Category Archives: Dance History

Revised call for papers – Dance, Diaspora and the Archive

Society for Dance Research

in Association with State of Trust and Rimap (University of Bedfordshire)

Call for Papers

Dance, Diaspora and the role of the Archive

Saturday September 17, 2016

Venue: University of Bedfordshire

Deadline for receipt of proposals May 30th 2016.

As the work of the Black Dance Archives Project is revealing, an understanding and awareness of a particular dance style, artist or institution depends in part on how it is situated historically, how it is documented and remembered. As the field of dance research has expanded, the significance of archives and archival practices extend beyond concerns of recovering memory, providing avenues through which to investigate questions of authenticity, tradition and ownership, among other issues. Archives are constantly in flux, open to interpretation, and can increase the visibility of the invisible. Significantly under-represented in the past, more material records of dancers and dancing from various diasporas are currently being collected and catalogued. The concept of archive also extends beyond the official documents, to encompass the memories that reveal perspectives of performers, creators, funders, administrators and viewers, captured through interviews, personal photos, journals, rehearsal notes and correspondence.

Papers are sought that explore the concept of the dance archive with particular reference to dancers and dancing of diaspora communities. Presenters are encouraged to engage with the Black Dance Archives Project, but papers that explore wider issues around archives are also welcome. Themes may thus include:

  • The significance of particular archive materials relating to one artist/company
  • The work of a particular artist/company whose work is documented  as part of the Black Dance Archives collections or other diasporic dance archives
  • Issues revealed by archive materials relevant to the career trajectories and management of emergent Black British or other diasporic artists
  • The relationship between memory and the archive
  • Archival issues and complexities that are specifically relevant to dance and /or diaspora.
  • The influence of the work of dance artists from the diaspora on current choreographic and performance practices

Abstracts/Proposals of no more than 300 words with an indicative bibliography and any technical requirementsshould be sent to Brendan.mccarthy@gmail.comAny enquiries may be directed to

Abstracts/proposals will be blind reviewed by a panel. Individual papers should be 20 minutes in length but we also encourage submissions of roundtable discussions, lecture-demonstrations, movement workshops, performative engagements and collaborative presentations, or posters.

Deadline: 30th May 2016 

Information about State of Trust Black Dance Archives Project

With funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, State of Trust* is working with partners across the UK to collate, preserve, document and make accessible 25 collections from eminent individuals and organisations from the British Black dance sector who have made a significant impact on dance in Britain. The initial stage of the project has collected materials from the following companies and individuals: ACE Dance & Music, Avant Garde, Boy Blue, Breakin’ Convention, Bullies Ballerinas, Jeannette Brooks, Carl Campbell, Shaun Cope, Jonzi D, June Gamble, Robert Hylton, , Kompany Malakhi, Greta Mendez (inc Maas Movers), Nubian Steps, Henri Oguike, Phoenix Dance Company, RJC Dance Company, State of Emergency, Step Afrika!, Norman ‘Rubba’ Stephenson, Tavaziva Dance, Sheron Wray, and Union Dance.

To prepare abstracts researchers are invited to contact and visit the archives:

Birmingham Museums and Libraries:

Materials regarding ACE Music and Dance and Shaun Cope

Black Cultural Archives, Brixton, London:



Materials regarding June Gamble, Robert Hylton, Kompany Malakhi, Nubian Steps, State of Emergency, Norman ‘Rubba’ Stephenson (oral history), Tavaziva Dance.

Plus materials from the following are being processed. Please ask if they are of specific interest: Avant Garde, Boy Blue Entertainment, Carl Campbell Dance Company 7, Step Afrika!

NRCD Guildford Surrey:


Materials regarding Bullies Ballerinas, Greta Mendez (inc. Maas Movers), Sheron Wray, Union Dance  – these are still being processed so only some may be accessible.  Please note that NRCD also have core collection materials related to many artists, companies and developments including Adzido and Black Dance Development Trust plus other special collections relevant to the area such as Angika Dance Company, Kokuma Dance Theatre and Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company.

University of Leeds Library:

Materials regarding Phoenix and RJC Dance Companies

* State of Trust is the registered charity sister company of State of Emergency Productions

Laban Guild AGM

Elements of Analysis in Dance Making and Reconstruction

Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Laban Guild

AGM Day at Trinity Laban, Creekside on 2nd April 2016

Join us in celebrating 70 years of the Laban Guild with a Laban Lecture by Chair of the Guild, Maggie Killingbeck, and two workshops by Lea Anderson and Olga Masleinnikova exploring reconstruction and dance analysis.

Lea Anderson – re-re-reconstructing Mary Wigman – photographs of the work of Mary Wigman and drawings from her choreographic notebooks form the score for a new dance developed by participants under the direction of Dance Historian Lea Anderson.

Olga Masleinnikova – dynamic principles and how to use them in dance analysis towards reconstruction.

For more information and to book please find attached flier.

Contact Selina Martin [] for more information.

Call for papers: Re:generations 4 ­ Diasporic dance: Legacies of Imagination

3-5 November 2016

MAC, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH.

Following the highly successful 2014 conference Re:generations – Rethinking the past to reimagine the future, the steering group is pleased to announce Re:generations 4 – Diasporic dance: Legacies of Imagination.

Re:generations 4 builds on the success of the last three conferences in 2010, 2012 and 2014 which have established a distinctive combination of keynote addresses, panel discussions, papers, performances, and workshops focusing on dance and the African diaspora. The central theme of the fourth conference is Diasporic dance: Legacies of Imagination. Legacy here is understood as the impact that the Association of Dance of the African Diaspora created and is now passing on as it merges with other national dance associations to form the new organisation One Dance UK. Beyond that there is also the rich cultural heritage from the Diaspora, as well as heritages and legacies passing between countries – in Africa, the Caribbean, North America, and the UK – as well as between different generations or between practitioners who pass on the potential of different art forms as these develop. Artists continually investigate new aesthetic territories, when fusions emerge, or when they explore their roots. What legacies are we inheriting and how can we make the most of these? What are the different ways in which people from different generations make connections with cultural heritage? The 2016 conference will facilitate discussion and debate about these questions in order to build a positive future for the development of new dance talent in the UK.

Hosted in Birmingham at the MAC (Midlands Art Centre), this conference will be delivered by One Dance UK, IRIE! dance theatre, ACE dance and music, dance Immersion and De Montfort University.One of the conference keynote addresses will be delivered by Hilary Carty, who works internationally as a consultant (NTL UK), facilitator, coach (CIPD), Visiting Professor (Kufstein University of Applied Sciences) and speaker, embracing significant experience in leadership, strategic management and organisational development. There will be high level delegations from the US-based International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) and from Canada, Dance Immersion, who will be able to share diverse, international perspectives on the conference’s key concerns.

The conference partners invite proposals for papers, lecture demonstrations and workshops that address the theme of Diasporic dance: legacies of imagination. By offering opportunities to reflect on the heritage, legacies, histories, geographies, places and spaces of dance of the African Diaspora, the conference aims both to celebrate the achievements of elders and foster the talent of a new generation of dance practitioners and of new dance scholars.

We welcome proposals on the following subthemes:

  •   1. Youth dance work, training, and intergenerational dialogues.
  •   2. Heritage and Digital Arts
  •   3. Women and the dance profession, i.e. diasporic or street dance forms
  •   4: Health and Wellbeing.
  •   5. New approaches to creating histories of Breaking, street, old school and other popular and social forms, the development of African Peoples Dance, histories of interactions between African, Caribbean, and Western contemporary dance.
  •   6. International dialogues – with the African Continent, with the Caribbean, with other European countries, with USA and Canada.

We invite submissions of abstracts of no more than 500 words for proposals which address any of the above themes as well as other topics related to its central focus on Diasporic dance: Legacies of Imagination. The programme will include 20 minute papers, panel discussions, lecture demonstrations, performances, films, workshops, or other modes of presentation. Lecture demonstrations and workshops should be 25 and 45 minutes long including time for brief Q&A. As in previous years there will also be opportunities for MA students and PhD students at the start of their research to give five minute presentations about their research topics. Please clearly indicate the nature and length of your presentation together with any technical requirements.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 1st of July 2016. Submissions will be accepted by email only. Please direct emails to, including ‘Re:generations 4’ in the subject line.

About the Re:generations partners

One Dance UK


On 1st April 2016, The Association of Dance of the African Diaspora (ADAD), Dance UK, National Dance Teachers Association and Youth Dance England merged to form a new unified national ‘go-to’ industry body for dance in the UK called One Dance UK. The new organisation represents dancers at all levels of the dance industry, and champions excellence in education and research, youth dance, dance of the African diaspora, performance and art form development, health and well-being, management, leadership and career development. One Dance UK aims to build on past achievements of the four merged organisations and enhance current programmes.

For dance of the African Diaspora (DAD), the programmes include;

The annual Trailblazers Fellowships for professional development and profile raising which has two strands to supports emerging and mid-career artists through a tailored mentorship programme, a bursary and a public showcase. The 36 trailblazers supported to date have had an exponential impact on the development of Dance of the African Diaspora in the UK,demonstrating leadership, creating new initiatives in performance, education, research and professional development.

The Heritage project, ‘Moments’ which was created with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund has made a distinctive contribution to collecting, conserving, interpreting and narrating the history and heritage from 1930s – 1990s that informs the work of Black dancers in contemporary Britain. Launched in October 2006, the exhibition which is currently a photographic exhibition with a complimentary reader Voicing Black Dance, has toured to London, Leicester, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds and Manchester and continues to tour nationally and internationally. One Dance UK aims to digitise ‘Moments’ and incorporate it in a new sector wide initiative to reflect the contribution of dance across the sectors in the UK and beyond.

The biennial Bloom National Festival will continue to enhance the regional reach for Dance of the African Diaspora alongside a concentrated programme of work across the UK, celebrating and showcasing local artists working with the dance styles rooted in the African Diaspora.

The international conference Re:generations, an academic and artistic event is delivered with national and international partners biennially, to make a significant contribution to the discourse, development and perspectives for dance.

IRIE! dance theatre


Established in 1985, IRIE! dance theatre is Britain’s leading dance company working in the field of African and Caribbean dance fusion and education. The company delivers and sustains a range of creative, educational and artistic activities, based on the stimuli derived from Africa and the Caribbean. Located in the heart of South East London IRIE! occupies the Moonshot Centre, which houses dance studios, teaching rooms & archive and library facilities; where it continues to run and develop accredited qualifications, research programmes, community engagement and professional development for the dance sector.

The company provides employment, training, support and mentoring for a significant number of young people and professionals working in dance as well as related cultural industries. IRIE!’s collaborations have spanned across the UK and internationally. Established in 2009, IRIE!’s partnership with City & Islington College (Further Education) and London Metropolitan University (Higher Education) continue to deliver a Foundation Degree in Dance, where African, Caribbean and Street dance practice and theory are taught equally alongside contemporary dance.

De Montfort University


De Montfort University has an international reputation for the quality of its research in dance history and theory, pedagogy, and performance-based research. It is has been offering degrees in dance since the late 1970s when it was Leicester Polytechnic. During the 1980s, the Black Dance Development Trust held its first Black Dance Summer School at Leicester Polytechnic. In 2007, it held the Black Britons and Dance conference with Professor Brenda Dixon Gottschild as keynote speaker on her first visit to a British university. From 2012 and 2014 the AHRC-funded research project British Dance and the African Diaspora run by Christy Adair and Ramsay Burt was based at De Montfort with ADAD as a project partner. Highlights of this project include the exhibition British dance: Black routescurated at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool as well as public events in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool and the Royal Festival Hall in London. An edited collection of essays that have come out of this project, titled British dance: Black routes, is being published by Routledge in Autumn 2016.

ACE dance and music


ACE dance and music winner of the ‘Diverse Company of The Year’ in the BEXLIVE 2015 Enterprise Awards, is a national touring dance company founded in 1996 and based in Birmingham UK. We are an internationally recognised leader in the field of Contemporary African and Caribbean Dance. Our signature style is Afro-fusion – dance which is rooted in traditional forms yet expressed through a purely contemporary lens. By combining African & Caribbean movement aesthetics with contemporary techniques we create high quality innovative performance – always combining dance with original music and often using new digital media and techniques from other disciplines including theatre. The company’s reputation has developed through 9 biennial productions touring to small and mid-scale theatres and festivals both across the UK and internationally. Led by Artistic Directors Gail and Ian Parmel, the company works regularly in collaboration with a family of international Artistic Associates. We offer a full range of bespoke education and outreach programmes, deliver in- house studio based dance classes, and play host to ACE Youth – our youth dance company, with its own independent reputation for excellence.

dance Immersion


dance Immersion is a not-for-profit organization that produces, promotes and supports dancers and dances of the African Diaspora. The organization was founded in 1994 by Vivine Scarlett and was established to address the need for additional presentation, skill development, and networking opportunities for dance artists of African descent. During its 22 year history, dance Immersion has experienced considerable success in connecting with dance artists of African Decent throughout Canada and around the world with the services we provide. Our programs offer audiences and participants a variety of activities that evoke diverse artistic expressions.

The Conference Steering Group consists of the Partners together with Judith Palmer, ADAD Chair and Christy Adair, Professor Emerita York St Johns University.

page5image15760page5image14920page5image15088 page5image15928  page5image15592page5image15256page5image15424

Yvonne Rainer Trio A 50th anniversary event

Tuesday 12 January
Trio A and Yvonne Rainer: Dance on Film
Celebrate the work of Yvonne Rainer, one of the most iconoclastic choreographers of her generation, in the 50th anniversary year of the creation of her most well-known piece Trio A by showing some of her film work and hosting a post screening discussion with people using Trio A to influence their work. The panel will include Stella Dimitrakopoulou, Faye Green, Martin Hargreaves and will be led by Russell Martin.

341-351 Finchley Road

Box Office: 020 7433 8988

This is part of a Triple Bill of events

Book 3 dance events for £24 or £12 for students

the other two events are:

Tuesday 12 April
Turn Your F^*king Head
This film takes its title from choreographer Deborah Hay’s frequent reminder to artists taking part in her solo commission project to refresh their awareness. It shows Hay and 20 artists as they engage with the process of creating adaptations of her score, Dynamic. It is a document of her process as she continues to redefine what performance is and how performers perform. The screening is followed by a talk between filmmaker Becky Edmunds and dance artist Deborah Black. This event is a collaboration with Independent Dance.

Thursday 26 May
Introduction to Hilde Holger with Dr Thomas Kampe
Drawing on Dr Thomas Kampe’s first-hand experience of working with Hilde Holger during the 1980s and 1990s and using archive material, this talk unpacks the impact of the Jewish expressionist choreographer on British dance. She was a leading exponent of Austrian Ausdruckstanz in the 1920s and 1930s, who in Britain pioneered dance therapy and performance with dancers with learning disabilities.

To book these three events for £24 or £12 for students visit
Buy nine tickets for the same event at the same time and get the tenth one free.
To book student discounts and group booking call the Box Office on 020 7433 8988.

Roehampton research seminar: Dr Larraine Nicholas – ‘Seven Veils’ at the Windmill: Anatomy of a Dance, 20 Jan

Centre for Dance Research, University of Roehampton

Research Seminar

‘Seven Veils’ at the Windmill: Anatomy of a Dance
Dr Larraine Nicholas, Honorary Research Fellow, University of Roehampton
20 January 2016, 6pm7.30pm, DU.102 Duchesne, Digby Stuart Campus
Free, all welcome, no need to book

In the Coronation Year of 1937 a moral panic set in around the supposed importation of striptease from America, now increasingly being seen in clubs, and music halls. The management of the Windmill Theatre, famous for its static female nudes, had always positioned its productions as ‘middle-brow’, more decorous and artistic than vaudeville or music hall. In the midst of the striptease debacle, a new attraction, a ‘Dance of the Seven Veils’, was introduced into a Windmill show. In this paper I will attempt a description of the dance from pictorial and paper records. To what extent did it draw on the historical genre of performances with this name from earlier in the century?  Was it more like a striptease disguised under another name? Discussions about the dance also reveal the workings of theatre censorship under the Lord Chamberlain’s Office and its interactions with theatres and morality campaigners.
Larraine Nicholas was a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Dance at the University of Roehampton, 2000–2014. She is currently Honorary Research Fellow there.  Her research centres on twentieth century dance in Britain across genres of ballet, modern dance and musical theatre.  She is author of the monographs Dancing in Utopia: Dartington Hall and its Dancers (2007) and Walking and Dancing: Three Years of Dance in London, 1951 – 53 (2013).  She currently investigates the professional lives of dancers at the Windmill Theatre, London, 1932 – 64, including an oral history project.


CfP: IFTR Choreography and Corporeality Working Group

IFTR 2016, University of Stockholm, Sweden

13-17 June 2016


We invite interested scholars in our field to come to our next working group meeting from 13th – 17th June 2016, to be held during the IFTR conference in Stockholm, Sweden. Choreography, dance and body-centered performance practices provide a vital site for exploring the convergence of thought and action. Our members approach this intersection from a variety of interweaving perspectives that include socio-political, cultural, philosophical and historical considerations.

Wherever we meet, we try to schedule discussions and performances with choreographers who work and live where the IFTR Conference is held.

The general conference theme for 2016 is Presenting the Theatrical Past, Interplays of Artefacts, Discourses and Practices.

Given the historical theme of the conference, we would hope that many of you who have joined our group in the past will come together with us next year. Since there is no past without a future, we also encourage new members and new scholars, to come along, including the many wonderful Indian scholars who joined us in Hyderabad.

The conference offers bursaries to assist participants with their travel costs. Applications for bursaries need to be submitted by 1st December 2015. The application form will be available at from 30th September 2015. Do apply if you want support and encourage your colleagues to do likewise. If you want any assistance from us, such as invitations or support letters, please let us know (by writing to Prarthana at

We ask participants to submit papers on their work in progress, which may address the conference theme or some other aspect of choreographic and corporeal research practice. Papers are distributed to the group and are read in advance of conference meetings. They are then grouped for discussion on the basis of synergies between them.

This year’s theme may attract some general conference panels from this working group or may result in a response to the theme within the working group. We now have a dedicated working group webpage and online forum for discussing and determining these matters. To access these, login to the IFTR site ( with the username and password you received when you registered for IFTR membership at the Cambridge Membership portal. The forum provides us with a platform for discussion and can also be used to advertise publications/jobs/conferences of potential interest to our members.

The conference organisers have notified us regarding submission dates for the abstracts, registration dates, plus IFTR membership details. In brief, the deadline for abstract submission is 15thJanuary 2016. Abstracts should be submitted through the IFTR’s dedicated conference website: Information on how to submit will be available on the page.

Once this is done, the conference organisers will notify you that your paper has been accepted by28th February 2016

We would love to see you in Stockholm.

Research seminar: Gay Morris – Choreographies of 21st Century Wars, Roehampton, 14 Oct.

Centre for Dance Research, University of Roehampton

Choreographies of 21st Century Wars
Dr Gay Morris, USA
14 October 2015, 6pm7.30pm, DU103, University of Roehampton

Wars today differ from the major conflicts of the 20th century, which were dominated by the so-called ‘great powers’, the sovereign states that engaged in two world wars and the 40-year Cold War. The major conflicts of this century are more amorphous and shifting, the boundaries and enemies less clear, the difference between war and peace less distinct. War and choreography have long been connected through dances and rituals, military training and drills, parades, and formal processions. Gerald Siegmund and Stefan Hölscher call warfare ‘dance’s notorious partner in the eternal duet of order and chaos’. Since war and choreography are closely related, and war has changed, the question is whether the role of choreography also may have changed. Jens Giersdorf and I have investigated this question, and our conclusions are the topic of my seminar. Within the context of what Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt term the new ‘global state of war’, we argue against concepts of choreography as solely a structuring mechanism, and an aesthetics of politics that is exclusively resistant. Instead, we call for a rethinking of choreography that incorporates the disorder and dispersion of power away from nation-states, which is central in this era of wartime all the time.

Gay Morris is a New York based art and dance critic. Her book, A Game for Dancers: Performing Modernism in the Postwar Years, 1945-1960, won the 2007 De La Torre Bueno Award for outstanding contribution to dance literature. She is also the editor of a collection, Moving Words, Rewriting Dance.