A Re-assessment of Technique in Dance Training - Dr Noyale Colin and Dr Cathy Seago


Wednesday 12 December


St Edburga Building 201, King Alfred Quarter, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester, Hampshire SO22 4NR

A Re-assessment of Technique in Dance Training - Dr Noyale Colin and Dr Cathy Seago

Since September 2017 we have embarked on a collaborative research project, which explores a range of pedagogical approaches through focusing on two aspects of dance practice - the notions of immediacy and of interconnectedness. These terms are defined here as sensations 'through which one can perceive connectedness in movement, can locate the body in three-dimensional space, can feel togetherness in time, and can know a oneness with a larger entity’ (Warburton 2011: 116). Dance fosters both a singular and collective self in artistic education, offering invaluable training to operate within the immediate and interconnected contemporary professional world.  We want to re-examine technical contemporary dance training in response to the impact of some of the issues pertaining to shifting politics of education, many of which are particular to the UK dance field (i.e. reduction of dance provision in schools, consumeristic evaluation processes in HE). 

 This initiative also considers the impact of major shifts in contemporary popular culture, media, and technology on dance and performance. This assessment aims at examining the role of contemporary dance for professional dance and the perception of students coming into HE, dance teachers, artists and producers in the field. The research is informed by a range of data collection activities including action research, public panel discussion and focus group. The practical aim of the investigation is to offer a set of different perspectives on rebalancing the motor, technical and attention training required to rise to the challenges of the profession in the 21st century.

 Our collaborative paper will summarise a range of perspectives on training and dance skills in relation to the tension between established codified technique of dance (American modern dance, European Physical Theatres and postmodern dance and somatic approaches) and the more fluid approach to movement inherent to the growth of digital technology and social media. We will address a number of questions on a theme of otherness by specifically juxtaposing the individual self in training and the collective purpose of training in contemporary dance today.

 Warburton, Edward. 2011 “Of Meanings and Movements: Re-Languaging Embodiment in Dance Phenomenology and Cognition.” Dance Research Journal 43 (2) 65-83.

 Noyale Colin is Senior Lecturer in Choreography and at the University of Winchester. She is co-editor of the book Collaboration in Performance Practices: Premises, Workings and Failures (2016) published by Palgrave Macmillan. She has also published several journal articles and produced practical works related to her ongoing research around issues of embodied practices and the notion of the collaborative self in performance.

 Dr Catherine Seago is Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for Choreography and Dance at The University of Winchester.  Her practice based research explores notions of flow and flux in dance training and choreographic processes. 

Centre for Performance Practice and Research

Faculty of Arts

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