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PLaCE Visiting Speaker Series 2010-11: Rachel Sweeney

Dr Rachel Sweeney - Surface Tensions : A Transitional Terrain Dance Project
PLaCE/LAND2 Speaker Series 2010-2011
Thursday 26th May 2011
Dr Rachel Sweeney - Surface Tensions : A Transitional Terrain Dance Project
Surface Tensions introduces Sweeney’s environmental dance practice from a range of interdisciplinary methods, including the disciplines of geology, cartography and environmental science. Using stills/video projections and journal extracts, this presentation focuses on her recent dance ecology collaboration with Marnie Orr titled Inhabitation, (Western Australia, July 2009), which explores the relation of camera, body and place, destabilising existing media dance languages surrounding film methods using the individual agency of the dance(ing) body to interrogate the frame.

Working in immersive conditions, in large forest areas which were devastated by bush fires during Jan 2009, this mixed media paper considers how the dancer might use the sense perception to derive a range of movement stimuli, which might then further be transcribed into movement repertoire, briefly introducing some pedagogic methods formed through working on site, including topographic movement training, choreography as a cartographic process, and adaptation/ adoption tasks.

Rachel Sweeney is an interdisciplinary dance artist and writer. She recently completed a practice as research PhD, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and a Research Fellowship for the Centre for Sustainable Futures at the University of Plymouth exploring interdisciplinary pedagogies that exist between performing arts, geography, environmental science and ecology. Her PhD specialised in the area of site based choreography and she currently teaches at Liverpool Hope University where she is steering a dance / geography collaborative research project, Shifting Sands.

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