C-DaRE Research Seminar Series

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C-DaRE Research Seminar Series

Our research seminars are a series of one off events including but not limited to presentations, talks, discussions, sharings of practice, performances and film showings. These are free and open to all to attend (unless otherwise stated). Presenters include C-DaRE members and invited external researchers. Each event is focused on a topic of their choice related to their current research interests. 

If you are interested in attending one of the events or you are interested in proposing an idea for this series please email researchadmin.ad@coventry.ac.uk

C-DaRE research seminar

Body Space Object Symposium 2015 photo by Robert Meredith

Henry Daniel Talk: Friday 11th November

17:00 - 18:15 ICE Building

A Contemporary Nomad: The Trajectory of a Research Practice

This talk attempts to situate a trajectory of work that is trans-disciplinary and trans-national in context. It locates this researcher between two multi-year research projects; “Project Barca: New Architectures of Memory and Identity (2011-2014) – otherwise known as Going West to Find East/Going East to Find West, and “Contemporary Nomads” (2016-2021), a research/creation project that responds to the current and unprecedented movement of large groups of people world-wide.

Although we are well aware of the current refugee crisis that’s been posing such an enormous problem across Europe, we seem to have forgotten that this crisis is perhaps an extension of a larger phenomenon that has been playing itself out through hundreds of years of colonization. Contemporary Nomads addresses the particular through the general, the present crisis through past events. It explores the dynamic maps that are constantly being created, maps that have specific cortical and cartographic correlates, which inevitably determine the terrain of our socio-economic, cultural, political, and spiritual lives.


Henry Daniel: PhD from Bristol University. MA City University, The Laban Centre London.

Professor of Dance & Performance Studies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver Canada, scholar, performer, choreographer, and Artistic Director of Full Performing Bodies, Dr. Daniel’s research concentrates on strengthening notions of Practice-as-Research, Arts-based-Research, and Research/Creation in Canada. He has an international professional background in dance, theatre, and performance in the Caribbean, the USA, and Germany and has taught at different Universities in the UK.

Rosa Cisneros Talk: Friday 18th November

17:00 - 18:15 ICE Building

Identity Politics: Dance Films, Flamenco and the Romani Community

Flamenco and Gypsies have always been linked to Spain and considered a part of Spanish identity. Flamenco is an exotic currency that is exploited and used to attract millions of international spectators and tourists to the country. Focusing on the migration of Flamenco to a global stage I question how Flamenco is viewed and the mediums which frame the art form. This presentation explores how a dance short film and a medium-length documentary, explore image identity, oral traditions and embodiment of history.  Both films are underpinned by research and were created to offer the viewers another perspective of the flamenco art form and challenge the imagined fantasies that are often associated with flamenco.

The medium-length documentary “Behind the Flamenco Dress: an interview with Adela Olmos” records a unique voice and offers a rare perspective to a global art form. Her story captures the contradictory life of an artist and draws out the complexity of identity politics and the nuances of being an artist in London and in Spain. The dance short film “Saeta: The mourning” looks closely at a traditional religious song and takes the music to an abstract level with an eerie overtone. The two works highlight how creative dance short films and documentaries can be used to enhance our understanding on a culture and and identity politics. 


Rosamaria Kostic Cisneros is a dance historian, critic, Roma scholar, Flamenco Historian, professional dancer, choreographer and peace activist. Rosa makes regular contributions to Bachtrack Magazine and Flamenco News while also working at Coventry University’s Centre for Dance Research. Rosamaria is involved in various EU-funded projects which aim to make education accessible to vulnerable groups and ethnic minorities, and is part of cultural heritage projects that bring dance and digital technologies together.

Hetty Blades Talk: Friday 2nd December

17:00 - 18:15 ICE Building

This presentation will discuss some of the findings from a three-month research project, Moving Online, undertaken in partnership with the Digital Catapult. This project explored the circulation and ownership of dance content and other forms of movement data. I will outline the barriers preventing UK dance companies from sharing content online, suggesting that these arise from practical and philosophical questions about the ownership of human movement and the data it generates. I will go on to discuss how some of these issues are currently being handled in areas such as motion-capture, interaction design and behavioural biometrics, drawing connections between art, technology and industry.


Hetty Blades is a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in C-DaRE. Her research interests include philosophical ontology, dance and technology, and the dissemination of choreographic processes. She was Researcher in Residence at the Digital Catapult between May - August 2016. 

Past Seminars

13th October 2016 - Erin Brannigan

Talking Back: What Dance might make of Badiou’s philosophical project

Alain Badiou states that ‘philosophy depends on art and not the reverse,’ so it follows that the encounter between philosophy and art occurs in the field of aesthetics where art becomes inscribed in philosophical strategies. (2014) In ‘Dance as a Metaphor for Thought,’ (2005) Badiou mobilises dance as a metaphor or ‘instrument’ to arrive at a model of thought. (2014) So Badiou’s essay does not seek to define or describe the artistic activity of dance, but to turn the ‘subjective potency’ of the art form toward the task of defining a particular type of thinking. (2014) This distinction has been missed by some of the rather prickly responses to his essay coming from Dance Studies. (Cjevic 2014: 148, Clark 2011) Badiou is following Nietzsche and Mallarmé in an exercise – perhaps inspired by specific dances, perhaps not – that would find in dancing a strategy, model or ideal for his own disciplinary labour. Dance becomes an instrument amongst his philosophical project just as dance became an ideal strategy amongst Mallarmé’s poetic practice. If this is a case of dance being inscribed into the philosophical labour of Badiou, and if dance could talk back, what would it have to say in response? What does Badiou’s philosophic ‘strategy’ want from dance? That is, what is the nature of the relationship put into play between the model of thinking described and the creative practice of dance?


28th June 2016 - Kate Maguire-Rosier

The Paradox of Identification with Disabled Performers

My PhD investigates whether spectators perceive technology differently once it impacts the disabledperformer. An unstructured interview with four spectators in response to Australian practitioners Dianne Reid and Melinda Smith’s Dance Interrogations, a Diptych at the Melbourne Fringe Festival in October 2015, provoked an emotional discussion. One finding revealed that spectators identified as variously the same as, or as different from, visibly disabled performer, Smith. In this paper, I draw on digital performance theory to suggest spectators’ paradoxical identifications with Smith were catalysed by the “live” presence of her computer-generated voice. I propose spectators perceived the computer voice as non-human, thus encouraging spectators to view themselves as different from Smith. Secondly, I postulate that Smith’s “live” presence became fused with her computer voice, especially when recounting stories of mistreatment enabling spectators to identify as the same as Smith, a reaction typified by one respondent’s comment “…we are all Mel”.

After a pivotal experience as a support artist in an integrated dance workshop in Sydney, Kate began her PhD in late 2013 (Macquarie University). She is especially curious about the possibilities granted to the visibly disabled performer, whether by choice or by default, to provoke emotional responses in spectators. A Senegalese “sabar” dancer, live performance blogger and avid theatre-goer, she also enjoys her work with Treehouse Theatre, a performance and dramatherapy group for young refugees living in Sydney.


20th June 2016 - Helen Poynor

Lifelines : a practitioners’ perspective on the relationship between life and art

An informal retrospective on over 30 years of autobiographical practice from early training in Anna Halprin’s Life Art process in the 1980s to the present.  A life’s journey in performance encompassing adolescence, women and food, rites of passage, Repro BluesMen O Pause All Moments,and grief.

Presentation with images and potential for discussion about working processes for engaging with personal material in the creation of performance.  Exploring the different qualities and degrees of relationship between life and art practice: direct, oblique, unconscious.  Spanning work created in the studio and in environments in the UK, Australia and Java including dance theatre performances, site-specific/environmental work, installation and film.

Helen Poynor is a movement artist specialising in movement in natural environments, site-specific and autobiographical performance and collaborations with installation, film and the visual arts.  She runs the Walk of Life Workshop and Training Programme on the Jurassic Coast in Devon/Dorset.  Visiting Professor of Performance at Coventry University and Registered Dance Movement Therapist, Helen mentors/directs established and emerging practitioners. Publications include: Anna Halprin (Routledge 2004) co-authored with Libby Worth; Anna Halprin and the Sea Ranch Collective, an embodied engagement with place (JDSP 1.1 2009) ‘Body Body’ Embodied Lives (Triarchy 2014) ‘Working Like Farmer: towards an embodied spirituality’ Dance, Somatics and Spiritualities: Contemporary Sacred Narratives (Intellect 2014). Read more about Helen here http://www.walkoflife.co.uk

25th May 2016 - Endalyn M Taylor 

From Black Swan to Lion King and Everything In Between: Navigating One’s Self to Work in the “Midst of it ALL”

University of Illinois’ Assistant Professor of Dance, Endalyn M. Taylor, celebrates a diverse professional career in the performing arts, spanning more than thirty-four years, in numerous capacities, challenging and overcoming sociopolitical, economic, gender, racial and aesthetic biases. This lecture will discuss her success and that of others who have charted paths along the less travelled artistic road, situating their blackness and feminism with-in the whiteness of certain dance forms, and then emerging on the other side with history, advice and a story to tell. The message will be one of inspiration and hope, but also practical information to aid anyone desiring a career in the arts steeped in diversity and longevity.

Endalyn M. Taylor is Assistant Professor of Dance, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She joined the Dance Theatre of Harlem in 1984 and became a principal dancer in 1993. In 1992, Taylor made her Broadway debut in Carousel and went on to perform in two other Tony Award-winning musicals, The Lion King and Aida. Taylor has been commissioned to choreograph several works over the last five years, including as part of the Works and Process at the Guggenheim series, for the High School of Performing Arts in New York City, for the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community, and for the Orchestra of St. Luke's. Taylor has been the director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem School, where she was recently invited to bring 10 of her students to the White House to participate in a new arts initiative of the Obamas.

11th - 13th April - Gibson/Martelli Artists in Residence

ICE studio-closed event with possible public sharing to be announced

Artist Bruno Martelli collaborates with dance and visual artist Ruth Gibson. Gibson / Martelli create installations and performance spaces using computer games, virtual reality, print & video. The duo are based in London and see their practice as an investigation into figure and landscape, simulacra and the sublime. Until 2010 they worked together as igloo - their first collaboration BAFTA nominated. They have received awards & commissions from NESTA, the Henry Moore Foundation, Arts Council England & AHRC. Bruno is a visiting lecturer at AA School of Architecture, Slade & Goldsmiths College while Ruth is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Dance ResearchClick here to fnd out more


16th March 2016 - Amanda Williamson

‘Falling-in-love with language: Between Ricoeur and Husserl’

Amanda will present research from a book chapter ‘Falling-in-love with language: Between Ricoeur and Husserl’ from Performing Phenomenologies of Dance and Enactment, edited by Sondra Fraleigh. This paper examines how the traditions of phenomenology underpin dyadic and communal reflective practice in the field of Somatic Movement Education/ Therapy, and how such methods provide a textual/linguistic space for the sacred to be researched through embodied-language.  It also offers new research approaches when researching the spiritual using embodied linguistic approaches from Paul Ricoeur and Edmund Husserl. Amanda Williamson, Visiting Honorary Professor at Coventry University, is the founding editor of the peer review journal, 'The Journal of Dance, Movement and Spiritualities’. She is editor (with her colleagues Sarah Whately, Glenna Batson and Rebecca Weber) of 'Dance, Somatics and Spiritualities: Contemporary Sacred Narratives', and currently editing books 'Spiritual Herstories: Call of the Soul in Dance Research'.


18th March 2016

Sandra Reeve Retreat Sharing

Sandra Reeve’s ‘ecological movement’ approach considers the artist’s and audience's inter-relationship with the context of the work.  This ingrains site as an integral part of the art-making process, as it emerges out of the affordances offered by the site (and out of the artist and audience ‘collaborating’ in the site). The ecological movement approach also raises wider social and political issues about the interdependence of humans and the surrounding ecology. Sandra Reeve will facilitate an artist’s retreat from 14-18 March, exploring the context of Coventry city as an urban environment, with a final day sharing on the 18th of March which is open to the public. This project is funded by Coventry University and partnered by Decoda and City Arcadia.


10th February 2016 - Monica Dantas

In this presentation, Monica Dantas proposed a discussion about the possibility of creating dance digital archives in Southern Brazil. Archives don’t exist without the consignation of a external place that ensures the possibility of memorisation, repetition, reproduction. The dance archives need other consignation places beyond the body. But what do we archive when we archive dance? What are the strategies to disseminate the dance archives contents? How do digital dance archives are conceived in order to promote recording, updating and dissemination of choreographic repertoires in contemporary dance? In order to answer these questions, she has been examining two dance digital archives: "Siobhan Davies Replay" and "Dance Digital Archives". However, this analyses considers also the differences between two countries and their specific contexts. Considering the Brazil as a country from peripheral economy and cultural production, how can we conceive a digital dance archive that suits to these conditions? How to work with very limited economic resources? How to assimilate and reframe digital archival procedures? How to deal with personal and cultural experiences related to dance and digital in Southern Brazil?

Monica Fagundes Dantas (Brazil) has a PhD in Études et pratiques des arts, at the Université du Québec in Montreal. She has a Master’s in Human Movement Sciences at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, Brazil. She is Associated Professor at UFRGS. She received a grant from CAPES Foundation/Brazilian Ministry of Education to develop a Pos-Doctoral Research about dance digital archives at C-DaRE. Her research interests include contemporary choreography and cultural perspectives, somatic dance practices and teaching dance at University. She is also a contemporary dancer. 


27th January 2016 - Cecilia Macfarlane

In this presentation, Cecilia Macfarlane discussed her most recent projects, and the ways in which she marries her practice as an artist with the communities that she works with. Macfarlane is an independent artist based in Oxford, with a national and international reputation for her work in the community. She trained as a teacher at the Royal Academy of Dance and as a dancer at the London School of Contemporary Dance. She is the founding director of Oxford Youth Dance, DugOut Adult Community Dance and Crossover Intergenerational Dance Company and co-founding director of Oxford Youth Dance Company.  She was a Senior Lecturer in Arts in the Community at Coventry University for nine years. Her work is based on her passionate belief that dance is for everyone; she celebrates the uniqueness and individuality of each dancer.  As a performer, Cecilia is continually curious about expression, how movement can communicate so powerfully to others without the need for words. Her work is very influenced by her studies with Joan Skinner, Helen Poynor, Deborah Hay and most recently Anna Halprin.


13th January 2016

Figures – audio visual recording of performance, paper and Q&A

Figures is a new work for piano conceived, devised and directed by Irish-based, Mexican-born composer Óscar Mascareñas in collaboration with Mexican dance artist Nora Rodríguez. The work is the result of eight years of research in sound and movement that Mascareñas has been undertaking at the University of Limerick in Ireland. The aim of this project is to explore the transformation of somatic forces into sounds and the relationship between the piano and the body; the former not only seen and understood as a musical instrument, but also, and most importantly, as a space where the body moves, plays and interacts with its physicality and its sonic potential.

Óscar Mascareñas is the founding course director of the BA in Voice and Dance at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, and currently a full-time researcher and lecturer in the same institution.is a Mexican composer, poet, performer and musicologist. Nora Rodríguez is a Mexican dance artist based in Limerick, Ireland. She is currently Dance Co-ordinator of the BA in Voice and Dance programme at the Irish World Academy in the University of Limerick. http://www.irishworldacademy.ie/mascarenas-oscar/​

This event was co-organised with John Habron.

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