PANEL 7: Practice (dances with) Research

PANEL 7: Practice (dances with) Research

Friday 15th January 2016 – 2:00PM-3:30PM – Rehearsal Room 2


  • Practice as Research: a new insight of composing dance improvisation. Jindeok Park


Since the 1960s, improvisation has been used in order to practice awareness in the studio, leading to composition for performance by dance artists. A dance and multidisciplinary artist, Kent De Spain (2003, p.167), points out the importance of being aware of the present moment while improvising. Indeed, exploring improvisation indicates the present moment of changeability, unexpectedness and aliveness. However, after experimenting with improvisation for more than fifty years, making improvised performances should acknowledge the differences between improvisation for practicing and improvisation for composition.

This paper presents how my practice is framed in Practice as Research. I am particularly, interested in using the archiving process to define the process of composing dance improvisation. I apply the archiving as a method to experiment with improvisation in relation to the process of making. The questions are emerged whether only the live composition is only involved in live improvised performance? What about the composing process during rehearsals or making of the piece? What is the process of making like for improvisation? Is there the possibility of expanding the use of archives to improvised performance? The embodied knowledge, which comes from my experiences of testing and observing, may be answered to these questions. Knowledge constitutes in a repetitive process of thinking, doing and reflecting. I keep questioning myself through the observing what kind of knowledge emerged and what knowledge found from my practice.

Jindeok Park is a dancer, choreographer and currently involved in Practice as Research in dance improvisation at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. After graduating from Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul (South Korea), she participated in EDge Dance Company 2010 and completed MA at London Contemporary Dance School. She has danced in and choreographed numerous dance pieces, including ‘ID’, performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2008 and ‘a Downpour’, performed at Resolution 2012 (Robin Harward Theatre).

  • Attending (Theatre) as Practice-based Research. Dr George Home-Cook


Using Theatre and Aural Attention (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) as a point of reference, this paper introduces and sheds light on Home-Cook’s guiding methodology: namely, phenomenology and ‘attending (theatre) practice-based research’ (2015).

Practice-based research has overwhelmingly been conceived as a stage-side concern, tending to focus largely on performance, or the act of performing, whether conceived as performance-art, acting, or being a provocateur. Yet, and as this paper aims to foreground, the practice of attending (theatre), like acting, also provides us with knowledge in as well of performance.

Far from beginning his research with a series of well-chosen case studies, that might ‘prove’, a priori, a pre-given theory concerning theatre and aural attention, Home-Cook’s practice seeks to investigate what arises from and in the process of attending theatre. That is, although initially selecting performances on account of their suitability for an exploration of theatrical sound, a good deal of the questions, themes, or phenomena of interest, arose post hoc. Conversely, whilst Home-Cook’s case studies emphasise the everyday nature of his theatregoing, his mode of reception-as-perception is, equally, unequivocally extra-ordinary. ‘Bracketing’ sound and its assumptions, attending to himself listening to sound(s), re-attending the same performance whilst investigating the same questions, all this, is necessarily different from an everyday mode of theatrical attendance. Lastly, and as Home-Cook demonstrates in this paper, the practice of conducting a phenomenology of (theatrical) listening necessarily requires repetition.

By (re)examining a range of phenomena, themes and questions as they arise in a number of different theatrical and attentional contexts through a wide-variety of phenomenological examples, Theatre and Aural Attention aims to bring about an elucidation of the phenomenon of (aural) attention: through and in the practice of attending, knowledge ‘worlds up’.


  • The Choreography of Research / Performing Practice: Visioning and embodying landscape | Dancing towards practice based action research. Dr Beatrice Jarvis


This paper explores the role of the sustained encounter within practice- based interdisciplinary research to construct unique resources to investigate how urban space is used and to develop personal geographies of the city that allow space to become place.

Scrutinizing samples and performance traces of her socio-ethno choreographic field research from Berlin, Bucharest, Gaza and Northern Ireland, Javris reflects upon how the landscape of the city in conflict performs as an active archive for embodied memory. Jarvis investigates how performance research within her practice based research model functions as social instrument to build further resources and new applications encouraging new cross-community dialogues to form.

The body in the city acts a vessel to carry, contain and interact, forming routes and navigations through the immediacies of its encounter. Working with a series of movement scores, psychogeographical exercises, mapping workshops with over 120 participants of all ages; Jarvis has created an archive and research framework which seeks through active experimentation to generate a series of artistic and academic responses to the ways in which the city function as studio and canvas for the performance of daily life.

This paper debates how far the performance process can enable participants to have a more actively responsible relationship to their terrain; exploring the role of memory and personal narrative as key to research process and landscape; expanding the potential of practice based research as social resource.

How far can site specific performance become a social medium for the study of the political and cultural shifts in urban terrain? The encounter with place within this research generates tactic knowledge: the sensitive nature of trans-disciplinary practice aims to explore the field of expanded choreography as a means of establishing socio-urban dialog and counter narrative to re-examine perspective of the individual body and collective social movement within urban terrain.

Beatrice Jarvis (PhD) is an urban space creative facilitator, choreographer and researcher, founder of the Urban Research Forum and The Living Collective. She holds a practice based PhD from The University of Ulster and the University of Kingston. As a dance artist, she works in Romania, Gaza, Berlin, Germany and Northern Ireland to generate large-scale and site specific choreographic works to explore the social power and potential of embodied movement practices. Her socio-choreographic research has been profiled within Pina Bausch Symposium, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, dOCUMENTA (13), The National School of Art Bucharest, Galway Dance Festival, Goldsmiths CUCR Tate, and the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting 2013. Most recently she was commissioned as site artist in residence of Groundwork. Her commissions include Jerwood Space, Steven Lawrence Center and EGFK Berlin.