“A grade is an inadequate report of an inaccurate judgement by a biased and variable judge of the extent to which a student has attained an undefined level of mastery of an unknown proportion of an indefinite material.” (Dressel, 1983)

Practice as Research in Dance

Moving Forwards: Practice as Research in Dance

University of Northampton, Avenue Gallery
Wednesday 23rd Feb, 1.00pm-5.30pm

Moving Forwards offers the opportunity to investigate current agendas in PaR across Dance Practices. The event will include presentations and debate by the following leaders in the field: Prof Sarah Whatley (University of Coventry), Dr Sita Popat (University of Leeds), Dr. Simon Ellis (University of Roehampton), Dr. Vida Midgelow (University of Northampton) and Dr. Jane Bacon (University of Northampton).

There will also time for open discussion in which we seek to address some of the ongoing and emerging issues such as:

  • what are the particular issues facing and being experienced by Practice led Dance researchers?
  • how might PaR be further articulated / disseminated?
  • how can ‘non’-performance focused or improvised practices etc be developed and supported in PaR frameworks?
  • what methodologies are emerging for PaR in dance?
  • what are the particular concerns raised by different modes of doctoral study related to Dance practice? (PhDs by practice / publication / and Dprofs etc)

The Choreographic Lab at University of Northampton has played a central role in the debates around PaR in Dance and is a hub of excellence for practice led researchers in dance. Currently we are supporting the work of more than 20 Practice-led PhD students in dance and related fields. This event coincides with Sensualities, a joint exhibition by Jane M Bacon and Vida L Midgelow at Avenue Gallery (UoN) and launches the new Choreographic Practices Journal (due out late Jan 2011)

This event is free and light refreshments will be provided. Places are limited, to reserve of place please contact

Venue: The University of Northampton, Avenue Gallery, Avenue Campus, St George’s Avenue, Northampton, NN2 6JD

Outside AiR

Call for volunteer participants for a workshop and performance project: Mehmet Sander’s Uncomfort Zone

In his renowned ‘Manifesto on Dance’, Mehmet Sander writes that ‘creating dance on an emotional basis is self-indulgent, since humans are already emotional.’ As part of Outside AiR, Sander invites applications to participate in a five-day workshop followed by a live public performance. Uncomfort Zone will explore the key aspects of his manifesto and his practice: dance will be a premise to refuse comfort, emotion and music, in favour of collision, maximum velocity and gravity as enhancements of — rather than inhibitions to — performance. Using his vast experience as an iconic performer and choreographer of high-impact dance, Sander will lead tasks that challenge the participants physically, mentally, and intellectually, culminating in a new performance in the Great Hall, People’s Palace at Queen Mary, University of London in March 2011.

The workshop is open to participants with all fitness levels, ability and experience. No training in dance is required. 

Documentation of Sander’s previous work: 

To apply, send a short statement of interest and biographical information to Dominic Johnson at: before the deadline of  5pm Wed 23rd February  2011

Mehmet Sander was born in Germany in 1967. He started dancing with Geyvan Mcmillen in Istanbul in 1984. Sander continued his dance education at the London Contemporary Dance School, California State University (Long Beach), Harvard University and American Dance Festival. Sander founded the Mehmet Sander Dance Company in 1990. In the United States, Sander and his company have performed in Highways (Santa Monica), Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), Los Angeles Festival (1993), Japan-American Theater and Alaska Performing Arts Center (Anchorage) and elsewhere. The company has participated in numerous events and festivals such as the Holland Dance Festival, New Moves (Scotland), ICA’s National Look at Live Arts (UK), Klapstuk Festival (Belgium), Munich Dance Festival (Germany), Szene Festival Salzburg (Austria), Belluard Bolwerk International Festival (Sweden), Transform Copenhagen (Denmark), Istanbul Music Festival (Turkey) and Festival International de Danza (Brazil). Sander′s Inner Space was presented by the Joffrey Ballet, one of the most important American dance companies to date, at prestigious venues such as the Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian Institution. The Joffrey Ballet will present this piece again for its 50th year anniversary.

For more information about the AiR Project visit

He is not here


Image from showing of “He is not here” at Roehampton University on 10 Jan 2011.
Choreography: Bagryana Popov
Performance: Simon Ellis

Bagryana and I are currently in Sofia where the work will première tomorrow (Monday 24 January 2011). It has been more than 3 years since we started this project – some very early materials (shot in Macedonia) are here: – and it seems to be such a rare thing to go into a performance with such a refined embodied understanding of the materials and their conception.


“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled,
public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be
tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be
curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work
instead of living on public assistance.”

Cicero 55 BC