Choreography is the central focus of study in the Dance Department at the University of Chichester; developing the creative, imaginative and interpersonal skills that help students realise their dance potential. Body in Performance (Dance Technique) represents a quarter of the programme for single honours and major students in the undergraduate programme and provides daily technical practice. There is a wealth of specialist tutors whose backgrounds range from highly respected performance companies to practitioners in New Media, Dance Movement Therapy and Dance Journalism.
The dance facilities include: four superb dance studios, a fully-equipped 250-seat theatre, computerised sound studio, audio-visual recording, IT software packages (Lifeforms, Isadora, Poser, Director), editing and playback facilities.
Head of Dance Department
Cathy’s background experience is predominantly in performance work having trained at Laban, continuing on to thepostgraduate dance company TransitionsDance Company before joining English Dance Theatre. This touring experience, working with a wide variety of professional choreographers informs her teaching.
Cathy’s research interests have included a study period at the Cunningham Studios in New York, which directly informs her dance technique and choreography teaching. Cathy leads the Dance Production Module (3Fall Dance Company), Teaching Dance Technique, Contemporary Technique and Dissertations on the Undergraduate Programme.
Research in Dance at the University of Chichester
Research in Dance at the university is at a very exciting stage in its development. The interests of dance researchers at Chichester, whose number includes Professor Sarah Rubidge, Dr Andrea Davidson, Dr Jill Hayes, Dr Ann Nugent, Dr Clare Parfitt, Marisa Zanotti, Yael Flexer (of Bedlam Dance), Virginia Farman, has extended, now ranging from dance performance through site specific work to interactive installations, from film to post colonial theory, from dance history through cultural studies to philosophy. Details of individual researchers work can be found on the University of Chichester’s Dance Academic Staff pages.
We have close relationships with researchers in other Arts departments at the university and actively seek out opportunities to work in interdisciplinary projects with researchers from other fields. Individual researchers have worked variously with neuroscientists, film and theatre directors, interactive artists, geographers, computer programmers, fine artists and composers, and have received funding from bodies as diverse as the AHRC, the Welcome Trust, the Arts Council, the BBC, the British Council and the Canada Arts Council. Our researchers publish widely, and are credited as sole, or contributing, authors of books published by major companies such Macmillan, Palgrave and Routledge.
Arts Research Cluster
Recently Dance has been instrumental in developing an Arts Research Cluster (ARC) at the University of Chichester, the members of which include researchers not only in dance but also in contemporary theatre practice, Fine Art, Music, and Film and Media. The dialogue across the Arts remains central to our research activities.
We organise a series of Contemporary Arts Research Seminars given by nationally and internationally renowned visiting speakers (Liz Aggis, Johannes Birringer, Carol Brown and Marcus de Sautoy), weekend symposia and conferences. We have collaborated with universities and artists internationally, at Doctoral and Post Doctoral level, for many years and are regularly invited to give keynote papers at international conferences.
The Dance department at the University of Chichester has gained an international reputation in PhD studies through Practice as Research, and actively encourage applicants in this area of research practice. As a group we have the qualifications to supervise MPhils and PhDs in: choreography, performance, improvisation, dance history and analysis, dance and new technologies, dance on screen, popular dance practices, dance movement therapy, and philosophical and post colonial issues as they impact on dance.
Dance researchers at the University of Chichester are currently supervising 7 PhD students, one from New Zealand, whose projects encompass:
- a phenomenological exploration of improvisation from the dancer’s perspective
- the interrelationship between scientific theories of emergence and digital dance work,
- the relational systems that obtain between the viewer, performer and environment in interactive video installation,
- a study of space in dance using sociokinetic analysis,
- the generation of intimacy in performance through reconfiguration of the performance space and the use of new technologies
- the Costa Rican quadrille and cultural identity.
Most of these PhD projects are being undertaken using choreography or performance as a central research strategy.