• Dance, diaspora and the role of the archives: a dialogic reflection upon the Black Dance Arcives Project (UK)

      Carr, Jane; Baddoo, Deborah; University of Bedfordshire; State of Emergency Productions (Edinburgh University Press Ltd, 2020-05-01)
      The Black Dance Archives project collected materials that record the activities of black British artists who created and performed dance predominantly in the later years of the twentieth century. Through the form of a dialogue we bring the perspective of the dance producer who led the project together with a more academic interest in the potential of the materials collected to contribute to dance research. Our shared reflections reveal how a focus on archiving the work of dance artists of diasporic heritage emphasizes that dance, as a form of intangible cultural heritage, is particularly vulnerable to becoming lost to future generations. This leads to reflections upon the role of dance archives within the context of post-colonial Britain that brings to the fore some of the complexities of the archival process and the significance of how this project resulted in materials being dispersed across different institutions.
    • ‘It’s my dream come true’: experiences and outcomes of an inclusive dance talent development programme

      Aujla, Imogen (Wiley, 2019-12-10)
      There are few opportunities for young disabled dancers to develop their talents, and even fewer studies investigating their experiences of such opportunities. The aim of this study was to explore the perspectives and outcomes of an inclusive talent development programme, and how these were facilitated. Semi‐structured interviews and focus groups with one teacher, four young dancers and four parents revealed that participation in the programme yielded multiple benefits for the young people involved. These included high levels of enjoyment, improved technical and creative ability, greater independence and confidence, and opportunities for socialising with like‐minded peers. A range of factors facilitated these benefits, such as the inclusive and caring ethos of the programme, its comprehensive development and teacher training, particular teaching strategies, and relationships between staff, students and parents. The study attests to the value of programmes designed for young disabled dancers who wish to develop their talents.
    • The possibilities of different geographies

      Carr, Jane; Sharp, Bruce (2019-09-20)
      Revision of work presented as part of Dorothy 139
    • Values, attributes and practices of dance artists in inclusive dance talent development contexts

      Urmston, Elsa; Aujla, Imogen (Taylor & Francis, 2019-09-17)
      There is a paucity of research focused on understanding the qualities which underpin dance artists’ practice in working with talented young dancers with disabilities. This study investigated what informs how dance artists work in inclusive dance talent development contexts. Four dance class observations were conducted to provide evidence of dance artists’ qualities in practice. Six dance artists participated in semi-structured interviews. Thematic data analysis revealed four categories: the dance persona; values; attributes; and practices of dance artists. The dance persona was typified by characteristics such as being human, humility, altruism, and confidence. Artists’ values and attributes included celebrating difference, aspiring towards equality and relationality. Their practices were exemplified by varied differentiation strategies and an emphasis on reflection. These findings provide new insight into what drives artists working with dancers with and without disabilities, and aids better understanding of best practice in this context.
    • Improvisational practices in jazz dance battles

      Carr, Jane; Lewis, Irven (OUP, 2019-05-31)
      With specific reference to bebop, one of the new styles of improvised jazz dancing that developed in Britain in the late 1970s and early 1980s, this essay explores the improvisatory practices associated with the dance challenges, or battles, which were an integral feature of the club scenes within which this dancing emerged. Drawing on the authors’ different perspectives—Irven Lewis’s firsthand experiences of dancing and teaching this style together with Jane Carr’s analysis of the embodied experiences of dance—allows for reflection on the improvisatory practices and their significance. The pan-African cultural influence on the development of jazz dancing is recognized alongside consideration of how this particular style of dancing embodied resistance to a binary division of Western/Africanist culture. Further, the improvised dancing is shown to be reciprocally related to the specific contexts within which it is practised, by virtue of the complex interrelationships between those participating.
    • Book review: Joanna Dee Das, Katherine Dunham: Dance and the African Diaspora

      Carr, Jane (Edinburgh University Press, 2019-05-31)
      Review of Katherine Dunham Dance and the African Diaspora Joanna Dee Das, Oxford University Press, 2017 9780190264871
    • Subjective wellbeing among young dancers with disabilities

      Aujla, Imogen; Needham-Beck, Sarah (Taylor & Francis, 2019-05-11)
      Little is known about the subjective wellbeing (SWB) of young dancers with disabilities and whether it changes over time. The aim of this study was to assess the SWB of young dancers with disabilities enrolled on an extracurricular inclusive talent development programme in the UK at two time points. Twenty-two young dancers completed the Personal Wellbeing Index for people with intellectual disability at the beginning of the academic year. Thirteen dancers completed the questionnaire a second time towards the end of the academic year. Scores were compared with normative values, and a Wilcoxon Signed Rank test was conducted to assess change over time. The participants reported high levels of SWB at both time points in comparison with normative values. There was no significant change in wellbeing scores over time. The study contributes to a growing body of literature suggesting that people with disabilities have high levels of SWB. Although causality cannot be assumed, inclusive dance programmes may contribute to SWB and allow young people with disabilities to overcome the barriers associated with physical activity.
    • Accessing pathways to training for young disabled dancers

      Aujla, Imogen; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire/Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, 2019-03-19)
      The aim of this project was to investigate means of translating Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) syllabi for young disabled dancers. There are numerous barriers to dance for disabled people but one which has received increasing attention in recent years is the lack of systematic training available. Many non-disabled young people join private dance studios which provide an established progression route using staged syllabi and assessments in a range of dance genres. The ISTD recognised that this progression route should be more accessible for disabled young people, and that it could play a key role in opening pathways to dance. The organisation recruited a number of teachers and specialists, and commissioned a researcher from the University of Bedfordshire, to explore how this could be done.
    • The possibilities of different geographies

      Carr, Jane; Sharp, Bruce (Intellect, 2018-12-31)
      'The Possibilities of Different Geographies’ is the title of a dance work Jane Carr and Bruce Sharp  first created in 1997 that investigated the significance of human embodiment. Twenty years later they revisited the themes informing their earlier work in order to create a participatory performance-installation focused on the significance of the embodied dimensions of intersubjective experience.   The authors present the philosophical and political ideas underpinning their aims to challenge the boundaries that act as limits upon how humans experience their embodied identities and reflect on how, in developing the project, artistic and activist principles became interwoven. They describe the creation of movement scores for participants to perform and consider how elements of movement, sound, lighting and opportunities for reflection contribute to an environment that affords creative participation focused on the intercorporeal dimension of human geographies.  
    • Access, inclusion and excellence : evaluating Stopgap Dance Company's IRIS programme

      Aujla, Imogen; Needham-Beck, Sarah; Stopgap Dance Company; University of Bedfordshire (Stopgap Dance Company, 2018-12-01)
      Among the numerous barriers to dance for disabled people, one of the key challenges in the UK has been the lack of progressive training routes for diabled dancers who wish to develop their talents.  Stopgap Dance Company sought to address this barrier by creating an inclusive talent development programme called IRIS.  Consisiting of four levels of increasing complexity, IRIS seeks to provide parity with mainstream training routes to help students progress their skills and confidence in dance. The aim of this research project was to evaluate IRIS in its first two years, while it was piloted with five groups.  The evaluation took into consideration the participants' experiences and outcomes of the programme using a longitudinal, mixed methods research design.
    • Towards safeguarding Creole intangible cultural heritage : keynote at the Creole Fest: Building Bridges Across Borders Symposium 10 November 2018

      Weedon, Alexis (2018-11-21)
      In 2003 at the UNESCO general conference  voted in favour of the Convention on safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. With the onslaught of globalization, ubiquitous and often commercialized branded identities can supplant the local. The UNESCO convention highlights the fragility of indigenous living cultural traditions and their importance for preserving diversity under such pressures. Intangible cultural heritage is a repository of a community’s creativity. It is a source of inspiration for new cultural expressions. This talk explores the intellectual work which the Convention brings to us as cultural historians, curators and researchers. It argues that we must address our unconscious bias in the selection of what we preserve, and must record all contextualising variables to assess their relevance. It reviews current research and its relevance to the AHRC networking project of safeguarding Creole ICH, and proposes a programme of research and publications, in addition to the continuation of the performance of the tradition that underpins ICH inscriptions as an agenda of any research network. Finally it highlights examples of digital classification, public participation, and creative re-presentation which document the ICH tradition and also seek to understand the factors that have sustained it and will influence its future as a living tradition.  
    • Developing potential amongst disabled young people: exploring dance artists’ qualities as educators in the context of inclusive dance talent development

      Urmston, Elsa; Aujla, Imogen; Stopgap Dance Company; University of Bedfordshire (Stopgap Dance Company, 2018-09-01)
      The aim of this research project was to better understand the values, attributes and practices of dance artists who develop the potential of disabled young dancers. Stopgap Dance Company commissioned researchers at the University of Bedfordshire to explore the range of qualities that highly experienced dance artists demonstrate in their practice, particularly in the context of dance talent development. In order to meet these aims, observations and interviews were conducted with six established contemporary dance artists who work in inclusive settings. Analysis revealed common characteristics in how and why artists go about their work with disabled people.
    • Dancing brains: dance as a key motivator for success in mathematics

      Pugh, Kathryn; University of Bedfordshire (2018-08-01)
      A growing body of research supports the notion that dance enhances cognitive function as well as providing an enjoyable means of learning, as evidenced by recent news items and experiments such as that of Professor Michael Duncan of Coventry University as shown in the recent BBC documentary ‘The Truth About Getting Fit’ (BBC 50:43-57:00) where dance was declared “unusually beneficial” (Michael Mosley, 50:47) for the brain. Lynnette Overby, Beth Post and Diane Newman espouse the “bodies-on” nature of interdisciplinary dance stating that dance is: Uniquely suited to support conceptual learning because the dance vocabulary is expressed in terms of the body, space, time, and force – concepts also fundamental to understanding the universe (2005, Preface xi). Other scholars such as Anne Watson, Anne Green-Gilbert (BrainDance) and Eric Jensen, and on-going programmes such as Learning Through the Arts and Project Zero support the notion that dance is beneficial for the mind and useful as a means of interdisciplinary learning. In addition, neuroscience research shows that 85% of learners are predominantly kinesthetic learners (Jensen, 2010) and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities agrees that there are: Documented significant links between arts integration models and academic and social outcomes for students, efficacy for teachers, and school-wide improvements in culture and climate (PCAH 2011 in Wheeler and Bogard 2013, p.4). In my action research project carried out in Primary Schools in Canada, using a quasi-experimental approach and pre-/post data, it was clear that the increase in motivation to learn, along with increase in attainment was evident with students also enjoying both subjects more than they anticipated or experienced prior. In this paper, therefore, I will explore the notion of an equal interdisciplinary partnership of dance and mathematics that increases motivation and enhances learning in both subjects.
    • Battling under Britannia’s shadow: UK jazz dancing in the 1970s and ‘80s

      Carr, Jane (Springer Palgrave Macmillan, 2018-03-31)
      UK Jazz dancing, that is the subject of this chapter, emerged in British clubs in the late 1970s. Drawing upon insights from intersectional and postcolonial theories, this subcultural development of jazz is examined to explore how attitudes to ‘race’, class and gender might be understood as embodied in the styles of dancing. By situating the dancing in relation to its historical context of often turbulent political, social and economic change, it is suggested that while the dancers were focussed on recognition on the dance floor, the dance challenges they participated in can be understood as sites within which young people not only battled against each other but with others to negotiate new British identities.
    • Post-colonialism and performance: political, cultural and pedagogic legacies and constraints

      Ukaegbu, Victor (Repertório, Salvador, 2018-03-30)
      Most postcolonial societies continue to bear the scars of European colonialism in their sociocultural, political and pedagogic domains. Neo-colonialist relationships with their erstwhile colonisers continue to affect the historical and material conditions of every postcolonial nationstate to the extent of shaping the synergy between indigenous and foreign cultural systems and how postcolonial societies model their new universes.This essay looks broadly at the state of post-colonialism in the 21st century, it argues that while there are opportunities, postcolonial performance is still subject to Political, Cultural and Pedagogic constraints. 
    • Psychological wellness

      Mainwaring, Lynda; Aujla, Imogen; Wilmerding, M Virginia; Krasnow, Donna H.; University of Bedfordshire; University of New Mexico; York University; University of Toronto (Human Kinetics, 2017-10-18)
      Dancers who want to get the most out of their experience in dance—whether in college, high school, a dance studio, or a dance company—can now take charge of their wellness. Dancer Wellness will help them learn and apply important wellness concepts as presented through the in-depth research conducted by the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS) and their experts from around the world.
    • Flow in the dancing body: an intersubjective experience

      Douse, Louise Emma (Oxford University Press, 2017-10-02)
      This chapter is situated in research on flow which explores optimal experience from the context of positive psychology, as it was first expounded by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. It develops a theory of flow in dance improvisation which draws on the eudaimonic concept of wellbeing. Drawing on the writings of phenomenologist’s Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Martin Heidegger, the chapter makes links between Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of flow and the defining characteristics of eudaimonia such as personal expressiveness, self-realization, excellence and relatedness. The chapter draws on case-study research which proposes a methodology for engaging with the dancer’s experience of flow. The chapter focusses on the use of dialogic tasks within the choreographic process to develop an understanding of the dancer’s experience of flow. Further, the research employs the method of ‘reflexive embodied empathy’ developed by psychotherapist Dr. Linda Finlay. As a method, it involves a process of hermeneutic reflection for understanding the experience of the participant while enabling an examination of the researcher’s intimate role in the construction of that interpretation. As a result, this chapter articulates flow as an example of intersubjective experience, and specifically as an example of relatedness, as defined in wellbeing research. It is argued, flow enables the researcher/spectator to connect to, act into, and merge with the experience of the dancer, informing both their understanding of the dancer’s wellbeing and their own wellbeing in the moment of observation. Flow thus offers a perspective of wellbeing that enhances the spectator/dancer relationship.
    • Supporting change: The identification and development of talented young dancers with disabilities

      Aujla, Imogen; Redding, Emma; Jobbins, Veronica; Burridge, Stephanie; Svendler Nielsen, Charlotte; University of Bedfordshire; Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance; Singapore Management University; University of Copenhagen (Routledge, 2017-07-11)
      The arts have a crucial role in empowering young people with special needs through diverse dance initiatives. Inclusive pedagogy that integrates all students in rich, equitable and just dance programmes within education frameworks is occurring alongside enabling projects by community groups and in the professional dance world where many high-profile choreographers actively seek opportunities to work across diversity to inspire creativity. Access and inclusion is increasingly the essence of projects for disenfranchised and traumatised youth who find creative expression, freedom and hope through dance. This volume foregrounds dance for young people with special needs and presents best practice scenarios in schools, communities and the professional sphere. International perspectives come from Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Denmark, Fiji, Finland, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, Timor Leste, the UK and the USA.
    • ‘Women’s tales’: postfeminist adventures into consumerville

      Caoduro, Elena; University of Bedfordshire (Vita e Pensiero, 2017-04-30)
      This article examines the project ‘Women’s Tales’, an on-going series of short films that fashion designer Miuccia Prada commissioned from international female directors, among them Lucrecia Martel, Ava DuVernay and Agnès Varda. By situating this endeavour in relation to female agency, authorial expressivity, and consumerism, it is argued that the project conforms to postfeminist media culture for its celebration of feminine bonds, make-over strategies and the use of luxury as a tool for pleasure and empowerment. As a series of fashion films at the interstices of different systems: advertisement and art, film and online media, experimental and mainstream practices, ‘Women’s Tales’ occasionally contain some critical potential, but struggle to challenge existing fashion paradigms. This article questions the postfeminist ethos that the project espouses, claiming that through its in-between, interstitial status, ‘Women’s Tales’ destabilise representational conventions without really disrupting fashions’ foundation.