Dance Fields: Staking a Claim for Dance Studies in the 21st century
April 19th-22nd 2017
University of Roehampton Conference Centre, London, UK
This major peer-reviewed conference will celebrate the history, status and impact of Dance Studies in the UK and address the key question ‘where are we now’? Having grown steadily over the last 35 years, Dance Studies has established itself as a vital contributor to the academic and cultural sectors in the UK. But this is a time of major challenges; arts practice in the UK in general and dance in particular are under extraordinary stresses in the current socio-political climate.
Dance Fields will be proactive, inclusive and a grounding force for diverse and constructive exchanges regarding the challenges and the future outlook for dance. Taking a cue from the What Next UK Arts and Culture meetings in London that advocate from a generous position of strategic and ecological openness, Dance Fields aims to engage the fullest possible range of Higher Education institutions, research bodies and cultural organisations.
Dance Fields is conceived as a two-part overlapping event taking place over four days with the first three devoted to the intersections of theoretical and artistic practices. The blurring of boundaries between scholarly, writerly and material based practices; emergent discourses between and across disciplines; and new forms of collaborative and collective working will be emphasised and explored via mixed modes of enquiry, presentation, participation and dialogue. This part of the event will be by necessity ‘international’ in the sense that these practices cannot be contained within any specific country-based framework. The final day will be dedicated to strategic issues and questions pertaining to the UK socio-political landscape such as: sustainability, publishing and open access, knowledge generation and sharing, impact, and growing the community.
Taking Dance Studies in Higher Education as a departure point, Dance Fields reaches out to all parts of the UK dance field landscape to acknowledge the status of the discipline and the contribution to Dance Studies by scholars and artists, worldwide. Alongside dance scholars, the conference thus seeks to engage and involve dance educators as well as the professional artistic community.
Co-convened by Roehampton, Coventry and De Montfort Universities – each with an established Centre for Dance Research – and co-sponsored by the Society for Dance Research, the conference will include invited speakers, paper presentations, panels, artist-led interventions and workshops.