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PARIP Symposium
10 - 11 November 2001 | University of Bristol


Frances Barbe University of Kent at Canterbury

From the body: the importance of sustained, practical experience in researching Tadashi Suzuki’s training system

This presentation introduces Fran Barbe’s experience of the theatre philosophy and training system of Japanese theatre director, Tadashi Suzuki. It makes a case for the vital importance of sustained, long-term and practice-based research into a method such as Suzuki’s, drawing attention to the gap between the theoretical and practical comprehension of such a highly physical system.

Frances Barbe is a Research Fellow at the University of Kent at Canterbury and recipient of an AHRB Daiwa Anglo Japanese Foundation Creative Fellowship. The Japanese models of Butoh dance and Suzuki have influenced her theatre practice for some eight years. Her company, Tanden, explores ensemble physical performance across a variety of disciplines. Barbe also performs Butoh for Butoh Mamu, based in Germany and recently joined Katsura Kan and the Saltinbanques in Edinburgh. She is co-founder of Theatre Training Initiative, a London based training organization.

Valerie Briginshaw University College Chichester
Emilyn Claid University of Surrey

Embodying ambiguities — plays between dancing and writing

Embodying Ambiguities is a three-year research project which aims to explore the complexities of the plays between dancing and writing texts, focusing on the question: how does thought move and how does movement think? The research outcomes include live performance, writing, film and the creation of a CDRom.

Valerie A. Briginshaw is a Reader in Dance at University College Chichester. Her book Dance, Space and Subjectivity (2001) applies poststructuralist theories to postmodern dance.

Emilyn Claid, Research Fellow in Creative & Performing Arts (AHRB and the University of Surrey). As performer, choreographer, director and academic, Emilyn works between the arenas of academia and dance theatre performance.

David Furnham Middlesex University

The Cinema of Comic Illusions

The Cinema of Comic Illusions is the latest in a series of projects that originate in the documentary genre. It produces audio-visual sensations that offer — through the process of selection, variation, repetition and deviation — both a loose narrative in line with the structural patterns of early cinema. Documentary interviews are seen as performance between maker and participants akin to the state of ‘no conflict’ experienced in physical theatre. Documentary can be relevant and meaningful to a modern popular audience.

David Furnham comes from a social arts, historical documentary background (PhD 1999 — Documentary Practice) and has produced documentary for Channel 4. He is currently engaged with applying these interests as original exhibition / performance cross art events.

Jools Gilson-Ellis University College Cork

The artist in the academy: the work of half/angel in Ireland

The performance production company half/angel was founded in 1995 by Jools Gilson-Ellis and Richard Povall. half/angel develops projects involving new technologies, sound, text and performance. Previous work includes the CD-Rom mouthplace (1997), and the dance-theatre production The Secret Project (1999). This performance presentation explores the ways in which this practice has been conceived of and interpreted as research in an Irish context.

Jools Gilson-Ellis is a writer, choreographer, performer and installation artist based in Ireland. She is co-director (with Richard Povall) of the performance production company half/angel, and teaches performance at University College Cork. She holds a practice-based PhD in Theatre & Performance Studies from the University of Surrey.

Ron Hagell University of London, Royal Holloway
Beatrice Allegranti University of Surrey Roehampton


The presentation will be an extract from the film aroundthebend, a collaboration between choreographer / performer Beatrice Allegranti and filmmaker Ron Hagell.
The work communicates themes that have been of specific interest to us as independent artists, namely; comments on gender and self-expression, cinema and contemporary art including the possibilities of dance in the digital age. After viewing the extract we will discuss its place in the discussion of practice as research.

Ron Hagell is a lecturer at Royal Holloway and a former PBS (USA) director. His creative work includes dance and performance for camera. Currently, Ron is creating digital still and time-based works.

Beatrice Allegranti BA (hons) MA DMT SRDMT, performer, choreographer and senior registered Dance Movement Therapist. On the faculty at University of Surrey Roehampton and Drama Studio London. Extensive clinical experience includes group and individual work for the NHS. Specialist area of research is gender, which includes an ongoing research-performance project entitled personaltext / publicbody (1999).

Graham Ley Exeter University

Terminology and trajectory in the practice of research

I shall sketch the background of practice at Exeter, and the emphasis on process, carried through the undergraduate degree to the MA. But recent changes at research level (PhD in Performance Practice) require new thinking. I discuss case-studies in development, and suggest that the determination of a trajectory for activity should replace anxiety over the relationship between practice and research.
Graham Ley works in Exeter's Drama Department and has particular research interests in dramaturgy, script-creation and performance theories.

Jeffrey Scott Longstaff Laban Centre

Phenomenal documents and dance performance

We will explore phenomenal dualities in dance performance focusing on multiple interpretations that have both intrinsic and extrinsic possibilities. The duality between expressive and analytic documentations will be emphasized with various examples. A range of documentations will be given for a particular dance-based research project, which will then be performed.

Jeffrey Scott Longstaff advises research degrees, teaches movement analysis and is resident musician at Laban Centre London. His research into Laban's choreutics has been published in Perceptual and Motor Skills.

Claire MacDonald Performance Research

Committed to paper

This looks at the potential for innovative responses to practice as research within journal publication, from my experience of editing Performance Research over the past six years. The paper is not offered from a position of editorial authority, but from the experience realizing visual and textual work for the page.

Claire MacDonald is a founding editor of Performance Research. She is Visiting Assistant Professor in the College of Visual and Performing Arts at George Mason University in northern Virginia.

Kenneth Newby Technical University of British Columbia
Aleksandra Dulic Technical University of British Columbia

Visual performance in electronic theatre

An applied research project in interactive arts is described. Code as artistic material and theoretical laboratory is discussed. An artist's software project is developed within the creative process of a multi-media theatre production. Changes in this creative process and methodology as a result of the expanded possibilities provided by CompoundEye are discussed.

Kenneth Newby, Assistant Professor, Interactive Arts, Technical University of British Columbia, Surrey, B.C., Canada. With a focus on software design as artistic practice, Kenneth's current research involves the development of compositional environments for multi-modal interactive artworks.

Aleksandra Dulic, PhD candidate, Interactive Arts, Technical University of British Columbia, Surrey, B.C. Canada. Aleksandra's research interests include responsive cinema and multi-modal scenography in electronic theatre.

Karla Ptacek University of Surrey Roehampton

lawful acts

lawful acts attempts a performative circuit, looping through practice and theory in an act of techno-ventriloquism that stages presence and dialogue writing. lawful acts will be performed by Ptacek and Emma Jean, a core member of the Artificialstage ensemble.

Karla Ptacek, a second year practice-based Mphil/Phd researcher at University of Surrey, Roehampton, stages Webplays at

Caroline Rye PARIP, University of Bristol

Incorporating practice: a multi-viewpoint approach to documentation

This short presentation will focus on the use of DVD technology to address certain problematic issues of documentation and dissemination within practice as research in performance. It will look at the interactive possibilities provided by this medium to produce a ‘self-conscious’ record and overcome the monocular point of view of conventional video documentation. In addition, the advantages of a multi-data, disk-based format as a mode for research presentation will be discussed.

Caroline Rye works part time as a research associate with the PARIP project where she is primarily concerned with the uses of new technology for the documentation of performance. She also has a practice as an artist working in multi-media performance and time-based installation and holds a PhD by Practice from Napier University, Edinburgh.

Simon Shepherd Central School of Speech and Drama

The embarrassing effort of speaking about Lady Audley’s Secret

Using the sensational melodrama Lady Audley's Secret the presentation aims, initially, to show how sensationalism is created as kinaesthetic affect, by using the format of the talk. But this then produces a problematization of the decorum of the academic talk and its rhetorical norms, leading into embarrassment, which is perhaps neither practice nor research.

Simon Shepherd is Director of Programmes at Central School of Speech and Drama. Formerly Professor of Drama at Goldsmiths College, and before that Nottingham University, he is author, with Mick Wallis, of Studying Plays and of English Drama: A Cultural History (with Peter Womack).

John Somers Exeter University

Drama making as a research process

Drama making clearly does not conform to a scientific research paradigm, yet a comparison of the two methodologies might be fruitful in understanding how drama making can be regarded as research. This presentation will examine this issue with reference to a variety of drama making processes.

John Somers works in Exeter's Drama Department. He is editor of the journal Research in Drama Education and director of the conference Researching Drama and Theatre in Education.

Fiona Wright The Nottingham Trent University

uncertain bodies III: telling otherwise

This presentation has developed out of recent work concerned with the use of writing as documentation of performance and the negotiation between approaches to performance practice and the practice of theory. The paper is structured around some ‘performance texts’ and it considers the ways in which our own bodies and the bodies of others become written into our work.

Fiona Wright (b. London 1966) has been making primarily solo performances for over ten years. She also works as a lecturer, connected mostly with the Contemporary Arts course at The Nottingham Trent University where she is now a postgraduate research student.

Toby Yarwood Dartington College of Arts

as<is & paradigm>paradox

When I began practice-based research at Dartington, I began to form an impression that this is what we should have been doing all along. Or rather, what we have all been doing. We would know this if we repositioned the paradigm of practice and research, emphasizing their similarity and co-dependency. I make the point that practice IS research (and research IS practice) and the use of simile (AS) only weakens the issue. Practice-based research degrees should be accepted as normality, not anomaly.

Toby Yarwood is currently undertaking practice-based research at Dartington College of Arts which looks at theory: manipulation of chronological perspective, the dismemberment and confluence of time with location; and practice: performance areas rendered interactive to virtual immersion of viewers, mediated via video screens. He also works part time in the Department of Drama, University of Bristol.

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