• The impact of an intergenerational dance project on older adults' social and emotional well-being

      Douse, Louise Emma; Farrer, Rachel; Aujla, Imogen; ; University of Bedfordshire (Frontiers, 2020-09-16)
      There has been strong interest in intergenerational arts practice in the United Kingdom since the 1980s; however, there is a generally weak evidence base for the effectiveness of intergenerational practice regardless of the domain. The aim of this study was to investigate the outcomes of an intergenerational arts project on participants’ social and psychological well-being using a mixed-methods, short-term longitudinal design. Generations Dancing brought together community artists with students (n = 25) and older adults (n = 11) living in Bedford. Over an 11-week period, participants worked together to produce a new dance performance and photography exhibition. Focus groups were conducted with the participants to explore their feelings about the collaboration across generations and communities. Participants also completed a battery of questionnaires preproject and postproject, to assess any change in their levels of well-being. Results indicate that the older adults showed increased confidence and willingness to connect with others; they got immense enjoyment from talking about their experience with others. Furthermore, the project helped to address negative stereotypes that the older adults had of working with the young people. The older adults enjoyed the students’ company and felt encouraged and supported by the young people. While a small number of challenges were identified, including difficulties in traveling to the workshops for vulnerable participants, most challenges were overcome through the older adults’ engagement in the project. For example, initial anxieties regarding the performance seemed insufficient to affect the participants’ overall enjoyment of the project. The findings were supported by the increased scores in relatedness, affect, and social well-being over time, but were not statistically significant. The results of this study indicate that intergenerational dance and arts projects can have wide-reaching positive impacts on both social and psychological well-being. However, there were a number of methodological challenges, including difficulty in recruiting sufficient numbers of both experimental and control groups for a robust quantitative evaluation of the data. These challenges highlight that “real life” settings and scenarios can influence the amount, nature, validity, and reliability of data collected. Going forward we encourage researchers to continue to consider innovative ways to address such methodological challenges.
    • Improvisation and the Earth: dancing in the moment as ecological practice

      Ashley, Tamara (Oxford University Press, 2019-04-09)
      In the chapter, I draw upon artistic practice research to discuss the construction of improvisation scores as a deeply site-sensitive, time-sensitive and person-sensitive process that leads to the construction of specific micro-relations that connect specific practitioners to specific places on the earth. These micro-relations manifest as mindful actions in the detailed cultivation of the earth as a score, where the artists can become concerned with the relational dimensions of their actions in terms of sustainability. I propose that the cultivation of mindfulness and explicit intention of each and every gesture as a contribution to the cultivation of the earth as score is where the ethical work of the artists resides. The chapter offers a broad, questioning and critical perspective on how the practices of improvisation might contribute to the development of a future dance ecology that is both sustainable and inter-connected. Dance improvisation is thus proposed as an activist and applied practice that enables the experiential examination of ecologically sensitive relations, and I assert that the future of the dance ecology is entwined with how we relate to and embody the places in which dance is made.
    • Improvisational practices in jazz dance battles

      Carr, Jane; Lewis, Irven (OUP, 2019-04-09)
      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.
    • Independent dancers: roles, motivation and success research report

      Aujla, Imogen; Farrer, Rachel; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2016-01-01)
      The aim of this study was to investigate the experiences of independent dancers. We set out to gain a descriptive and analytical understanding of working life in the sector. We examined specific psychological factors such as motivation and self-definitions, and how these helped dancers in their careers. The term ‘independent dancer’ is commonly used within the UK dance industry to describe practitioners who work in multiple roles on freelance contracts. This approach to work enables dancers to engage with a range of dance communities, develop and apply diverse skills, and collaborate with multiple partners. Throughout this document we refer to such individuals as dancers or dance artists to represent those working in a range of roles and at a variety of levels. The independent dance sector is supported by an infrastructure of dance agencies that operate across the country to provide development opportunities and resources for independent dancers. It is estimated that around 40,000 people work in the UK dance industry, but the varied and ad hoc nature of their roles makes it challenging to quantify and describe the workforce accurately. In the past there have been several independent reports published about the sector as well as published interviews with renowned independent dancers that provide an insight into working conditions, rates of pay, infrastructures and funding, however with the industry developing so rapidly these sources are no longer current. More recently, doctoral research located within the independent sector has provided further insight into specific aspects of the dancers’ role. This, however, has focused specifically on artistic and choreographic concerns or is situated within a different geographical location. As a result, there is a lack of up to date knowledge about the UK independent dance sector meaning that this dynamic and mobile force still ‘works in relative invisibility’. Furthermore, academic research in the fields of professional practice, psychology and dance science has neglected to examine this important and continually developing part of the UK dance sector. Therefore, this research appears timely in order to provide current information about independent dancers and how they negotiate such a varied and challenging career. Although this research project has been disseminated in academic forums, the aim of this report is to inform dance artists, teachers and students of the findings in an accessible format.
    • Intercultural to cross-cultural theatre: Tara arts and the development of British Asian theatre

      Ukaegbu, Victor (Intellect, 2013-12-31)
      Developments in small scale theatre and dance sectors, from low to medium scale companies and those that started from one category and then evolved into other formats beg the question as to what the term UK small-scale' theatres really means. This national picture is repeated even more so in the huge body of innovative and often radical works, radical in terms of format, process and contexts, that take place outside mainstream theatre and the practitioners whose works derive from a combination of ideological and artistic motives. This piece interrogates the ideological, social and artistic impulses and trajectory in UK's diverse Asian population that led to the creation of theatres that addressed her lived historical experiences in Asia and the diaspora, and the journey to a distinctive Asian theatre and performance aesthetic in the UK and how the form has not only destabilised generally homogenised concept of Black British theatre and multiculturalism, but evolved important sub-categories in British Asian performances. This development sets the scene for theatre practitioners and critics, notably Jatinder Verma and Tara arts theatre to evade stereotyping and pigeon-holing whilst charting a much wider trans-national agenda for both Asian and non-European performance forms in the UK. Keywords: Diaspora, Asian, 'Binglish', Interculturalism, Multiculturalism, Trans-culturalism. 
    • ‘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.
    • Jungian film studies: the essential guide

      Bassil-Morozow, Helena; Hockley, Luke (Routledge, 2016-11-30)
      Jungian film studies is a fast-growing academic field, but Jungian and post-Jungian concepts are still new to many academics and film critics. Helena Bassil-Morozow and Luke Hockley present Jungian Film Studies: The Essential Guide, the first book to bring together all the different strands, issues and arguments in the discipline, and guide the reader through the various ways in which Jungian psychology can be applied to moving images.  Bassil-Morozow and Hockley cover a range of Jungian concepts including the collective unconscious, archetypes, the individuation process, alchemy, and signs and symbols, showing how they can be used to discuss the core cinematic issues such as narrative structure, gender, identity, genre, authorship, and phenomenology. The authors argue that, as a place where the unconscious and conscious meet, cinema offers the potential for imagery that is psychologically potent, meaningful, and that plays a role in our personal psychological development. This much-needed book, which bridges the space between Jungian concepts and traditional film theory, will be essential reading for scholars and students of Analytical Psychology, psychoanalysis, Jungian film studies, media, film and cultural studies, psychosocial psychology and clinical psychology. It will also appeal to analytical psychologists, psychotherapists and readers with an interest in film analysis.
    • Mapping lineage

      Ashley, Tamara (Contact Collaborations, 2018-01-01)
      Journal article that documents the process of creating the book by the same title.
    • Mapping lineage: lineage maps by improvisation artists

      Ashley, Tamara (Guildford Street Press, 2018-08-01)
      The Mapping Lineage book documents the artistic lineages of post-modern dance artists. Maps were collected at the Form in Question symposium at New York University in January 2016.
    • The negotiation of significance in dance performance: a model for human interaction in the context of difference

      Carr, Jane (Boomsbury, 2020-11-29)
      This chapter explores how dance may be appreciated in a contemporary context in which it can no longer be assumed that performers and audience make sense of dancing with reference to a shared culture. Writing from my position as a former dancer and now dance academic, I draw upon my experiences of dancing, researching and teaching dance with the aim of proposing some avenues ripe for philosophical investigation. Emphasizing that dancing is a communicative phenomenon, I argue that the philosophy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty provides welcome recognition of the human capacity for intersubjective, embodied experience which is of key importance to engagement with dancing as meaningful. I propose how the significance of dance performance might be understood through a process of negotiation grounded in intercorporeal experience. However, I recognize the challenge of difference – in relation to gender, sexualities, and/or cultures and abilities - to the self-other relationships which sustain such negotiations. Finally, I situate these reflections within the broader field of philosophical aesthetics to consider the potential of such encounters to contribute to aesthetic values attributed to dance.
    • A new angle on maths: towards an equal partnership of mathematics and dance through interdisciplinary dance teaching

      Hunwick, Kathie; Pugh, Kathryn (2016-07-01)
      Evidence of transfer of learning is clear in neuroscientific research and in the exploration of various learning styles. However, dance has mainly been used as a teaching tool rather than an equal partner in interdisciplinary work in mathematics and dance. This article offers a brief introduction to such an equal partnership, established in an action research project in Canada, in order to teach both choreography and geometry in Primary schools.
    • The new old: archaisms and anachronisms across media

      Baschiera, Stefano; Caoduro, Elena; Queen's University Belfast; University of Bedfordshire (University College Cork, 2017-01-27)
    • Passion, pathways and potential in dance: research report

      Redding, Emma; Nordin-Bates, Sanna; Aujla, Imogen; Trinity Laban (Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, 2011-01-01)
      Through a groundbreaking collaboration between Trinity Laban dance science researchers and the Centres for Advanced Training (CATs) across England, almost 800 young dancers took part in an interdisciplinary, longitudinal research project into dance talent development. Funded for a 3-year period by the Leverhulme Trust and the Department for Education, the research comprised investigations into the psychology, physiology, anthropometry, injury, adherence, and creativity of this talented cohort of young dancers. Our combination of quantitative and qualitative findings demonstrate that CAT dancers exhibited steadily increasing levels of physical fitness, high and stable levels of psychological well-being, low to moderate levels of injury and dropout, and positive creativity experiences. The CATs thus appeared to be nurturing young talent in an effective and healthy way. Findings are summarised under seven main headings.
    • Performing reconciliation: Milan and the memory of Piazza Fontana

      Caoduro, Elena; O'Rawe, Des; Phelan, Mark; University of Bedfordshire; Queen's University Belfast (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016-07-29)
      Elena Caoduro’s essay explores the relations between a history of political violence and the function of art with reference to the 1969 Piazza Fontana massacre in Milan. This terrorist attack inaugurated the most violent decade in the history of the Italian republic: the anni di piombo (‘years of lead’), in which Italy experienced waves of social conflict and unprecedented acts of violence carried out by both right- and left-wing paramilitary groups. Caoduro analyses how the city of Milan monumentalises the victims of this massacre and searches for reconciliation between conflicting truths, since the last trial proved inclusive and provided no closure. Drawing on Paul Ricoeur’s seminal Memory, History, and Forgetting (2004), Caoduro attempts to discern when it is right to remember and when it is better to forget, or indeed how much we should remember. Although arguing that cathartic narration can assist national reconciliation, she cautions against political amnesty being accompanied by amnesia.
    • The possibilities of different geographies

      Carr, Jane; Sharp, Bruce (2019-09-20)
      Revision of work presented as part of Dorothy 139
    • 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.  
    • 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. 
    • The practice of solidarity through the arts: inter-relations and shared moments of creation in Share My Table

      Evans, Catrin; (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, 2019-07-14)
      In 2017 the Scottish Refugee Council and Tramway embarked on a collaborative participatory arts project seeking to explore the upsurge in media coverage around issues of migration. Share My Table took a multi-artform approach, with performance and visual art providing the foundation for the exploration. This article, written from the position of artist researcher, shifts the lens away from the artistic or performance outputs of this participatory project, and instead reflects and theorises the working practices which emerged throughout the Share My Table project. By drawing on bell hooks’s work on practices of freedom (1994), and James Thompson’s call for a re-focusing towards affect, beauty and care (2011, 2015), the author argues for participatory practice’s radical potential. Ultimately, the how of participatory work, the careful and ethical attention on the doing can activate solidarity in relation to the asylum regime.
    • 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.
    • Researching British (underground) jazz dancing c1979-1990

      Carr, Jane (Routledge, 2016-09-20)
      The concept of 're-remembering' (Bindas, 2010) informs my account of researching the  jazz dancing performed in clubs in Britain in the late 1970s and 1980s in which I reflect upon the findings of  my own interviews with jazz dancers and those published by the DJ’s  Mark (Snowboy) Cotgrove (2009) and Seymour Nurse (n.d. b). Further, drawing on Pierre Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus and field (1984), I consider how jazz styles may be understood to have proposed new British dance identities within the changing cultural field of dance in postcolonial Britain. With specific reference to video recordings of Brothers in Jazz, IDJ and the Jazz Defektors, I explore this jazz dancing in the context of the social changes of the period 1979-1990, the era in which, under the government of Margaret Thatcher, economic and political changes took place that were (and still are) a source of much controversy. Here, Bourdieu’s analysis of cultural fields provides a useful framework from which to consider how differences in practices within an arena such as jazz dancing can be understood both in relation to each other and to a wider context. Finally, recognising how the synchronic and diachronic dimensions of experience and understanding intersect (Bourdieu 1993), and drawing on the words of dance artist Sean Graham, I consider how inclusion of British (Underground) jazz dancing (also known as UK jazz)  in the wider historical understanding of dancing in Britain is important to  the current ‘field’ of dance that is still coming to terms with the social, economic and cultural changes of the recent past.