Coventry University researchers at the heart of global dance networks

Two women dancing with their arms in the air.

Image credit: Maria Raluca. The Shape of Sound installation and performance at the Anglican Mortuary Chapel, London Road Cemetery, Coventry, as part of Coventry Opens 2022.

Monday 20 November 2023

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A campaign to make dance research more visible and valued has led to the creation and funding of new networks to bring the dance sector closer together and delve into specific areas of research enquiry.

Dance Research Matters (DRM) is a unique initiative led by Coventry University’s Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE) in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council that was established to identify research needs and provide targeted and impactful investment in the dance sector.

Following the success of the DRM campaign, the AHRC launched a new funding initiative earlier this year – of which C-DaRE has been awarded a total of £121,000 to initiate positive change across the field.

The funding will be used to create, map and evaluate the impact of five dance research networks across the UK, focused on exploring current issues like increasing visibility; generating change, and promoting interdisciplinary collaboration to strengthen the dance and practice-based research community and beyond. C-DaRE researchers are leading the dance research network ecosystem.

Dr Vipavinee Artpradid, Assistant Professor at C-DaRE, is the programme lead responsible for mapping, monitoring and evaluating the dance research networks. The networks will operate as its own ecosystem and stakeholders will share knowledge and information.
Outcomes and recommendations from the ecosystem will be fed back to the AHRC to maximise the impact of their work.

Dr Kathryn Stamp, Assistant Professor at C-DaRE is co-leading one of the dance research networks (Critical Dance Pedagogy through Discourse and Practice), which aims to bring together researchers and artists from the UK, USA, and Nordic countries to raise the profile of dance education and exchange ideas about dance theory and practice.

This is the latest development in the DRM campaign, after C-DaRE was approached by the AHRC in 2019 to work with them to develop more support and visibility for dance research.

The DRM Advisory Group, with members representing the UK’s dance research community, advised on how funding could be best spent, leading to a meshwork of five AHRC-funded networks that connect researchers, academic institutions, industry, community groups, and independent practitioners to dance research and practice.

The AHRC Dance Research Matters Network and programme lead funding has made it possible to make visible the value, reach, and necessity of dance research for the vitality, connectedness, and future of our communities and society.

Dr Vipavinee Artpradid, Centre for Dance Research, Coventry University

The Dance Research Matters networks will build on partnerships and collaborations across higher education and wider communities to maximise the value and impact of the dance research sector.

In doing so they will stimulate change and the development of new practice, engage the public through community interaction, and leave a legacy that encourages further interest and research in this exciting field.

Christopher Smith, Executive Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council

The dance research networks commenced in October 2023.

Find out more about C-DaRE and the Dance Research Matters campaign.