Dance at Bedford has an international reputation in research in the area of dance and technology. CARD supports and promotes excellence in research in e-dance and knowledge transfer between the academic and professional domains within the subject.

Recent Submissions

  • e-Dance: relocating choreographic practice as a new modality for performance and documentation

    Bailey, Helen; Buckingham-Shum, Simon; Popat, Sita; Turner, Martin; University of Bedfordshire; Open University; University of Leeds; University of Manchester (Open University, 2008)
    This paper identifies new practices and possibilities at the intersection of Dance and e-Science. It is particularly concerned with the complexity of the concept of ‘location’ in relation to internet enabled performance practices. Julia Glesner provides a useful analysis of spatio-temporal relationships in internet performance: “telematic and distributed performances dissolve the spatial (but not the temporal) unity between performers and spectators and distribute the scenic space into diverse remote sites. This paper considers the ways in which the e-Dance project is formulating a new mode of choreographic practice that engages with this dislocation in the co-dependent interrelationship of space and time. This new modality is distinct from existing on-line compositional practices such as ‘hyperchoreography’ and ‘hyperdance’ and as a result of recent advances in Access Grid and Hypermedia Discourse technologies, is also distinct in form and process from ‘distributed choreography' and other telematic choreographic practices. The research for this paper has emerged from the first sixmonth’s findings of e-Dance, a two-year interdisciplinary practice-led project bringing together practitioner/academics from the fields of Dance and e-Science, in a unique collaboration across three UK Research Councils.
  • Ecologies of choreography: three portraits of practice

    Ashley, Tamara (Intellect, 2012-12-06)
    How are dance artists dealing with ideas about environmental change in their everyday practice? How are discourses of environmental change contributing to the development of new ways of thinking about choreographic practice and the role of the dance artist in contemporary society? By sharing portraits of practice of three ecologically concerned dance artists, Eeva-Maria Mutka, Tim Rubidge and Nala Walla, this article offers some insight into what might constitute ecological choreographic practices.
  • Chorographic Morphologies: digital visualistaion of spatio-temporal structure in dance and the implications for performance and documentation

    Bailey, Helen; Hewison, James; Turner, Martin; University of Bedfordshire; Manchester University (British Computer Society, 2008)
    This paper discusses the role and function of visualisation within practice-led research in dance. In particular it focuses on the Choreographic Morphologies Project (2007). This practice-led research project explored the use of digital visualisation as an integral component within live performance; as a mode of performance documentation and as a visual score for further re-iterative, creative/research engagement.
  • Technological cognitive embodiment and the digital ‘other’

    Douse, Louise Emma; University of Bedfordshire (2015)
    This paper extends on Don Ihde’s theories of human/ technology relations in order to clarify the affective interactive experience of self with ‘other’ as mediated by technology. It offers a new conceptualization of world, technology and other within digital performance research. The paper argues that technologies such as motion capture can be utilised in the storing and representing of embodied cognitive skills as in dance improvisation, in which knowledge in the body is articulated through motor skill. This ability to store and manipulate enables interaction with the world, and thus with an ‘other’ via a digital double.
  • The creative dancer

    Farrer, Rachel; University of Bedfordshire (Routledge, 2013-05-07)
    This article explores the creative role of contemporary dancers within the choreographic process, and introduces the question of why their creative contribution is often overlooked? It highlights how different modes of creativity can be understood, and what impacts different choreographic processes have on the way dancers understand their creative input. By analysing such processes, the article aims to address issues relating to the role dancers play in creating new dance work; the relationship that might be found between approaches to choreography and ways dancers perceive their creativity. Three professional dance companies based in the UK are used as case studies to explore these ideas, each working on different projects. The dancer’s experiences are explored and examined to offer a new framework for analysing their practice that focuses on the realities of their creative role.
  • LandMark: dance as a site of intertwining

    Carr, Jane (Intellect, 2014-06-01)
    In the performance installation, LandMark (2011), dancers Deborah Saxon and Henry Montes and the visual artist Bruce Sharp explore both the facticity of human experience and the frailty of connections between people and between them and the world that they inhabit.1 I suggest that their work may also be understood to probe the complexities of the interrelationships between consciousness-world and self-other that are the focus of Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s text, ‘The intertwining-the chiasm’. His analysis of intercorporeality is particularly relevant to understanding the significance of the dancers’ somatic investigations that inform their artistic practices. Further, by drawing on developments upon Merleau-Ponty’s work in ecological aesthetics and social philosophy, I explore how the artists’ creative practices may be understood to foster intercorporeal negotiations of significance. This is suggested to be of increasing importance within an intracultural context in which people have a complex variety of cultural experiences even while sharing in a national identity.
  • The relationship between passion and the psychological well-being of professional dancers.

    Padham, Melissa; Aujla, Imogen; New York University; University of Bedfordshire (Michael Ryan Publishing, 2014-03)
    The Dualistic Model of Passion defines passion as an intense desire or enthusiasm for a self-defining activity that people love, consider important, and devote significant amounts of time and energy to. The model proposes two distinct types of passion, harmonious (HP) and obsessive (OP). HP occurs when the activity is autonomously internalized into the individual's life and identity, while OP is a result of a controlled internalization of the activity. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and type of passion professional dancers have for dance in relation to their psychological well-being, specifically eating attitudes, self-esteem, and perfectionism. Participants were 92 professional dancers, aged 19 to 35 years (M = 27.03, SD = 3.84), and mostly from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Results revealed that HP positively predicted self-esteem (SE), while OP positively predicted self-evaluative perfectionism (SEP), conscientious perfectionism (CP), and disordered eating attitudes (EAT-26). Additionally, SEP was found to mediate the relationship between OP and EAT-26, suggesting that OP may lead to SEP, which could in turn motivate disordered eating. Overall, the results of this study have supported and extended previous research suggesting that the two types of passion can have divergent effects on aspects of psychological well-being. Findings indicate that HP should be encouraged and OP discouraged among dancers, for example, via autonomy supportive behaviors of teachers.
  • Multidisciplinary predictors of adherence to contemporary dance training: findings from the UK Centres for Advanced Training

    Aujla, Imogen; Nordin-Bates, Sanna M.; Redding, Emma; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor & Francis, 2015-01-02)
    Little is known about the predictors of adherence in a dance context. The aim of this study was to investigate adherence to a dance talent programme using a multidisciplinary set of variables representing psychological correlates of adherence, maturation and physical factors relating to dance talent. Psychological (passion, motivational climate perceptions, eating attitudes), physical competence (vertical jump height, handgrip strength, hamstring flexibility, external hip rotation, aerobic fitness), and maturation-related (age of menarche) variables were gathered from female students enrolled on a dance talent programme. Participation behaviour (adherence/dropout) was collected from the talent programme's records approximately two years later. Logistic regression analysis of 287 participants revealed that greater levels of harmonious passion predicted greater likelihood of adherence to the programme, and greater ego-involving motivational climate perceptions predicted less likelihood of adherence. Neither measures of physical competence nor maturation distinguished adhering from dropout participants. Overall, the results of this study indicate that psychological factors are more important than physical competence and maturation in the participation behaviour of young talented dancers.
  • A longitudinal examination of the relationship between perfectionism and motivational climate in dance

    Nordin-Bates, Sanna M.; Hill, Andrew P.; Cumming, Jennifer; Aujla, Imogen; Redding, Emma (Human Kinetics, 2014-08-01)
    The present study examined the relationship between dance-related perfectionism and perceptions of motivational climate in dance over time. In doing so, three possibilities were tested: (a) perfectionism affects perceptions of the motivational climate, (b) perceptions of the motivational climate affect perfectionism, and (c) the relationship is reciprocal. Two hundred seventy-one young dancers (M = 14.21 years old, SD = 1.96) from UK Centres for Advanced Training completed questionnaires twice, approximately 6 months apart. Cross-lagged analysis indicated that perfectionistic concerns led to increased perceptions of an ego-involving climate and decreased perceptions of a task-involving climate over time. In addition, perceptions of a task-involving climate led to increased perfectionistic strivings over time. The findings suggest that perfectionistic concerns may color perceptions of training/performing environments so that mistakes are deemed unacceptable and only superior performance is valued. They also suggest that perceptions of a task-involving climate in training/performing environments may encourage striving for excellence and perfection without promoting excessive concerns regarding their attainment.
  • Developing talent among young dancers: findings from the UK Centres for Advanced Training

    Aujla, Imogen; Nordin-Bates, Sanna M.; Redding, Emma; Jobbins, Veronica (Taylor & Francis, 2014-04-28)
    The identification and development of talent is a key concern for many dance educators, yet little research has been conducted in the area. In order to understand better how to optimise dance talent development among young people, systematic and rigorous research is needed. This paper summarises and discusses the key findings of a ground-breaking longitudinal interdisciplinary research project into dance talent development. Over two years, almost 800 young dancers enrolled at one of the eight nationwide Centres for Advanced Training (CATs) participated in the project. Physical factors, psychological characteristics, and injury data were collected quantitatively while the students' thoughts and perspectives on commitment, creativity and cultural variables were captured using qualitative methods. The largest study of its kind, the project yielded a wide range of findings with a number of practical implications. The main focus of this paper is on how the project findings apply to important pedagogic topics such as audition criteria, passion and commitment, and teaching behaviour. The area of talent identification and development is complex, yet this research has begun to shed new light on the notion of talent and has provided novel insights to support its development.
  • The identification and development of young talented dancers with disabilities

    Aujla, Imogen; Redding, Emma (Taylor & Francis, 2014)
    There is a general recognition of the lack of progression routes for dancers with disabilities. Alongside this, there is a lack of understanding of how best to identify and develop talent among young disabled dancers. The current study sought to address this gap in the literature by investigating criteria that might be appropriately applied when auditioning young disabled dancers and then exploring important practical considerations for training and talent development. To this end, 18 expert dance practitioners working in the integrated dance sector were interviewed about their audition and training methods; this data was supported through the gathering of existing talent criteria which is used to assess young disabled dancers and observations of four specialist dance groups’ technique class. Content analysis revealed that movement quality (rather than specific technical skills), creative potential, passion and a strong work ethic are the most important and appropriate criteria with which to identify talent among young disabled dancers. In terms of training, knowing the dancer and his or her support needs before training commences appears crucial, as does adopting an open, flexible approach to teaching. High standards should consistently be set, while pacing and adaptation are key practical considerations. The results of this study offer practical recommendations to educators working in integrated and/or talent settings with young disabled dancers.
  • A qualitative investigation of commitment to dance: findings from the UK Centres for Advanced Training

    Aujla, Imogen; Nordin-Bates, Sanna M.; Redding, Emma (Taylor & Francis, 2013-08-13)
    Commitment to an activity forms an essential part of the talent development process, yet little is known about the reasons why young people commit to dance training. The aim of this study was to investigate the factors that affect young dancers’ commitment to a selective dance talent scheme. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 19 committed dancers and transcripts were content analysed. Enjoyment was the most important factor relating to commitment, and stemmed from several sources such as self-expression, movement sensations and feelings associated with performing. Relationships with dance peers and teachers, parental support and the opportunities available on the scheme also enhanced commitment. While some potential barriers to participation were identified, such as concerns about injury, these seemed insufficient to affect the participants’ commitment. The results of the study may help educators to develop young dancers’ talents optimally by enhancing their commitment to training.
  • Injuries among talented young dancers: findings from the UK Centres for Advanced Training

    Steinberg, N.; Aujla, Imogen; Zeev, A.; Redding, Emma; Zinman College of Physical Education and Sport Sciences; University of Bedfordshire; Trinity Laban Conservatoires of Music and Dance (Thieme Publishing, 2013-07-30)
    The aim of the present study was to characterize the injuries of young dancers attending Centres for Advanced Training. 806 dancers, ages 10-18 years responded to surveys regarding their biological profile, dance experience and injury history, and were examined for their anthropometric profile. Of the 806 dancers, 347 reported an injury. Based on 4 age groups, the total hours of practice per week increased significantly with increasing age. Incidence of injuries per 1000 h of dance practice for dancers ages 11-12 were found to be significantly higher compared to the incidence for dancers ages 13-18 (p<0.05). Foot and ankle and other lower extremities were the most common injury location, and muscle injuries were the most common type of injury. Total months in CAT training (OR=1.044, 95% CI=1.014-1.075) and hours per week in creative style practice (OR=1.282, 95% CI=1.068-1.539) were found to be significantly associated with injuries. In conclusion, both young and mature dancers are exposed to extensive risk of injury. The intensity of training (such as number of months and number of hours of training per week) is important factor that should be taken into account in order to decrease future injuries among young dancers.
  • Traces of places

    Hawksley, Sue (2012)
    Sue Hawksley is an independent dance artist, bodywork therapist and artistic director of articulate animal. This interdisciplinary performance company undertakes often collaborative projects focused upon movement, identity and territory which have been presented internationally. She has previously performed with Rambert Dance Company, Mantis, Scottish Ballet and Philippe Genty among others, as well as on many freelance projects as performer, choreographer or educator. Sue holds a practice-led PhD from the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art (2012). This research examined concepts of embodiment through choreographic and somatic practices, philosophy, and mediation.
  • Choreographic and somatic strategies for navigating bodyscapes and tensegrity schemata

    Hawksley, Sue (Intellect, 2011)
    This article reflects upon the psychophysical patterning and layered nature of phenomenal experience, and the interconnectedness of bodymind and environment. These are conceptualized as `bodyscape' and `tensegrity schema' and explored by engaging the principles of tensegrity (tensional integrity) with reference to dance, performance and somatic practices. In some performance environments, performers may be called on to bring in and out of focus, or simultaneously hold in attention, multiple layers and shifting perspectives of bodily experience. Giving examples I suggest that such situations, together with some choreographic and somatic practices, may facilitate an attitude of embodied reflection and skills of perceptual alertness. These can develop awareness of and capacity to `navigate' bodyscape and tensegrity schema, and support the performer to better cope with the often conflicting multisensory and polyattentional demands of complex environments, whether highly specialized performance modes or everyday. The discussion derives theoretical flavour from dance and performance studies, phenomenology, somaesthetics and cognitive science, and is informed by my current practice-led Ph.D. research in dance and choreography enquiring into notions of embodiment.
  • Re-remembering the (almost) lost jazz dances of 1980s Britain

    Carr, Jane (Taylor and Francis, 2012)
    A case is made to consider, through the historical process of re-remembering, the styles of jazz dancing practiced in clubs in Great Britain in the early 1980s as an important aspect of British dance heritage. A particular jazz dance battle that took place between dancers from the groups IDJ (I Dance Jazz) and Brothers in Jazz serves as a focus for the discussion of how a generation of dancers established hybrid British styles of virtuosic dancing. In so doing they generated new forms of dance praxis that challenge received categories bifurcating dance into social versus theatrical dancing and popular culture versus high art.

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