CDR Events

The Centre for Dance Research organises an annual series of research seminars, panel discussions, and lecture demonstrations by international scholars and dance artists as well as those from the UK and Roehampton. The Centre also hosts high-profile symposia and international conferences.

To see past events programmes, please go to Past CDR Events.

CDR Events, Autumn 2018

Unless otherwise noted, the CDR events listed below are free, open to the public, and do not require booking. They either take place on the campus of the University of Roehampton or at Independent Dance, Siobhan Davies Studios. For more information, contact


Tuesday 2nd October 2018, 17:30-19:00 

University of Roehampton, room Grove House 002

CDR research seminar  |  Martha Graham’s Cold War: The Dance of American Diplomacy | Victoria Phillips

Victoria Phillips will be talking about her forthcoming book Martha Graham’s Cold War: The Dance of American Diplomacy, which examines Graham’s enduring influence as a female ambassador who performed American freedoms with modernism in dance on the global Cold War stage. 

Dr Victoria Phillips is a Lecturer in History at the European Institute, Associated Faculty at the Harriman Institute, and director of the Cold War Archival Research project. In 2018-2019 she will teach at the London School of Economics as a Visiting Fellow. She specializes in cold war history and cultural diplomacy. Her book, Martha Graham’s Cold War: The Dance of American Diplomacy (Oxford University Press, 2019), explores the international political work of Martha Graham and her company. 


Monday 8th October 2018, 17:30 – 19:30

University of Roehampton, Howard 001

Body Games – Capoeira and Ancestry (film screening and Q&A with Matthias Röhrig Assunção)

The documentary Body Games – Capoeira and Ancestry is one of the major outcomes of the of the AHRC funded research project The Angolan Roots of Capoeira (2010-13) that was completed in November 2013. It has been shown at many documentary film festivals in Africa, Europe, and the Americas throughout 2014 and 2015. The film is co-directed by Richard Pakleppa, Professor Matthias Röhrig Assunção and capoeira master Cobra Mansa, and follows Cobra Mansa and the team on travels through Angola and Brazil in search of the historical roots of his art. The journey explores deeper connections between slavery, identity and society.


Watch the trailer on YouTube: Body Games trailer (English)

Interview BBC World News 15 December 2014;

From 1985 to 1992 Professor Matthias Röhrig Assunção taught History at the Latin American Institute of the FU Berlin, before coming to the University of Essex in 1993. He has been a visiting lecturer at various Brazilian universities (UFMA, USP, UFRJ & UFF). Since 2007 he is an associate researcher of the Laboratory of Oral History and Image (LABHOI) and the Research Centre for Cultural History (NUPEHC), both located at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro state in Niteroi (UFF). He serves on the editorial boards of the journals Bulletin of Latin American Research (since 2001) and Iberoamericana (since 2004). Following his work on the history of capoeira Matthias has been trying to understand the development of combat games in the Black Atlantic and how it relates to the construction of masculinity in popular culture.


Tuesday 23rd October 2018, 19:30 

Independent Dance, Siobhan Davies Studios 

Crossing Borders talk | Maintaining spectactular non-progress | Heni Hale, Marina Collard and Nicola Conibere 

Discussions about time, waste, visibility and cleaning, following two very different projects. 

Marina and Heni question how the mundane everyday maintenance of our lives can become reframed within a practice of artistic enquiry. They discuss Dream Clean Clean Dream focussing on cleaning, its choreographic and aesthetic potentials as well as the inherent gendered political issues of an unseen workforce. A video project that examines the running of a B& B in France they aim to raise questions, such as where does the dirt go, how much of ‘clean’ is an illusion, are we erasing traces of previous lives? 

Nicola introduces House Services, a research project inspired by the body in states of excess, created at a time of national austerity. Working with a range of collaborators, her research has led to questions about acts of maintenance, wasted energy and proposals for not progressing. 

Newly co-director of Independent Dance, Henrietta Hale is a performer and choreographer. Since 2004 she has been founding co-director of Dog Kennel Hill Project, a performance/research collective. Their work encompasses a broad range of performance contexts such as site- specific productions, touring theatre works, screenworks and installations in galleries that each draw on their ongoing research into social, scientific and political concerns through embodied practices. For example People Working Project, 2009 – 2018 examines labour, capitalism and fulfillment in various performance forms. They have been commissioned by Dance Umbrella, The Place Prize, Whitechapel Gallery, Modern Art Oxford, and  Dance in Libraries. She is currently collaborating with long term colleague Marina Collard on Dream Clean Clean Dream which she sees as an extension of People Working Project.; www.facebook/dogkennelhillproject; twitter – @dkhpdog

Marina Collard is interested in collaborating with artists from different disciplines. She has worked with filmmaker Tom Paine for 18 years and this creative partnership has informed her choreographic practice. Her work has been shown in the UK and abroad including Still Going shown at the British Council Theatre Delhi 2016 where she was a mentor for the Gati Dance Summer Residency programme. Her most recent  collaboration, Something’s Going On, includes sound by composer Paul Newland and was  shown at SDS Open Choreography and Tanz@Namedy Festival in Germany. Other collaborative projects include Ether with Graham Fitkin Ether at the Southbank, The body in and as Space with Kate Johnson Tripspace commission in collaboration with The Hayward Gallery. Marina is currently collaborating with Henrietta Hale on the making of Clean Dream – Dream Clean.

As a performer, Marina has worked with ceramicist Claire Twomey, Florence Peake, Dog Kennel Hill Project, Carol Brown Dances, CandoCo Dance Company, Joe Moran among others. She is currently working with choreographer and researcher Carolyn Roy.

Nicola Conibere is a choreographer and scholar based in London. Her choreographic work has been presented internationally in theatres and art galleries. In 2015 she was awarded the Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award and she was an Associate Artist with Nottingham based, international dance agency Dance4 from 2009 to 2014. She is a Senior Lecturer in Dance at Roehampton University.


Tuesday 30th October 2018, 19:30 

Independent Dance, Siobhan Davies Studios

A Crossing Borders talk | Choreo-reading: between knowledge and life | Efrosini Protopapa and Susanne Foellmer 

If choreography is usually perceived as an act of writing (dance), what does it mean for making to be understood through the notion of reading? How does the choreographic engage in the present with what is already there, the past, the historical, but also the forgotten or irretrievable? 

Dr Efrosini Protopapa is a London-based choreographer and scholar. Her research interests lie in experimental and conceptual practices across dance, theatre and performance and her recent work focuses on notions of thinking, negotiation, disagreement, friendship, value and labour in performance. She has presented choreographic work across the UK, The Netherlands, Germany and Greece, and recently toured a commissioned work by Siobhan Davies Dance that premiered at the Barbican Curve. Lately, Efrosini has been working on a choreographic research project entitled ‘the friend at work’, and co-edited ‘The Practice of Dramaturgy: Working on Actions in Performance’ (Valiz, 2017). She is a Senior Lecturer in Dance at the University of Roehampton where she convenes the MRes Choreography and Performance programme. She also teaches internationally and has published in journals, arts publications and catalogues for performance festivals. 

Dr Susanne Foellmer is a dance and theatre scholar. She received her PhD at Freie Universität Berlin, focusing on unfinished corporealities in contemporary dance and performance art. Educated at the Instiute for Applied Theatre Studies at the Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen (MA degree) her dissertation dealt with dance and drama in the Weimar Era with a special focus on the dancer and actress Valeska Gert, dealing also with re-presentations of gender, politics and inter/mediality. Her most recent research approaches dance and performance from the perspective of “leftovers”, being examined in her current project “On Remnants and Vestiges. Strategies of Remaining in the Performing Arts” (funded by German Research Foundation/DFG). 


Wednesday 7th November 2018, 12:45-14.00

University of Roehampton, Davies Studio 1

How My Body Should Move: Borderless-ness And Fluidity Of Identity Through Movement | Elisabeth Motley

A lecture/demonstration on how movement makes meaning that influences societal attitudes and cultural norms. Assistant Professor Motley’s ongoing movement and embodied writing performance practice challenges myths around able-ism and the social gaze on physical and cognitive variance. Led by Motley’s own neurological encephalitis, the research practice examines the structures that define freedoms of the body and links to overarching themes within Disability Artistry.  Developed as a 2018 Brooklyn Arts Exchange Grant recipient (NY. USA).

Elisabeth Motley is a New York-based choreographer, teacher and performer. Most recently, Motley received a 2018-2019 Fulbright US-UK Scholar Award and Brooklyn Arts Exchange Grant. Her work has been presented at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Gibney Dance, Festival Oltre Passo – Italy, Springboard Danse Montreal, Danspace Project, Movement Research at Judson, The Chocolate Factory Theater, Joyce SoHo, and The Whitney Museum among others. She has been an Artist in Residence at Chez Bushwick, Center for Performance Research, and New York Live Arts. Motley has performed the works of Yvonne Rainer, Pat Catterson and collaborated with Trisha Brown on a series of improvisational structures from 2011-2013. Elisabeth holds a BFA from the Juilliard School and MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. She is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Marymount Manhattan College and has previously taught at The Juilliard School, Snow College, Manhattanville College, and Bowdoin College.


Tuesday 20th November 2018, 18.30-20:00  

University of Roehampton, Michaelis Theatre 

CDR evening screening of Movies for Movers with Cara Hagan

ADF’s ‘Movies by Movers’ is an annual, international, film festival celebrating the conversation between the moving body and the camera under the auspices of the American Dance Festival. This screening is a collection of short films from around the world which feature various cinematic approaches with regard to concept, style. This collection of films invites us to consider all the different ways dance film can be defined and how the boundaries of our art form can be made pliable.”

Cara Hagan is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice is informed by movement, words and digital space. Ms. Hagan has the pleasure of sharing her artistic pursuits across the United States and abroad. Most recently, Cara has set choreographic works on students at the UNC School of the Arts, Missouri State University and on professional dancers at the Dance Barn Festival in Battle Lake, MN. Her recent guest residencies have included Thirak India, where she taught, performed and lectured across the north region of India, and at James Madison University, where she taught a series of workshops on dance film. Further, Cara has made recent performance appearances at the Asheville Wordfest, the Taos Poetry Festival, the On Site/In Sight Dance Festival, and the Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh.  A recipient of several grants and awards, Cara recently received a 2014-2015 NCAC Choreographic Fellowship Award, a 2015 Sustainability in the Arts Grant and a 2015-2016 University Research Council Grant. Ms. Hagan serves on the dance studies faculty at Appalachian State University, as well as serving as director and curator for ADF’s Movies By Movers, an annual, international dance film festival that hosts events at both the American Dance Festival and Appalachian State University. Cara’s scholarly and creative work can be found in various publications, including the Snapdragon Journal of Art and Healing, Headwaters Journal of Expressive Arts, the International Journal of Screendance, and in the book, Dance’s Duet with the Camera: Motion Pictures, edited by Telory D. Arendell and Ruth Barnes. Currently Cara is under contract to complete her first solo authored book through McFarland Publishing


Wednesday 21st November 2018, 12.45-14.00  

University of Roehampton, Cedar 101 

CDR lunchtime presentation by Cara Hagan |

Visual Politics in American Dance Film

This research seminar explores stylistic and demographic commonalities found in American dance film through the curatorial lens of ADF’s Movies by Movers, an international dance film festival situated within the famed American Dance Festival. Between the seasons of 2015 and 2018, Curator and Director Cara Hagan surveys data derived from the submission pool to the festival with findings based on numbers taken for gender, race, age, and ability, as well as taking note of stylistic trends from season to season. While calling into question how the dance film community can be more intentional about the ways dance film is produced and presented with regard to representation, Hagan reveals instances of disparity found in American dance film while examining the relationship of dance film to the ideologies perpetuated by mass media and the world of professional dance. Hagan refers to her findings as visual politics. While the term is not new, in this instance, visual politics refer to the people and situations we see on screen with respect to the culture created in two-dimensional space by makers and presenters in the collective; influenced by socio-cultural norms in the real world; affected by the lens through which we view the arts and arts industries. With this definition as a basis, Hagan uses her data and interviews with curators and artists across the United States to paint a clearer picture of the representational landscape of dance film across America.


Tuesday 27th November 2018, 19:30 

Independent Dance, Siobhan Davies Studios 

Moving Kinship: choreography, performance & the politics of everyday life | Beatrice Allegranti and Jon Silas 

This conversation presents interdisciplinary choreographic, dance movement psychotherapy and neuroscientific practice, research and activism with people living with young onset dementia, their families and the artistic team Beatrice Allegranti Dance Theatre. Informed by feminist new materialism and cognitive neuroscience, we will explore the ethics and politics of creating dance not only for an audience but with and through audiences. As such, we propose ‘moving kinship’ as an integrated artistic practice that enables us to think about human and more-than-human-bodies and worlds simultaneously. We will include performative vignettes as ways to think through kinship with/in the choreographic process, performance and, for the living of everyday life. 

Dr Beatrice Allegranti: For over two decades Beatrice’s experience is influenced by several intersecting identities as an independent choreographer, UKCP Reg. dance movement psychotherapist, feminist writer, researcher and educator encompassing choreography and filmmaking (touring UK, France, U.S.A, Norway, Finland, Ireland, Hong Kong, Poland, Brazil), as well as clinical dance movement psychotherapy practice and supervision in the NHS (in adult mental health; dementia; special needs; autism) and in private practice.

Jonathan Silas is currently a senior lecturer at Middlesex University and completed his doctoral research into the social function of a mirror neuron system at Roehampton University. His post-doctoral research fellowship was at the University of Pennsylvania where he explored olfactory function and the link to sub-cortical dementia. Jonathan is co-founder of the Jones & Silas Lab; a centre for cognitive neuroscience research at Middlesex University. Dr Silas’s research interests are in sensorimotor aspects of cognition and the methods used to understand brain functioning. His collaboration with Beatrice has extended his interests into the epistemological nature of scientific knowledge and how this can be informed by and inform socio-political and psychotherapeutic issues of embodiment. 


Wednesday 5th December 2018

University of Roehampton, room & time tbc 

CDR research seminar by Tamara Tomić-Vajagić 

A snap, a bridge, the dress and the fold: parallel structures in Issey Miyake fashion and William Forsythe’s choreography 

In this presentation I explore parallel gestures and connective affinities (Heathfield, 2018) in William Forsythe’s choreography and Issey Miyake’s fashion. Particular focus is on their 1991 collaboration in The Loss of Small Detail (Ballet Frankfurt, 1991). The costumes used in this work belong to Miyake’s ‘a piece of cloth’ concept, which includes movement of pleating and folding. As seen in Forsythe’s dances, Miyake’s designs can be understood as ‘choreographic objects’ (Forsythe, 2011) in dialogue with the dance material, including the folding of balletic épaulement through operations of ‘disfocus’. Furthermore, Miyake’s folded clothes suggest a possible paradigmatic visualisation of Forsythe’s dance work as the fold (Deleuze, 1993), or an ontological multiple concerned with cohesion and continuity. 

Dr Tamara Tomić-Vajagić is a dance scholar with background in fine arts. She is a Senior Lecturer in the Dance Department at the University of Roehampton, London.