Dear [email protected] participants and contributors,

The committee would like to thank you all that moved from somewhere around UK and came to Guildford to share a day of research, knowledge and experience. It was great to have each one of you that opened the door and invited the audience into your research!

We would also like to thank all the staff from the School of Arts – Department of Dance, Film and Theatre that helped us to produce this event. Huge thanks to the staff from the Ivy Performance Arts Centre that assisted us in all the tech and space we used during the day.

We welcome any review of the activities of the day! If you want to make a review, please send the post to [email protected]

 

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[email protected]  Postgraduate Symposium 25th May 2012

UPDATES

As we move towards the day of the Symposium, the space, the time and the people  are also moving… So we have revised the schedule to fit in all these movements accordingly.

Click here to see the revised SCHEDULE (PDF)

Click her to see the revised list of ABSTRACTS from our delegates. (PDF)

Any queries, doubts or any information you would like to share with us, please get
in touch through the email: [email protected]

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These are the abstracts of the delegates that will be presenting in [email protected] 2012.

For information on - Tickets and Transport to the University of Surrey, please see posts below with links!

 

[email protected]: A Postgraduate Symposium

25 May 2012

School of Arts, University of Surrey

ABSTRACTS of  Presentations (click to view PDF)

 

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The provisional schedule of [email protected] 2012 that will happen on the 25th of May can be accessed through the link on the bottom of this post.

We will soon be posting more information about the activities.

For information on how to get to the campus of the University of Surrey, please access:

How to get to Surrey

Here is a map of the Campus:

[email protected] 2012 will happen in the NC and IAC buildings in the far left on the map.

Information about tickets for the Symposium please access:

Tickets [email protected]

For any other information please reach the Symposium committee through the email: [email protected]

trans.formatwork 2012 provisional schedule

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Discourses on the body have multiplied over the past 20 years in what has been labeled as a corporeal turn. Post-post-modern conceptual discourses in performing arts have repositioned periodicity (modern/ post-modern/ post-colonial/ post-structuralism). Considering that historical, cultural and political contexts have been informing corporeal practices we come forth to ask: could dance operate as a critical discourse? And what is the hegemony of periods in art? With these questions in mind, this symposium aims to both explore and enrich the interplay between body, culture and image.

[email protected] is the second biannual symposium organized by the School of Arts at University of Surrey. Having as keynote speaker Professor Ramsay Burt (Department of Performance and Digital Arts, De Mountfort University, UK), this student-led symposium aims to encourage scholarly dialogue and to foster networks across institutions. In addition to staging their own research the presenters will have a chance to participate in round-table discussion and skill-research workshops.

For more information, please contact us at [email protected]

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Since I heard that two influential German artists in the twentieth century, choreographer Pina Bausch and film maker Wim Wenders would create a film Pina by harnessing new digital technologies, I had waited impatiently for the day to release the film. It was not only because, since the huge success of James Cameron’s Avator (2009), I had had a passionate interest in ways how to employ 3D technologies in dance works, but also because Bausch was a choreographer who had rarely employed digital media in her works, as far as I knew.

Unfortunately, just a few months before the film went into production, Bausch died of cancer. Wenders then almost abandoned the film since the film was initially aimed to project Bausch’s ways of seeing the world through her choreographies, so he thought that there was nothing he could do without her. However, he changed his mind to start on the film as he realised that the film means much to her company Wuppertal Tanztheatre and Bausch’s family in terms of expressing her presence in personal lives of her dancers as well as her artistic influence on them.

The film focuses on her dancers each of whom speaks about Bausch in voiceover and then shows their solo or group movement sequences within a range of Bausch’s works.  Café Müller, Rite Of Spring, Kontakthof and Full moon are filmed on the proscenium stage, but many of the performances are shot in outdoor locations including the suspended monorail in Wuppertal, a crossroad, a plant site, a cliff, a knoll, a riverside and so on. For example, a woman wearing pointe shoes performs in the front of the factory or a woman moves like a robot on the monorail where a man with fake long ears is seated. It was a shame that the film does not inform the titles of her choreographic works or even the names of the dancers, so I was not able to know which of Bausch’s works the dancers’ short movement clips are extracted from.

To talk about this film, I certainly should deal with a significant issue that the film brings up in the dance field, which is the 3D effect on dance performance. It was told that before Bausch died, Wenders decided to use 3D technologies for the film in agreement with Bausch. Getting inspiration from Catherine Owens’ and Mark Pellington’s 2007 concert documentary U2 3D, Wenders assured himself that 3D images could be more adequate than 2D images to convey the inner expression and dynamics of the human bodies in Bausch’s choreographies, only if the 3D is not used as a gimmick. From my point of view, in Pina the 3D works effectively to a certain extent. The judicious use of the 3D provides the film with the depth of stage performance and makes viewers to feel overwhelming physicality. Nevertheless, I doubt whether 3D is fully capable to capture high speed motions since the edges of furious and energetic motions become dull in some scenes.

Furthermore, Pina leads me to raise some questions. Although Pina shows that 3D images can augment physicality in recorded representations, I do not think the 3D recorded version can substitute for the liveness of the original. It thus would be necessary to carefully consider what kind of liveness 3D technologies could produce, which would be distinct from that of live stage performance. I look forward to seeing how choreographers employ 3D technologies in more diverse and experimental ways.

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London to New York: two movies, a bit of sleep and one article read.
New York to Philadelphia: trying to figure out how to post in the blog, reviewing the paper for the presentation and thinking how nervous I will be tomorrow.

I landed yesterday in New York, and now I am in the train to Philadelphia. I was invited to present my paper at the annual Congress On Research in Dance (CORD) Conference, that this year is going to be held in Philadelphia, 17th to 20th of November 2011. My paper titled “Dancing Nationhood in Spain” address the problems of gender and national construction in contemporary Spain through a close reading of a contemporary dance piece, Bésame el Cactus, by Catalan choreographer Sol Pico.

Like Woody Allen when discovering the murder in Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993), just before a conference, I enter in a state of excitement where I feel “I have adrenaline coming out of my ears”. I love academic conferences. And maybe, this is the paradoxical feeling of excitement and nervousness that drives me crazy until the end of my presentation.

The opportunity to meet renowned scholars and socialize with other researchers is a great chance to check the actual status quo of the profession. However, at the end of the conference, safely back home I normally need five days of forced repose to restore the normal function of my brain, after such research presentations overdose.

Now, while getting ready for my talk, I leave you with the Mission Statement of CORD: “(CORD) promotes a globally inclusive respectful dialogue around embodied and discursive approaches to dance research. Building on the rich legacy of dance scholarship, CORD advances innovative and creative understandings of dance. Through mentorship, advocacy, and outreach, CORD fosters an international community of current and future dance leaders.”

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It seems like digital storytelling is taking over the world – or at least my world. Last time I wrote for this blog, this past June, I had just come back from a day’s conference in Aberystwyth, discussing the promises and the challenges of California-style digital storytelling as it spreads around the globe.

Now I’m just back from Newcastle and a day at the Culture Shock! conference, discussing the outcomes of a large outreach project in the north east of England, using digital storytelling in the world of museums and archives. I got to hear from Peter Wright and Rachel Clarke of Newcastle University’s Culture Lab, who kindly hosted me for a couple of days, and to take part in a story circle workshop by Barrie Stephenson of digistories.

What about results? Well, the keynote at the June conference was by a digital storytelling evangelist in Singapore. She has created a fledgling company whose purpose is to bring together people from different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. I’ve just heard that her project – young and small though it is – was endorsed a couple of weeks ago by none other than the prime minister of Singapore during his National Day Rally speech. Now she and her team are knee-deep in stories, trying (successfully, I hear) to keep up with their success.

The Culture Shock! project might be over, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear a similar story from any of the participating organisations I heard from last week.

And maybe it will all rub off on my thesis…

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In the end of June the Postgraduate students and staff from the DFT department were invited to share a collaboration experience guided by the Map Consortium crew. The workshop was part of the Research Skills through Collaboration project of the department and supported by the University of Surrey. Curated by the Dance Lecture Jennifer Jackson, since 2009 the series has been providing different opportunities for the current postgraduate scholars and practitioners in performance from the University of Surrey to explore interdisciplinary collaborative skills and develop creative and innovative approaches to research. The second edition of “Point: Counterpoint”  was a day of experiments aiming to investigate the creative dialogue between movement, sound and film.

The group of collaborators was composed of dance, film and music staff and students including external guests. Inside the brand new Ivy Performing Arts Centre the hands-in workshop was divided into morning and afternoon sessions. It started off with an introduction to the work leaving each participant with the curious thoughts of what was really going to happen. We were invited to understand and explore different approaches into collaborative composition of interdisciplinary art pieces.

Going through the exercises proposed by the facilitators, it was interesting to notice the way in which the gaze and imagination of each one transformed the view and imagination of the other in a constant feedback process. Together we realized how each person can change and influence on what the other is thinking and doing and how collaboration can change the pathways of the work and can reach unexpected results.

Different than most (and usual) collaborations in which one person has an idea and selects other disciplinary experts to join in with their know-how, all activities proposed in the workshop involved the beginning of a new idea by each team. Although this approach is seldom explored it provides the collaborative partners an enhanced fertile ground on which to work on.

The afternoon was set for a single exercise where we were to create a collaborative performance from the scratch. There was no fixed style to be followed. The only requirement was that the whole group should be involved in all stages of the process.  We worked together with enthusiasm till the performance time. In the end of the day we were able to discuss the process and results of each work presented.

Although my current PhD research does not involve collaboration, this workshop was extremely important to enlighten creative approaches into my own thinking. Regardless that it was only a small taste of the numberless possibilities of collaboration, it was interesting to learn (and live through) that many times we anticipate and struggle to know everything that is going to happen from the start of a process. However this can kill opportunities, creative methods and possible outcomes. On this workshop we were given a chance to ease our anxiety and let ourselves take the risk and discover the beauty and richness of the unknown, something that we tend to instantly rush through in our daily research lives.

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