The Department of Dance Studies, School of Performing Arts, University of Malta, in collaboration with Contact Festival Dartington in Malta, invites contributions for its upcoming conference:
Thinking Touch in Partnering and Contact Improvisation
Artistic, Philosophical and Scientific Approaches
Thursday 30 June 2016
Dance Studies Studios, San Gwann,
School of Performing Arts, University of Malta
Proposals deadline 4 May 2016.
Acceptance will be communicated by 6 May 2016.
The Dance Studies Department of the School of Performing Arts, University of Malta is pleased to host a one-day conference focusing on artistic, philosophical, and scientific approaches to touch, contact improvisation and partnering work. The conference is linked with Contact Festival Dartington in Malta 2016, an 8-day event offering a platform for sharing contemporary practices of contact improvisation through workshops, performance, jamming, and open space labs: www.cfdmalta.com
For this first Dance Studies conference in Malta, we focus on the thought processes and knowledges of touch as enacted in partnering practices within martial arts, bodywork, therapies, medicine, and dancing. Partnering, in its many forms, comprises a wealth of knowledges in social, physical and artistic practices. While the performing arts often tap into these forms as compositional resources, touch-based creative play within the areas of social dance, community work and contact improvisation are relatively under-explored areas for study. Organisers welcome contributions which speak to this gap and address the cognitive, philosophical, somatic, compositional and pedagogical processes which inform thinking/ knowing touch in partnering.
Conference keynotes are:
Dr Corinne Jola, cognitive scientist and choreographer, Abertay, Scotland
Ms Lucia Walker, Alexander Technique teacher, Oxford, UK and Durban, SA
The organisers welcome reflective and critical presentations, papers, performances framing practice-as-research, lecture demonstrations and posters addressing the following themes:
- What thought processes and knowledges are particular to partnering practices, and how might these be understood in relation to performance philosophy?
- What is embodied knowledge of anatomy, of physicality, and of working with the body in partnering work? How is this quantified and articulated in 21stCentury practices?
- How are understandings of touch as developed in martial arts applied to partnering and contact improvisation, and vice versa?
- How are emerging medical understandings of the body (such as mirror neurons and hormones) informing practices of touch in dance, and how might these partnering practices inform medical studies?
- How can touch offer non-logocentric modes for critical engagement with artistic and philosophical work?
- What qualities are particular to partnering and contact improvisation practices in the 21stCentury and how do they lend themselves toward research in cognitive studies? What are key methods of cognitive studies in the 21st Century and how do they lend themselves toward research in dance practices?
- What are possible futures of dance partnering and contact improvisation for the 21stCentury? How might digital interfaces offer new directions for partnering?
- How can partnering and touch-based partnering practices be recorded, documented and archived, and what are the implications for this within different fields of research?
- What can students and researchers of medicine, architecture, engineering or psychology learn from partnering and contact improvisation? What are the applications to cross-disciplinary enquiry?
- How can partnering dance forms impact participants’ health and well-being?
- What kinds of scores for practical engagement elicit different responses in practitioners and audiences?
- How do pedagogies of touch-based bodywork, contact improvisation and partnering dance challenge or affirm diverse theories of learning?
- How do new technologies convey touch across digital media? How might posthumanist discourses inform how we are now feeling and being felt differently?
Please submit your proposal in the form of a 250-word abstract and 100-word biography to firstname.lastname@example.org by 4 May 2016. Please include any technical requirements in your proposal, noting that remote presentations can also be considered. Selections will be made and speakers confirmed by 6 May 2016. The organising committee aims to coordinate publication of conference proceedings into an online open-source format.
Conference co-organisers are Dr Malaika Sarco-Thomas and Dr Brandon Shaw, of the Dance Studies Department at University of Malta. Questions can be directed to Malaika at the above address, and to email@example.com