Uni leads artists’ collaboration to explore the Coventry landscape

University news

Monday 14 March 2016

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A project led by Coventry University’s Centre for Dance Research is using movement and art to explore different everyday outdoor spaces in Coventry city centre. 

Movement artist Sandra Reeve is leading a one-week artist retreat at Coventry University, working with professional artists from different disciplines in a collaboration which aims to reflect on the changing landscape of Coventry city centre from the perspective of movement.

Sandra Reeve’s choreographic approach of ‘ecological movement’ considers the inter-relationship between the artist and their environment, including the audience – an approach which raises wider social and political issues about the interdependence of humans and the surrounding environment.

The artists will be surrounded by the everyday activities of the general public as they explore how they can interact with the urban landscape, drawing inspiration from different local sites.

The retreat runs from Monday 14th – Friday 18th March and builds upon a history of art and choreographic practices using the Coventry urban landscape as inspiration.

The project is partnered by Decoda – a dance organisation in Coventry which has invited dance artists over several years to investigate various sites throughout the city of Coventry – and had links with the City Arcadia project which commissions visual and performing artists to inhabit and respond to the modernist architecture of the city.

There is a public showing on the final day of the retreat from 12-2pm in the ICE building at Coventry University Technology Park, and you might see the artists working around the city through the week. You can follow the retreat on twitter #ReeveRetreatCOV

To find out more about C-DaRE visit /cdare

Notes to editors

Sandra Reeve is an interdisciplinary artist working in dance, theatre, intercultural studies and ecological studies. Reeve is also a scholar, having completed a PhD in Performance Practice at the Drama Department, University of Exeter, where she is an Honorary Fellow. Reeve has published Nine Ways of Seeing a Body (2011) and the edited collection Ways of Seeing a Body: Body and Performance (2013).

Decoda is the organisation that has grown from the Summer Dancing festivals, initiated in 2007 by Katye Coe. It is an artist led project based in the West Midlands with an international reach. Decoda creates spaces for conversation, practice and community, offers residencies and curates workshop series, festivals and performance events.

City Arcadia is a two-year (June 2014-2016) programme of creative commissions responding to the past, present and imagined future of Coventry city centre with Artspace, Coventry. It invites people to collaborate with curators Laura Elliott & Michael Mayhew on a series of commissioned ‘propositions’ that celebrate Coventry as a historical test bed for new ideas and innovations and consider the Modernist architectural vision of Coventry’s post-war centre; building a futuristic city that cultivates “the total, harmonious, physical, spiritual and intellectual wellbeing of a city’s inhabitants“.

[Organiser] Dr. Emma Meehan is a Research Fellow at Coventry University’s Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE). She received her BA and PhD from the Drama Department, Trinity College Dublin, where she taught part-time.  She recently published the co-edited collection Through the Virtual Towards the Real: The Performing Subject in the Space of Technology with Matthew Causey and Neill O’Dwyer (Palgrave, 2015). Articles include: “The Autobiographical Body” in Nine Ways of Seeing a Body, Volume II, edited by Sandra Reeve, Axminster: Triarchy Press, 2013; and “Visuality, Discipline and Somatic Practices: The Maya Lila Performances of Joan Davis”, in The Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices, Intellect Press, Volume 2, Number 2, 2010. She is a co-convenor of the Performance as Research working group at the International Federation for Theatre Research and associate editor for the Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices.