Past Events – Bath Spa University

Our events and performances explore and challenge the dialogue around the body, dance, and creative practice.

Below are a sample of the past events and performances supported by the Creative Corporealities Research Group, some in conjunction with the Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries and the Research Centre for Environmental Humanities.

'Just Dust in the Universe'

Wednesday 21 April 2021

  • A live streamed event with Fe Le supported by Bath Spa Productions

We will screen Fu Le’s recent single take screendance ‘MASS’ that won first prize at the Buenos Aires Videodanza BA festival in 2019 and discuss his experience of shooting this single-take film with 40 dancers. Reflecting on a time he spent living in China and Taiwan, Fu Le commented how being among so many thousands and thousands of people made him feel like ‘just dust in the universe’. The film’s complex interaction between the camera and the large group of dancers reflects issues concerning city life, migration, and gatherings of people in a global context.

Fu LE is an award-winning French filmmaker and choreographer in the Tetrapode dance company. Graduating in sculpture at the Art Crafts National School in Paris, he then trained in physical theatre and in contemporary dance in South America and Europe. His recent research in Taiwan, questions social issues linked with urbanization. He is now evolving on the edge between dance, sculpture and video, and connects visual arts to the intimacy of bodily sensations.

A group of dancers performing in a dilapidated warehouse

Dialogue Series: Tipping Point 2 - Global Collaborations

Thursday 18 March 2021

Dr Alex Boyd (UK) and Dr Andrea Garcia-Maciel (UK/BR) directors of Intercultural Roots will reflect on their collaborative arts activist and mental wellbeing projects ‘Constellations’ & ‘Ripples’ (2020). ‘Ripples’ was undertaken in collaboration with indigenous performing artists across the globe focusing on spiritual, collaborative and eco-oriented practices of embodiment.

Chaired by Thomas Kampe and Mary Steadman.

Funded by the Research Centre for Environmental Humanities, with thanks to Professor Kate Rigby

About the speakers

Dr Andrea Maciel is a dance performer, scholar, therapist and teacher. Her academic/artistic work investigates the physical resonanceDr Andrea Maciel performing. of social urban landscapes through dance, performance and installations. She has taught movement techniques for actors to BA and Master Courses in Universities in Brazil, New York – US and United Kingdom. She has extensive experience in Laban Bartenieff technique and has been teaching somatic approaches to CPD courses as well as utilizing those techniques in her clinic therapy practice. She holds a PhD in Performing Arts at Federal University – Brazi with a Visiting Scholarship at New York University and has 20 years of practice on physical theatre training and somatic-healing approaches for dancers, actors and bodywork practitioners. Andrea is a core member of Cross-Pollination Platform of Theatre where she develops a collaborative embody research practice and Art Director for Intercultural Roots. Her passion to connect art, healing and public spaces performances coalesced the perfectly through her work Intercultural Roots program for Arts for Health and Social Change. 

Dr Alex Boyd (Cert Ed, PG Dip, PhD, FRSA) has a passion for developing collaborations based on equity, integrity and mutual benefit. He is the conceiver and cofounder of the Embodied Research Working Group at the IFTR from which he co-founded and is currently the Executive Director of Intercultural Roots. Alex is a practitioner-scholar who graduated from the University of California at Davis PhD programme with a focus on Performance Studies and Critical Education. His dissertation entitled ‘The Sustainability of Traditional Knowledge Systems’ draws on what is now 3 decades of professional work in practising, teaching and applying Chinese Taoist embodied culture to benefit communities in the UK, Europe and North America. Alex is a Research Associate with the University of California at Davis. His research explores how performers can cultivate and express their chi (qi) energy and has already benefited many dancers, musicians, athletes and even CEO’s. In his consultancy work he has supported many people and community groups, helping them to establish and resource grassroot charities (not-for-profits) and social enterprises. Alex and his wife Wendy are parents and live in Ilkley, Yorkshire. Alex enjoys playing guitar and walking up on Ilkley Moor and in the Yorkshire Dales.

About the Tipping Point Series

The two panel discussions bring together dance and theatre artists, educators and facilitators working with movement in trans-disciplinary and trans-cultural ways, with a focus on regenerative somatics, ecology, and embodied collective wellbeing.

There is a growing trend within dance and somatic practices to reclaim their potential for being culturally transformative. How do we construct embodied practices of self-care as radical and critical tools for social integration, community building or ecological regeneration in a rapidly changing world? 'Can somatic practices and dance offer new modes of thinking, perceiving and being-with, necessary for an embodied planetary citizenship and stewardship? How can the organismic introspection and heightened perceptual awareness, fostered through diverse somatic approaches, support the development of an eco-consciousness within education, therapy and the arts? How can we articulate eco-somatic practices and ethics as acts of care, resistance, reconnection and regeneration? How can somatically informed arts practices offer timely communal forms of expression, immersion and activism in a world facing ecological catastrophe?  How does such catastrophe influence, disturb, radicalise and politicise our practices? ' (JDSP Vol 13.2 Call for contributions).

Dialogue Series: Tipping Point 1 - Eco-Somatics as practice and activism

Wednesday 3 March 2021

About the Tipping Point Series

The two panel discussions bring together dance and theatre artists, educators and facilitators working with movement in trans-disciplinary and trans-cultural ways, with a focus on regenerative somatics, ecology, and embodied collective wellbeing.

There is a growing trend within dance and somatic practices to reclaim their potential for being culturally transformative. How do we construct embodied practices of self-care as radical and critical tools for social integration, community building or ecological regeneration in a rapidly changing world? 'Can somatic practices and dance offer new modes of thinking, perceiving and being-with, necessary for an embodied planetary citizenship and stewardship? How can the organismic introspection and heightened perceptual awareness, fostered through diverse somatic approaches, support the development of an eco-consciousness within education, therapy and the arts? How can we articulate eco-somatic practices and ethics as acts of care, resistance, reconnection and regeneration? How can somatically informed arts practices offer timely communal forms of expression, immersion and activism in a world facing ecological catastrophe?  How does such catastrophe influence, disturb, radicalise and politicise our practices? ' (JDSP Vol 13.2 Call for contributions).

Tipping Point 1: Eco-Somatics as practice and activism - watch the recording

In this panel discussion eco-somatic dance activists Jamie McHugh (US) and Katia Münker (D) are discussing their practices and, together with Professor Thomas Kampe, will reflect on their editing of the latest volume of the Journal for Dance and Somatic Practices (13.2) on ‘Somatics and Eco- Consciousness’. They will be joined by dance activist Tiago Gambogi (BR/UK) who will talk about his eco-activist performance work in Brasil and the UK.

Chaired by Thomas Kampe and Mary Steadman.

Funded by the Research Centre for Environmental Humanities, with thanks to Professor Kate Rigby 

About the speakers

Katja Münker (Berlin/D) - Dancer/Choreographer/Researcher/Feldenkrais Practitioner

Trained as physiotherapist, studies of contemporary dance, (contact-) improvisation and instant composition. Long-term experience in several somatic practices, professionally trained in Feldenkrais Method and Somatic Yoga. Artistic works and research with the focus on the connection between somatic and choreographic practices as well as on walking and environmental relatedness. Regular national (i.a. Tanzfabrik Berlin, FU Berlin, UdK Berlin, HZT Berlin) and international teaching, lecturing and contributing work for congresses, publications, co-curation of Take Us for a Walk-Symposium (2014) and BODY IQ Festival (2015-2017). Collaborations i.a. with AREAL_artistic research lab Berlin and director of Environmental Somatics Training and co-director of main trainings at Somatic Academy Berlin.

Jamie McHugh, MA, RSMT - Interdisciplinary artist, somatic movement specialist and the creator of Somatic Expression®

Body Wisdom for Modern Times. His somatic-expressive practices for re-wilding the body, decolonizing the mind and restoring the spirit have been developed through intensive study over time with Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, Emilie Conrad, Anna Halprin, Thich Nhat Hanh and the wild places of the planet, and through working with diverse groups of people internationally for over 40 years. Jamie continues to study and research the mystery of the body as an element of nature and as an expression of our humanity.

Tiago Gambogi (UK / Brazil) - Performer, dancer, actor, choreographer and director

Tiago is an award-winning Brazilian / British performer, dancer, actor, choreographer and director who has been working in contemporary dance, theatre, site-specific environmental performance, clowning, artivism and pole dance internationally for more than 20 years. Tiago co-directs the dance-theatre group f.a.b. - Detonators and worked with many artists, including Nigel Charnock, Earthfall, Ben Duke, Angela de Castro, Grupo Oficcina Multimédia and The Institute for Crazy Dancing. He created 25 works, 11 films, directed 10 shows, performed in 15 countries and is a workshop facilitator. 

Person covered in mud by the river Thames in London.

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

25 November 2020

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.

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

‘RE: Moving Whiteness – decolonising the field?’

29 October 2020

Watch the recording

Event details

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.

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 Stone. Initially 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

Dialogue Series: world leading dancer scholar/choreographer Rosemary Lee and Bath Spa Senior Lecturer in Dance Dr Chris Lewis Smith

20 May 2020

Our Dialogue Series continued with a shared presentation by world leading dancer scholar/choreographer Rosemary Lee (UK) and Bath Spa University Senior Lecturer in Dance Dr Chris Lewis Smith

Rosemary Lee - Portrait/Landscape

Rosemary has been making work outdoors in a variety of sites throughout her career. She will present film extracts and stills whilst sharing the challenges involved in creating work for urban green spaces and distant shorelines. Rosemary will consider how the work might affect both the performers' and audiences' relationship to the environment around them, and how the somatic work she facilitates during the process of making the work is influenced by the landscape. Choreographer and filmmaker Rosemary Lee works in a variety of contexts and media, including large-scale site-specific works with cross-generational casts, and video installations. Her interest is in both portrait and landscape, and in our relationship with the environment, urban and rural.

An Artsadmin Artist, Work Place artist, Senior Research Fellow -C-DaRE.

Passage for Par by Rosemary Lee,  commissioned by CAST for Groundwork, Par Sands Beach, Cornwall 2018. Photo credit: Graham Gaunt

Passage for Par by Rosemary Lee, commissioned by CAST for Groundwork, Par Sands Beach, Cornwall 2018.

Photo credit: Graham Gaunt

Chris Lewis Smith - Landscape/Chance

Chris is currently Course Director for Postgraduate Dance at Bath Spa University and is an award winning screendance maker. “I am interested in the language and design of movement, the language and design of landscape, and the relationships between them. In urban environments I’m interested in design by considering architecture, by the less considered chance relationships between structures, and the aesthetics of decay. In rural landscapes, I’m especially drawn to design by agriculture”.

Through examples of his own practice, Chris will discuss how site becomes an active partner in his practice, and how factors like weather, changing seasons, and chance encounters shape the process of his filmmaking.

Rosalind Crisp - DIRtywork

13 November 2019

A performance lecture about DIRt (Dance In Regional disaster zones), a collaborative Australian project that asks how dance might embody, understand and connect to the extinction crisis in Australia. DIRt is an ongoing research project led by dancer/choreographer Rosalind Crisp, with artists and ecologists in the devastated forests of East Gippsland, South Eastern Australia. Collaborators include Vic McEwan, Andrew Morrish and Peter Fraser.

How does my choreographic practice of responding to how things are constantly changing in my body create the conditions for a bodily-choreographic responsiveness to these damaged places? Rosalind Crisp is a senior Australian dance artist. In 2015 France awarded her a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres.

Body IQ Festival - Somatische Akademie Berlin

15 - 17 November 2019

Organisers: Kai Ehrhardt and Thomas Kampe

BODY IQ is an international symposium and festival that celebrates ourselves as living, pulsating bodies. Without the body there is no experience and without experience there is no ground for intelligence. It is a festival of and by the conscious body - ensuring discovery, exchange and unexpected synergies.

Clare Qualmann - Perambulator

5 June 2019

Walking artist Clare Qualmann in conversation with Richard White, discussed her project Perambulator - an ongoing walking artwork with prams and pushchairs that explores interruptions and encumbrances, and the renegotiations of space and time and matter.

Nita Little - Researching Relational Intelligence

22 May 2019

Nita Little presented her research: ‘Researching Relational Intelligence’, which asked the question - is there another “human” we can embody?

Mary Steadman also presented ‘Dwelling’, which considered how the past and future can be haunted by spectral presence. She quesionted the implications this has for performance and some of the findings that have emerged so far which focus on the performer's body as site for haunting.

Laila Diallo and Michelle Elliot - Choreographing in Troubled Times: The Politics of Negotiation

8 May 2019

Dance maker Laïla Diallo, while in conversation with Michelle Elliott, discussed the role of the choreographer in the current climate of political and cultural turmoil.

Exploring ideas around identity, nationality, agency and negotiation, the discussion explored Laïla’s current choreographic practice within the context of the wider political discourse. In what ways can dance as a creative force be able to instigate social and political change beyond the boundaries of the discipline? And can choreographic practices offer a vision of negotiation that provides a way forward in these troubled times?

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