Creative Corporealities

This interdisciplinary research group explores the body as a source of creative material and notions of embodiment in cultural contexts

Creative Corporealities is an interdisciplinary research group that responds to a contemporary revision in notions of humanity, felt both viscerally and intellectually, for which the predominant answer is embodiment and creativity.

Who we are

We are practitioners and academics working across a wide range of disciplines, based at Bath Spa University, with research themes accommodated under the banner of the Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries. Creative Corporealities concerns itself with embodiment as a source of creative practice, with its own causalities and politics. We develop and observe disciplinary practices that engage and affect a body that is generative of creative processes. 

We are also on the steering group for the Research Centre for the Environmental Humanities, representing performance and arts research. 

Events

There will be a series of presentations by members of the Creative Corporealites research group and outside guest speakers. These will take place in October/Novemmer 2020. These are supported by Bath Spa University Quality Research funding.

Unless otherwise stated, our events are free and open to staff, students and members of the public. Our public lectures are likely to be of broadest interest, while research seminars are intended primarily for staff and postgraduate students

For further information about our events, please contact group co-convenors Mary Steadman and Thomas Kampe.

Events and performances

Below are a series of presentations by members of the Creative Corporealites research group and outside guest speakers, supported by Bath Spa's Quality Research funding. Please also see our Past Events page for an archive of these performances.

Unless otherwise stated, our events are free and open to staff, students and members of the public. Our public lectures are likely to be of broadest interest, while research seminars are intended primarily for staff and postgraduate students.

‘RE: Moving Whiteness – decolonising the field?’

Thursday 29 Ocotber 2020, 6-8pm. Online event: bookings via Eventbrite.

Panel discussion with Dr Funmi Adewole (De Montfort University), Dr Kene Igweonu (Middlesex University, Jasmine Stewart (London), Dr Omar Yousaf (Bath Spa University) and Professor Thomas Kampe (CCRG Bath Spa University).

This CCRG panel discussion responds to current critique on the dominant whiteness in the Performing Arts professional and academic sectors. The aim of event is to open up a space for conversation, understanding and inspiration in relation to decolonising our field, curricula and institution. The event welcomes the recent open letter to UK Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies ‘WHITE COLLEAGUE LISTEN!’ which raises urgent questions re discrimination and marginalisation of black and global majority colleagues and students in the field as a springboard for discussion and urgent action.

Dr Kene Igweonu is Deputy Dean (Research and Knowledge Exchange) for the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries at Middlesex University. He is a leading scholar of international theatre and somatic practices. He retains an on-going interest in actor and performance training, directing, Black British theatre, theatre and performance in Africa and its Diaspora, as well as issues of identity in performance and performance theory. Dr Igweonu’s research and practice interests also extend to the Feldenkrais Method in health and performance practices. He is the president of the AFRICAN THEATRE ASSOCIATION (AFTA).

Dr Funmi Adewole is a dance practitioner with a background in African dance drama, improvised dance and movement research. She is a Senior Lecturer in Dance at De Montfort University, Leicester. Her research interests include dance and cultural citizenship and the practice of dance of Africa and the Diaspora in professional contexts. She was awarded the 2019 Dance of the African Diaspora Lifetime Achievement Award by One Dance UK, the national body representing the dance sector. 

Dr Omar Yousaf is a Senior Lecturer in Applied Social Psychology at Bath Spa Univerisity and member of CCRG. He is an experimental social psychologist, Indian classical musician, and hip-hop dance teacher and choreographer. Currently, his research is in social and personality psychology, the psychology of music, mindfulness, religion, creativity, and emotional intelligence. 

Jasmine Stewart is a Sheffield-born actor of Jamaican heritage. She is an established actor in national stage and TV contexts with leading roles in Line of Duty and Emmerdale.

Professor Thomas Kampe works in the Bath School for Music and Performing Arts of Bath Spa University and co-directs CCRG with colleague Mary Steadman. German born, he lives in North London and worked for over 25 years in Holocaust reconciliation arts contexts. Between 2002 and 2012, he coordinated the dance programme at London Metropolitan University with a focus on inclusive, accessible and culturally diverse practices. His research interest is in the field of Critical Somatics.

Embodying the Dead: Writing, Playing, Performing. Gary Winters and Claire Hind

25 November, 6-8pm. Online event: bookings via Eventbrite. 

 
When we die our bodies return to the earth. When you see me landing on the road kill what goes through your mind, do you suffer sickness? Do you choose to go back to the earth wearing a love heart on your necklace? I am still for a moment, you have time to take a snap shot - would you consider me dead or alive? Where do ideas come from? They come from within the rotting flesh of a dead black cat. The fly.

Gary Winters and Claire Hind offer a performance talk of trash readings relating to their latest book Embodying the Dead, featuring the troubadour of darkness and the voice of a fly. We will discuss the practice of intermedial performance that reflects upon, remembers, personifies, and re-imagines the dead.

Gary and Claire’s work also considers how artistic mediumship allows for different art forms speak to one another under the captivating spell of play. 

They explore the qualities of deadness found in:

  • Writing of Texts for Live Art
  • Durational Performance
  • Dramaturgy of walking 
  • Stop Motion Animation
  • Neon installation
  • Virtual walks during the times of Covid-19

Gary Winters has over 20 years’ experience of creating and presenting cross-artform projects nationally and internationally. Predominantly working in live art and public engagement he is Co-Artistic Director of the celebrated company Lone Twin.

Claire Hind is an Associate Professor in Theatre and Performance at York St John University where she runs the MA in Theatre and Performance. Claire’s collaborative practice with the artist Gary Winters under the name ‘Gary and Claire’ offers a range of diverse performance and audience experiences. 

garyandclaire.com

About the Book

Where do we find the dead? Do the dead appear in our dreams? What is it like to play dead?

This book is an exciting exploration of the relationship between death and play in performance. Exploring a range of artists and creative disciplines that remember, personify and re-imagine the dead, it playfully unpacks the psychoanalytic concepts of the Death Drive, Desire and the Uncanny as a way of thinking about performance. Embodying the Dead  draws on work of Gary Winters and Claire Hind and the various qualities of deadness found in their projects. The authors' work includes live art, theatre, installation, Super 8mm film, walking arts practice and durational performance. This book includes scripts and scores of their performances, original creative texts, interviews with internationally renowned artists and a series of practice-led research tasks to support readers creating their own imaginative performance work.

Reviews:

Embodying the Dead is unique in its deep reflection on the performance practice of the writers. The tasks for artists are innovative and well-written and the distinctive character of the book is its overall readability, humour and informal tone. – Anna Fenemore, University of Leeds, UK

This original and engaging piece of work explores the role of death and the dead in Gary and Claire’s performance work in an illuminating approach that interweaves critically informed reflections on psychoanalytical concepts with play theory. – Karoline Gritzner, University of Graz, AustriaA woman with a blue painted face and a man with balloons taped to his face

 

One Lost Stone

5 July 2020

Professor Thomas Kampe is continuing to collaborate with professional partners Pascal Theatre Company, directing the Heritage Arts project One Lost StoneInitially developed as a guided tour around the Novo Cemetery in Mile End London, the project has now been revisioned and redesigned as an interactive website including videoworks and photo material designed by Kampe, verbatim, archive and scholarly material, as well as readings by actors and sound compositions by composer Ronen Kozokaro, to create a living history presentation on Sephardi Jewish Heritage in England.  

It has been reviewed as 'a magnificent multi-layered, deeply researched, and imaginatively presented piece of work' by the Society of Theatre Research, and is featured in their latest NEWS section on their website.

Collage of a human face

Projects

Our researchers are engaged in projects that have been funded by organisations such as the Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

One Lost Stone

Thomas Kampe (director)
£84k Heritage Lottery Arts funding
September 2019

One Lost Stone is a site responsive performance piece researching the hidden legacy of Sephardic Jews in London, and was performed at Novo Cemetery in London. This formed part of the project Discovering and Documenting England’s Lost Jews, a production in collaboration with the Pascal Theatre company, which looked to use performative and embodied means to investigate hidden and reluctant British histories.

IFF Research Journal - 'Practices of Freedom - The Feldenkrais Method and Creativity'

Edited by Thomas Kampe, in collaboration with Ciff Smyth, Sara Reed, Robert Sholl, and Libby Worth

Volume six offers a critical forum for scholarship, articulation and evaluation of creative practices and pedagogies which are informed by the Feldenkrais Method.

The Feldenkrais Research Journal focuses on research into the Feldenkrais Method® and related fields of practice, thought, research, action, and awareness. This peer reviewed Journal seeks to engage in a dialogue about research within the Feldenkrais professional field and beyond.

The Imagining Body in Performer Training: The Legacy of Jacques Lecoq and Gaston Bachelard

Bath Spa's Ellie Nixon is currently writing a monograph titled The Imagining Body in Performer Training: The Legacy of Jacques Lecoq and Gaston Bachelard as part of the Perspectives on Performer Training Book Series, to be published by Routledge in 2019.

displaced/displayed: re-enacting dances of migration

Artistic direction: Thomas Kampe
Editorial direction: Manuela Jara
Choreographic direction and research: Carol Brown
Sound: Russell Scoones
Video artist: Meek Zuiderwyk
Video assistant: Freddie Errazo
The New Zealand Dance Company: Carl Tolentino, Lucy Lynch, Chris Ofanoa, Katie Rudd

This performance was featured as part of a major exhibition at the Theatre Museum Vienna in March 2019.

Displaced/displayed re-activates the legacy of Viennese choreographer Gertrud Bodenwieser (Vienna 1890 – Sydney 1959) and her dancers within a context of global transmission of dance knowledge through crisis, diaspora and exile. This installation coincides with the 80th anniversary of Bodenwieser’s exile from Europe and celebrates the possibility of a nearly lost avant-garde to remain.

It builds on artistic research undertaken by Kampe and Brown between 2014 and 2017 (‘Releasing the Archive’, Auckland, Berlin, Hannover, Bath, Tel Aviv and Vienna) in collaboration with The New Zealand Dance Company and international scholars. The installation draws on video footage of choreographic work developed through the re-enacting of archival material of ex-Bodenwieser dancers Shona Dunlop-McTavish, Hillary Napier and Hilde Holger. The installation explores practices of displacement, doubling and fragmenting of recorded material to echo and honour the labour of lost modernist dancers and dances of exile.

With thanks to Shona Dunlop-MacTavish, Shona McCullagh, Barbara Cuckson, Laure Guilbert, Neil Glen, Anthony Head, Kirsten Seeligmüller. The project was supported through Bath Spa University and University of Auckland.

The Last Hurrah

The Last Hurrah (and The Long Haul) is a collaborative practice-based research project between Rew Lowe and Matt Law responding to questions of ecological urgency through performance practice : ‘How might we communicate the issue of climate change in such a way as to at once engage people whilst also moving them to some form of positive action or behavioural change?’

Dwelling: Performance Installation

DWELLING, run by Bath Spa's Mary Steadman, is part of an investigation into Hauntology and intermedial performance. This work will involve a short research presentation followed by a performance installation.
 
As part of this project, Mary filmed over a three day period at Poltimore House, a derelict mansion in Devon. The performance installation was constructed by filming improvised movement theatre scores in the rooms of the house. These have been edited into five short films, each one exploring the story of each of the rooms.
 
Inspired by ruins, this project investigates how spectral histories insist and disjoint time, creating a type of  spectral logic in the performance whereby the present is ghosted by layers of individual and cultural pasts. These stories are fragmented and repeat without end, producing unfinished narratives that are continually reworked.
 
For more information, visit Mary's website or the event page for Arnos Vale Cemetery.
 

Contributions to Law, Philosophy and Ecology: Exploring Re-Embodiments, 1st Edition

Sian Sullivan, Professor of Environment and Culture
Co-editor with Ruth Thomas-Pellicer and Vito De Lucia

Contributions to Law, Philosophy and Ecology: Exploring Re-Embodiments is a preliminary contribution to the establishment of re-embodiments as a theoretical strand within legal and ecological theory, and philosophy. Re-embodiments are all those contemporary practices and processes that exceed the epistemic horizon of modernity. As such, they offer a plurality of alternative modes of theory and practice that seek to counteract the ecocidal tendencies of the Anthropocene. The collection comprises eleven contributions approaching re-embodiments from a multiplicity of fields, including legal theory, eco-philosophy, eco-feminism and anthropology. 

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