Institute of Environment, Health and Societies

Center for Contemporary and Digital Performance

2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2009-10 . 2010-11 .2011-12. 2012-13 . 2013-14 . 2015-17 .2018-19 . 2019-20 . 2020-21

Interdisciplinary Performance Research Laboratories and Lectures 2019-20

Fall Series: October/November 2019, on Wednesdays, 5pm - 6:30 pm, Drama Studio - Gaskell Building, Brunel University London`

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October 23, 2019

17:oo- 18:3o

Drama Studio, Gaskell Hall

Alan Sondheim (filmmaker/musician, Providence, Rhode Island)

"Somatic Ghosting"

h1 align=center style='text-align:center'> Alan Sondheim will explore the somatic - bodies in relation to music making (possibly demonstrating this live, also talking about the dutar and Uyghurs (and showing a video of his dutar playing, with Azure Carter singing 'Human Smoke'), and then open that up to the grit of the body in relation to altered mocap - show/talk about video - then into the material from virtual worlds, the ‘America piece’, as well as those pieces where the land changes "losing" the avatar. The talk may also veer into discussing refugees, genocides, a far cry from the safety of digital / virtual representation – and what to do with brutality, strongmen – when nothing makes sense in the political theatre and we are working w/in the senseless. Sondheim will also address the ideas of malleability input /transformation / output- in relation to 1. Constraints--what bodies do--reading the inputs and outputs - 2. Related to gamespace--edgespace—blankspace - 3. Related to real bodies, bodies under stress--the analogic, idiotic real.

Alan Sondheim's books include the anthology Being on Line: Net Subjectivity (1997), Disorders of the Real (1988), .echo (2001), Vel (Blazevox, 2004-5), Sophia (Writers Forum, 2004), The Wayward (2004),[4] and "Writing Under" (2012),[5] as well as numerous other chapbooks, ebooks, and articles. Sondheim has long been associated with the Trace online writing community, and was their second virtual-writer-in-residence. His video and filmwork have been widely shown. Sondheim was an Eyebeam resident. He co-moderates several email lists, including Cybermind, Cyberculture and Wryting. Since 1994, he has been working on the "Internet Text," a continuous meditation on philosophy, psychology, language, body, and virtuality. His artwork can also be found within Second Life.[9] In 1996 he was keynote speaker for the Cybermind96 Conference in Perth Western Australia - one of the world's first conferences specifically organised around an email discussion list. In 2012 he was a presenter and active participant at the CyPosium, a one-day online symposium on cyberformance. Sondheim is the developer of the concept of codework wherein computer code itself becomes a medium for artistic expression. His poetico-philosophical writings deal with the notion of embodiment and presence in cyberspace, loosely based on the work of postmodern philosophers Jacques Lacan and Jacques Derrida. He explores notions of the 'abject' in the masculine and feminine online, and more recently has dealt with the machinic using the language of computer code to articulate novel forms of identity in cyberspace. His work crosses over between philosophical explorations and sound poetry and more recently he has returned to the language of music using the tonalities of a wide range of ethnic instruments. His poetry has spanned several decades ranging from avant guard beat poetry and stream-of-consciousness of the late 60's and 70's and soundscape poetry, maturing into a complex melding of multiple representational forms.

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November 13, 2019

17:oo- 18:3o

Drama Studio, Gaskell Hall

Kareem Khubchandani (Theatre, Tufts University (USA)

"Queer Nightlife"

This talk draws on ethnographic research conducted between 2009 and 2013 in Bangalore for the presenter's forthcoming book, Ishtyle: Improvising Gay South Asian Nightlife , which explores how middle and upper class professional men negotiate intimacy under conditions of displacement, migration, and labor contingency. “Binary codes” plays on the lingua franca of information technology, and gestures to moral anxieties produced in light of India’s rise as a global IT capital. Political and economic changes exacerbate binarized categories and logics (East | West; Indian | foreign; male | female; gay | straight). In Bangalore, the association of bar and club nightlife with westernness, the repeated discursive production of gay men as "techies," and the perpetual abjection of gayness as un-Indian creates urgent stakes for queer Indian men to think about how they style and move their bodies in nightlife spaces. This talk describe how queer dancers choreograph their bodies in gay party spaces, to show that their small refusals, misfires, and elisions make for a queer habitus that is less bifurcated by gender, race, and nationality.

Kareem Khubchandani is Mellon Bridge Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, and the Program in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Tufts University. Kareem is developing several book projects include: Ishtyle: Accenting Gay Indian Nightlife (forthcoming, U. Michigan Press), Queer Nightlife (co-edited with Kemi Adeyemi and Ramón Rivera-Servera), and Auntologies: Queer Aesthetics and South Asian Aunties. Kareem has published in Scholar and Feminist Online; Transgender Studies Quarterly ; Theater Topics; and Theatre Journal. Kareem holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University, and previously served as the inaugural Embrey Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

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November 27, 2019

17:oo- 18:3o

Drama Studio, Gaskell Hall

Anna Semenova-Ganz (Hamburg)

“Performativity of things and their material regimes”

Referring to her artistic project “Dacha”, Anna Semenova-Ganz will share the methodology of group movement research in the old abandoned Soviet summerhouse, and will analyse the experience of creating research-based performative installations within between gap of anthropology and choreography, where the material heritage of socialist era is regarded through the prism of new materialism.

Anna Semenova-Ganz is an artist, dramaturg, and movement researcher. She studied Media Communication at Moscow State University and Performance Studies at Hamburg University. Anna creates her works with combined genres of performance, public art, media art and choreography, inviting spectators to be a part of the group research process, which she facilitates. Her works are focused on the relation between the space, the body and the objects, they were performed in city-spaces, theatre stages, and museum white cubes. In the center of her artistic research there are identity issues, post-soviet body, body politics and the creation of the new spaces. Her chapter “Objects that Choreograph Us – Notes on Movement-research at an old Soviet Summerhouse,” appeared in the just published anthology on dance and new materialism: Tanz der Dinge/Things that dance, ed. Johannes Birringer & Josephine Fenger, Bielefeld: transcript 2019.

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Winter Series 2019-20 - on Wednesdays, 5pm - 6:30 pm, Drama Studio - Gaskell Building, Brunel University London

January 22, 2020

17:oo- 18:3o

Drama Studio, Gaskell Hall

Gavin Thatcher (Theatre, Brunel University)

"Singing Bodies: Reconsidering and Retraining the Corporeal Voice”


This talk draws on research conducted by Gavin Thatcher (Brunel University London) and Daniel Galbreath (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire), which explores how the voice can be reconsidered as being in and of the body/mind, forming part of an expressive, relational, embodied whole; and how might this view augment voice training, particularly in conservatoire settings? The paradigms embedded in classical training reinforce a dichotomization of voice and body/mind, reflecting historical pedagogical and philosophical trends which recall or perpetuate Cartesian dualism. This talk describes how we became aware of this dualism during two interdisciplinary theatre performance projects that involved classically-trained singers in physical devising, and how we addressed it by focusing rehearsals towards developing awareness of what we refer to as the “corporeal voice.

Gavin Thatcher is a Birmingham-based theatre maker, workshop leader, lecturer and researcher in the area of the body, movement and dramaturgy. He is currently reading for a PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London on dramaturgical practice in contemporary British dance-theatre. In 2015, he was part of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s Foundry Programme for emerging artists, where he was mentored by Alexander Zeldin and Caroline Horton. Gavin is interested in making work with untrained bodies, and recently assisted acclaimed French theatre director, Mohamed El Khatib, working with over 50 football supporters on stage. Prior to joining the Theatre Department at Brunel, Gavin was a Visiting Lecturer at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, De Montfort University Leicester, and University of Wolverhampton. He has also worked extensively as a theatre-maker, and is currently developing a collection of three works exploring neurological trauma. The first two pieces: Grey Matter and The Prisoner's Cinema have been supported by Birmingham Repertory Theatre and MAC Birmingham.

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February 5, 2020

17:oo- 18:3o

Drama Studio, Gaskell Hall

Maria Chatzichristodoulou (School of Arts and Creative Industries, South Bank University)

“Live Art in the UK: Shaping a Field”

This presentation will pose questions around the nature of Live Art as a cultural phenomenon within the British art scene and the cultural specificity of its identity. It will set out to reflect on the process of shaping a cultural sector and consider some of the forces, parameters, circumstances and events that gave rise, directly or indirectly, to the conditions which were needed for Live Art to emerge as a particular set of practices, distinct from visual arts or theatre. It will do this through presenting the viewpoints of three "creative catalysts," which have played an important part in the emergence and continuous development of Live Art. Those are: the Live Art Development Agency (London), Compass Live Art (Leeds) and SPILL Festival of Performance (London and Ipswich). The presentation will also introduce the edited collection Live Art in the UK, published in December 2019 by Bloomsbury.

Maria Chatzichristodoulou (aka Maria X) is Associate Professor in Performance and New Media at London South Bank University (LSBU), and Head of External Development and Enterprise for the School of Arts and Creative Industries. Previously she was a Lecturer in Theatre and Performance at the University of Hull (2009-2015), where she also acted as Director of Postgraduate Studies for the School of Arts and New Media (2010 -2013), before moving to the School of Drama, Music and Screen (2014-15). Maria has also taught theatre, performance and new media at the University of London Colleges Goldsmiths, Birkbeck and Queen Mary, Richmond (the International American University in the UK), and the FE College WEA (2004-2009). She holds a PhD in Art and Computational Technologies from Goldsmiths, University of London (2010). Maria is a cultural practitioner who has worked as curator, producer, performer, writer and community organiser in the UK, Greece and internationally (France, Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, Peru). She was co-founder and co-director of the international Art and Technology Festival Medi@terra and co-artistic director of Fournos Centre for Digital Culture, both in Athens, Greece (1996-2002). Medi@terra was co-organised with the Hellenic Ministries of Culture and Development and was part of the Cultural Olympiad. In the UK, Maria worked as Community Participation Officer at The Albany in London (2003–5), and co-convener of The Thursday Club at Goldsmiths, University of London (2006-2009). Maria has published and presented her research widely, convened numerous conferences and symposia, and curated festivals and exhibitions.

February 26, 2020

17:oo- 18:3o

Drama Studio, Gaskell Hall

Larissa de Oliveira Neves (Professor of Theory and Literay History, UNICAMP, Campinas, Brasil)

“Outsider Theatre”

From the project description of a joint research venture involving Larissa de Oliveira Neves and Grant Peterson: From sacred to profane practices within communities, and from street revelry to the popular stage, many forms of theatrical performance developed outside of official forms of recognition in Brazil and beg more in-depth critical attention for generating influence over many regions in the country. In this respect, the ongoing Fapesp-funded project challenges traditional understandings of established Brazilian genres of performance as well as postcolonial legacies of Portuguese and broader European influences that shaped Brazil’s cultural histories. The contributions and interchanges between African, Iberian and Indigenous cultures importantly contributed to Brazilian theatre and performance in ways that dialogue dynamically with what are commonly considered the ‘more lettered arts’ in Brazil.

Larissa de Oliveira Neves is a Professor of theory and literary history at the University of Campinas – Unicamp, in Brazil ( She is a specialist in Brazilian literature, playwriting, Brazilian theatre history, theatre theory and popular culture. Larissa de Oliveira Neves is the author of several articles about Brazilian theatre and of the book O theatro: crônicas de Arthur Azevedo (2009). She supports the Graduate and Undergraduate programs in the Art’s Institute of Unicamp and currently is the coordinator of the Theatre Undergraduate Course in Unicamp. Recently she completed a postdoctoral research at Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3, France (Fapesp - 2016). Larissa de Oliveira Neves is editor of the theatre journal Pitágoras 500: see here


March 4, 2012

17:oo- 18:3o

Drama Studio, Gaskell Hall

Emily Wilcox (Professor of Modern Chinese Studies/Director of Graduate Studies in the Dept of Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan, USA)

“Post/Revolutionary Bodies: Chinese Dance and the Socialist Legacy”

In this talk Wilcox will discuss her recent book, the first English-language primary source–based history of concert dance in the People’s Republic of China. Combining over a decade of ethnographic and archival research, Revolutionary Bodies analyzes major dance works by Chinese choreographers staged over an eighty-year period from 1935 to 2015, examining connections between socialist thought, cultural institutions, and transnational exchange as they relate to dance creation, education, and theory. Using previously unexamined film footage, photographic documentation, performance programs, and other historical and contemporary sources, Wilcox challenges the commonly accepted view that Sovietinspired revolutionary ballets are the primary legacy of the socialist era in China’s dance field and instead presents the contemporary practice of Chinese dance as the era's major creative project.

Emily Wilcox is Assistant Professor of Modern Chinese Studies in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan, USA. She is a specialist in Asian performance, with a focus on dance in the People's Republic of China. Her articles appear in positions: asia critique, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, The Journal of Asian Studies, Asian Theatre Journal, Journal of Folklore Research, TDR: The Drama Review, Wudao Pinglun (the Dance Review), Body and Society, and other venues. Her book Revolutionary Bodies: Chinese Dance and the Socialist Legacy was published by the University of California Press in October 2018, and she is co-editor of the edited volume Corporeal Politics: Dancing East Asia, forthcoming with the University of Michigan Press in September 2020.

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For more information contact 01895 267 343
.........Admission free..........

Location: Artaud Performance Center, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH

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