Kent Centre for Cognition, Kinesthetics and Performance seminar May 17


[category, non-uc events]

The Centre for Cognition, Kinesthetics and Performance, University of Kent, invites you to a seminar focused on devising processes
Guest speakers: Pil Hansen (University of Calgary) and Jacqueline Smart (Kingston University)
Tuesday, May 17, 12:30-14:00
Keynes Lecture Theatre 1

Pil Hansen
The (im)possibility of intimacy explored through dance-generating systems
Weaving through the choreographers Karen Kaeja and Ame Henderson’s voices in a process of thinking no-ones thought, Pil Hansen analyses the dramaturgical strategies of dance generation that these choreographers have developed in response to physical trauma and hierarchical divides in dance. Hansen turns to Dynamical Systems Theory and draws upon insights from the creation processes of Kaeja’s Crave (2013) and Henderson’s relay (2010) to uncover the ways in which autobiographical memories were transferred from their original sources and adapted within self-organizing systems of task- and game-based dance generation. Hansen proposes that the dancers’ attentive pursuit of leaderless togetherness within these systems indeed made a new form of intimacy possible.

Dr. Pil Hansen is an Assistant Professor of Dance and Drama at the University of Calgary, founding member of Vertical City Performance, and a dance/devising dramaturg. Her PaR and empirical experiments examine cognitive dynamics of memory and perception in creative processes. She developed the tool-set “Perceptual Dramaturgy” and, with Bruce Barton, the interdisciplinary research model “Research-Based Practice.” Her award-winning creative work has toured nationally and internationally and her scholarly research is published in Performance Research, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, Theatre Topics, TDR: The Drama Review, Canadian Theatre Review, Peripiti, Koreografisk Journal and a series of essay collections on dramaturgy, PaR, and research methods. Hansen co-edited the essay collection Dance Dramaturgy: Modes of Agency, Awareness and Engagement (Palgrave, 2015) and is currently editing Performing the Remembered Present: The Cognition of Memory in Dance, Theatre, and Music (Methuen, 2017).

Jacqueline Smart
Between ourselves: interactive devising processes
My starting point for this presentation is the ‘tensions’ I identified in ‘The Feeling of Devising’ (in Trencsényi and Cochrane, 2014): between divergence and coherence, and between joy and anxiety. Drawing on accounts of devising processes by companies including Gob Squad and Fevered Sleep, I reconsider these two tensions, proposing that they intersect within a broader area concerned with the negotiation of ‘self’ within collaborative creation. My argument is framed by the emphasis placed on the social basis of our emotional responses in affective neuroscience, with particular reference to the work of Mary Immordino-Yang, and also by my own recent pedagogic fieldwork research on groupwork.

Jackie Smart is Associate Professor in Drama at Kingston University. She is co-editor, with Alex Mermikides, of Devising in Process (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), and has published work on a range of theatre and dance companies, including Forced Entertainment, Random Dance, Mathew Bourne’s New Adventures, Optik and Gecko. Having started her career as a performer-deviser and later moved into directing devised performance, her main interest is in creative process, particularly within the ensemble tradition. She maintains a parallel interest in pedagogical research and has recently led a number of inter-disciplinary initiatives, including Taking Race Live (2014-15), a joint project with the Sociology Department at Kingston, and What Makes Groupwork Work? (2015-16) with the department of Media and Communication.