts~ to include demonstrations of tango and magic.

i. Does an audience have to be real?
ii. Is dance without an audience merely ritual, resulting in an altered state, and if so, what kind?
iii. Is dance without an audience simply the confirmation of a heartbeat?
iv. Is the introspection of an intimate partner dance audience free, and if so, what is being explored?
v. Is dance without an audience the opportunity to invent and explore realities that exist outside of the compass of shared experience?

Date:  Tuesday 6th February, 6-8.15pm

Venue:  Heritage Learning Centre, Town Hall, St Aldate’s, Oxford OX1 1BX

Tickets: £5 cash on the door per seminar (£1 off for any repeat attenders). Please email miranda.c.laurence@gmail.com to reserve your place.

The seminar series concludes with a Culmination Conference  during the Dancin’ Oxford Festival.  A whole day provides opportunities  for exploring responses around questions of dance and audience. Themes will include dance in ritual and worship contexts; the role of the dance critic; a workshop on the Visual Matrix Method of accessing audience response; investigations into performer-audience connections across Bharatanatyam dance, site-specific work and other disciplines.

Date:  Saturday 3rd March, 10.30am-4.30pm

Venue:  Harold Lee Room, Pembroke College, St Aldate’s, Oxford OX1 1DW

Tickets:  £20 – please book here
Includes lunch and refreshments

For further information visit www.mirandalaurence.co.uk

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Dance and Academia: Moving the Boundaries, convened by Miranda Laurence, returns this academic year with a thought-provoking series of three seminars exploring the provocative question “What is Dance without an Audience?“. For academics in all disciplines, dance artists and movement practitioners, and anyone else who wants to exchange thinking about dance!

Tuesday 3rd October 6.00-8.15pm: Chloe Metcalfe (Roehampton University)

When non-dancers dance: considerations of audience and performer in contemporary British community-dance events.

Social dance blurs the distinction between audience and performer. Nowhere is this more true than in community barn dances, usually held by non-performance based organisations across England. This evening will feature a brief talk about the concept of performer within this context, drawing upon PhD research of such dances in Buckinghamshire. This will be followed by a fun, practical workshop where the concepts of audience and performer are engaged with.

Tuesday 5th December 6.00-8.15pm: Susie Crow and Maggie Watson (Roehampton University and Oxford dance practitioners)

Looking in and looking out: ballet performance from the perspective of the viewer and the doer

Presentations and discussion which focus on the audience-performer relationship in ballet, seen from different perspectives but both raising questions about the identity of the work.  Maggie Watson uses the example of the first performances of Marius Petipa’s La Bayadère by the Royal Ballet in 1963 to reflect on how the historical and cultural context surrounding performance may colour audience perceptions of a work and understanding of its significance.  Susie Crow draws on her own experience as a ballet dancer and choreographer to reflect on the contribution of space, place and different publics to shaping the work in performance, and in consequence to the development of ballet as a form in itself.

Tuesday 6th February 2018, 6.00-8.15pm: Nicky Clayton and Clive Wilkins (Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge)

What is dance without an audience? An investigation beyond language and the complexity of our social interaction to explore wordless thoughts~ to include demonstrations of tango and magic.

  1. Does an audience have to be real?
  2. Is dance without an audience merely ritual, resulting in an altered state, and ifso, what kind?
  3. Is dance without an audience simply the confirmation of a heartbeat?
  4. Is the introspection of an intimate partner dance audience free, and if so, whatis being explored?
  5. Is dance without an audience the opportunity to invent and explore realitiesthat exist outside of the compass of shared experience?

Dates:  Tuesdays 3 October, 5 December 2017, 6 February 2018 6.00-8.15pm

Venue:  Heritage Learning Centre, Town Hall, St Aldate’s, Oxford OX1 1BX

Tickets:  £5 cash on the door per seminar (£1 off for any repeat attenders).

Please email miranda.c.laurence@gmail.com to reserve your place.

Presented as part of Dancin’ Oxford 2018 www.dancinoxford.co.uk

The concentrated format of recent editions of Dancin’ Oxford has made it seem more like a festival, generating excitement through a swift succession of varied events and usually one night stands; however with that comes the difficulty of invidious choices, what to see and attend, and regrets at performances missed.  Particularly an issue for dance where much regular activity is squeezed into the evenings and weekends rather than the normal working day, and dance lovers and practitioners must therefore choose between doing and viewing.  Cheering to report that despite this a couple of shows by popular local performers managed to sell out, making me for one less guilty about not having been able to support them from the audience.  I chose to focus on the interaction of science and dance, a dominant theme of this year’s festival, with plenty of opportunities for questions and discussion. (more…)

How can dancers and scientists collaborate, and why would they? Can dance inspire new scientific research, and can science give meaning to new choreography?  This year’s conference programmed by DANCE & ACADEMIA: Moving the Boundaries in partnership with Dancin’ Oxford 2015 and Oxfordshire Science Festival presents Science and Dance – Finding Commonalities, to be held at The Jam Factory on Sunday 8th March.  This lively and interactive day brings together as facilitators and presenters a distinguished groiup of artists and academics, and will give movement practitioners, academics, scientists and anyone interested in any aspect of movement or dance an opportunity to stretch their mental and physical muscles, exploring shared and diverging understandings of science and dance and how these might fit together.

Facilitators on the day include:

Subathra Subramaniam is a choreographer, dancer and educator. She is the artistic director of Sadhana Dance. Suba’s choreography navigates the confluence of arts and science drawing from her belief that dance can play a part in the public understanding and engagement with scientific concepts. Her work combines contemporary choreography and Bharata Natyam, an ancient South Indian dance form.

Bronwyn Tarr recently completed her doctoral thesis at University of Oxford, Social and Evolutionary Neuroscience Research Group, in which she managed to formally integrate her interests in social behaviour and dance. She advocates the use of dance as an ecologically and culturally valid platform for scientific research into topics of motor-coordination, music psychology, social agency and even autism therapies.

The Captured Thought is a collaboration between Nicky Clayton, Professor of Comparative Cognition and also Scientist in Residence at Rambert, and Clive Wilkins, Artist in Residence, both based in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge. The opportunity for an artist to collaborate uniquely with a scientist arose out of a chance encounter on one of life’s dancefloors. A tango dance floor in fact…

Also joining the panel will be Morten Kringelbach, Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow, Department of Psychiatry, and Kirsten Shepherd-Barr, Associate Professor of Modern Drama, both of the University of Oxford.

Conference date:  Sunday 8th March, 10.30am-4.30pm with Panel Discussion 5.00-6.00pm

Venue:  The Jam Factory, 27 Park End Street, Oxford OX1 1HU

Tickets: £18, £15 concessions (includes lunch); Panel Discussion only: £5

Book online via Tickets Oxford here or call the Playhouse Box Office on 01865 305305

All welcome.

Find out more about Dancin’ Oxford 2015 here