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Dance and Drama Research

The School of Fine & Performing Arts has a vibrant and active research culture, engaging with a variety of performance-related fields of research. Our research clusters meet regularly and share research through our series of platforms and seminars, Critical Encounters.

Our research is grouped into five key areas of scholarship, you can find out more about these below.

Contemporary Playwriting‌

The school’s long-term interest in contemporary playwriting, its context, development and ecology has been explored in part through the forum of the University’s 21st Century research centre, and celebrated in three international symposia, on the work of Caryl Churchill (2011), Sarah Kane (2012) and Mark Ravenhill (2013).

Members of the school have published widely on the work of contemporary and recent British and international playwrights, theatre companies and organizations including Richard Bean, Edward Bond, Howard Brenton, Carl Djerassi, David Edgar, David Grieg, Sarah Kane, Anthony Nielson, Mark Ravenhill, Yazbeck Samir, Simon Stephens, Arnold Wesker, Joint Stock and the Royal Court Theatre. They have also contributed to several recent collections about contemporary British theatre, including Modern British playwriting: voices, documents, new interpretations and The Methuen Drama guide to contemporary British playwrights.

Meanwhile, colleagues continue to work professionally in the industry as translators, dramaturgs, playwrights and directors, and have recently worked with organisations including the Royal Court Theatre, the Royal National Theatre, the Southbank Centre, the Place, Nottingham Playhouse, and BBC Radio 4.

‌Theatre, Consciousness and Asian Performance

The study of Asian Theatre has formed a central part of SFPA’s research culture since 2005, and combined with the study of Theatre and Consciousness from 2007.

The area’s working group, Theatre, Consciousness and Asian Performance meets regularly and welcomes invited speakers, in a Theatre, Dance Music and Consciousness strand, and a Pan-Asian Performance Theory strand. Speakers have included Harry Youtt (UCLA), Daniel Mroz (University of Ottawa), Mick Mangan (Loughborough University), Peter Malekin (University of Durham), Daniel Watt (Loughborough University), Ashley Thorpe (Royal Holloway University of London), George Mather (University of Lincoln), Daniele Cuneo (University of Cambridge) and Kate Genevieve (University of Sussex).

The biannual conference Consciousness, Theatre, Literature and the Arts has been held at the University of Lincoln since 2009, and the conference 'Women in Asian Theatre' was held in 2013. SFPA is also host to the associated online journal, edited by Professor Daniel Meyer-Dinkgräfe

The Body in Performance

The work of the Body in Performance within the Lincoln School of Fine and Performing Arts explores interactions between body, space, technology and identity. Researchers have particular interests in the ways in which new technologies can be incorporated into choreography and dance, in the expression of sexuality and the body, and in the way that movement can benefit diverse communities. The group is interested in exploring interdisciplinary methodologies including practice as research.

Gnarl Fest is a Festival of Live Art and Choreography, celebrating the precarious interrelatedness between Live Art and Choreography, and promoting radical and provocative work ranging from burlesque and trash to transgressive and guerrilla acts. 

Popular Performances

The area of popular performances covers many performance forms and disciplines from musical theatre to wrestling to street art. Central to the work of this research area in the school of performing arts is an understanding that performance encompasses a diverse range of practices that often fall outside the coverage given to more conventional practices. We recognise ‘popular performance’ as something related not only to mass or popular culture, where it is situated within economic dynamics, but also as something that gives voice to communities and practices who might otherwise be marginalized, where it offers interesting and individual ways for people to express themselves, for example through graffiti or street art, protest or demonstration.

The international journal Studies in Musical Theatre (Intellect) was established in 2006 and is co-edited by Dominic Symonds (University of Lincoln) and George Burrows (University of Portsmouth). The journal’s associated conference, ‘Song, Stage and Screen, convenes internationally and has met in Portsmouth (2007), Leeds (2008), Maryland (2009), Winchester (2010), Kansas City (2011), The Netherlands (2012) and London (2013). The next conference will take place at Sheridan College, Canada, 24-26 June 2014.

Applied Practice as Research‌

The Lincoln School of Performing Arts is home to a number of key researchers in the field of Practice as Research, who operate through the Centre for Performance. Themes explored include the development of personal testimony as performance of the self, the archiving of memory in site-specific environments, the interaction between technology and intimacy in performance, the practice of translation as adaptation for the stage, the explicit body in performance, the practice and economies of collaborative processes, and the performance of protest in mass demonstration.

In addition to our ongoing practical work, much of which finds outlets in the production of high profile theatre companies, our researchers regularly disseminate their research at conferences and symposia, and have published extensively on the subject of practice as research.

Collaborations have included work with the Royal National Theatre, the Royal Court Theatre, Proto-type Theatre, Reckless Sleepers, Red Monk Productions, and Keephouse Productions.

Selected Publications

If you wish to undertake further reading, take a look at some of the selected publications for each research theme below.

Kountouriotis, Pavlos (2012) ‘Notes on the necessity of the explicit body in performance’, in Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art (ed.),Performance Festival (Thessaloniki : State Museum of Contemporary Art), pp. 14-22.

Kountouriotis, Pavlos (2010) A super modern dance and other romances (The Green Room, Manchester).

Kountouriotis, Pavlos (2009) ‘Nudity, nakedness, otherness and a still difficult spectator’, in Movement Research: Performance Journal, 34. pp.1-16.

Kountouriotis, Pavlos (2008) Regarding the pain of others: a performance lecture. (Theater de NWE Vorst, Incubate, Tilburg).

Lawrence, Conan (2009), It Happened Here (Hoxton Hall, London).

O'Thomas, Mark (2013) Feast (Royal Court / Young Vic).

O'Thomas, Mark (2013) ‘Translation, theatre practice and the jazz metaphor’, in Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance, 6 (1). pp. 55-64.

O'Thomas, Mark (2012) ‘Rewriting "The book of disquiet"’, in Word and Text - A Journal of Literary Studies and Linguistics, 2 (2). pp. 173-179.

Pessoa, Fernado and O'Thomas, Mark and La Barrie, Nicolai (2011) The book of disquiet. (Blue Elephant Theatre, London).

Petralia, Peter Salvatore and Westerside, Andrew and Lees, Gillian (2010) Third person: Bonnie and Clyde (Proto-type theatre: Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster).

Petralia, Peter and Lees, Gillian and Westerside, Andrew and Baynton, Rachel (2011-12) Fortnight(Proto-type Theatre: Manchester, Lancaster, Bristol).

Pinchbeck, Michael (2011) The End (Cambridge, Nottingham).

Pinchbeck, Michael (2012-13) The Beginning (Nottingham, Taunton, Derby, York, Chelsea, Sheffield, BAC, Edinburgh).

Sicchio, Kate (2013) ‘Choreotopology: interrelationships in movement, screens and live performance’ in Leonardo Electronic Almanac (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press).

Sicchio, Kate (2013) ‘Hacking Choreography’, in Performance Research Journal, 18 (5).

Sicchio, Kate (2012) Drawing/hacking. (AHRC Live Notation Project, Bristol).

Sicchio, Kate (2011) Nayra mara. (Sheffield, London)

Sicchio, Kate (2010) ‘Exploring the software programmer as choreographer’, inDigital Resources for Humanities and Arts, September 2010, London.

Symonds, Dominic (2013) ‘Powerful Spirit: Notes on Some Practice as Research’, in Symonds, Dominic and Karantonis, Pamela (2013) The legacy of opera: reading music theatre as experience and performance. (Themes in Theatre: Collective Approaches to Theatre and Performance, 7). (Amsterdam: Rodopi Press), pp.209-228.

Tsilimpounidi, Myrto and Walsh, Aylwyn (2012) ‘Merry crisis-mas (from Greece)’, in City: analysis of urban trends, theory, culture, policy, action, 16 (1-2). pp. 249-252.

Tsilimpounidi, Myrto and Walsh, Aylwyn (2011) ‘Painting human rights: mapping street art in Athens’, in Journal of Arts and Communities, 2 (2). pp. 111-122.

Walsh, Aylwyn M. and Tsilimpounidi, Myrto (2012) ‘It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of wor(l)ds’. (Performative paper at Riot Revolt Revolution, 5-7 Sept 2012, Brighton).

Walsh, Ally and Tsilimpounidi, Myrto (2011) ‘The disappearing immigrants: hunger strike as invisible struggle’, in Theory in Action, 5 (2). p. 82.

Yazbek, Samir and O'Thomas, Mark (2012) The ritual. (Cottesloe Theatre, London).

Bolton, Jacqueline (2015),  'Joint Stock', in Tomlin, Liz (ed.), British theatre companies: from fringe to mainstream (London: Methuen).

Stephens, Simon and Bolton, Jacqueline (2014), Pornography (Methuen Student Edition) (London: Methuen).

Bolton, Jacqueline (2013), 'Simon Stephens', in Rebellato, Dan (ed.), Modern British playwriting: voices, documents, new interpretations: the 2000s (London: Methuen).

Bolton, Jacqueline (2012), 'Capitalizing (on) new writing: new play development in the 1990s', in Studies in Theatre and Performance, 32 (2). pp. 209-225.

Bolton, Jacqueline (2012), 'Preface' in Stephens, Simon, Three kingdoms (Modern Plays) (London: Methuen).

Bolton, Jacqueline (2008), 'Looking back, looking forward: literary management at the Royal Court', in Contemporary Theatre Review, 18 (1). pp. 137-140.

Bull, John (2013) '"History Repeating Itself?": Text and image, theatre and performance: Howard Brenton and David Edgar's appropriation of the historical drama', in Studies in Theatre and Performance, 33 (2). pp. 169-185.

Bull, John (2012), 'Chinese Whispers', in Studies in Theatre and Performance, 32 (2). pp. 227-232.

Bull, John (2011), '"Nowadays the house would be called a stately home": pastoral relocations in Tom Stoppard's Arcadia', in  Sillages critiques, 13.

Bull, John (2012), 'Arnold Wesker: the Trilogy', in Pattie, David (ed.), Modern British playwriting: the 1950s: voices, documents, new interpretations. Decades of modern British playwriting (London: Methuen), pp. 171-197.

Bull, John (2011), 'Anthony Nielson', in Middeke, Martin, Peter Paul Schnierer & Aleks Sierz (eds), The Methuen Drama guide to contemporary British playwrights (London:Methuen), pp. 343-362.

Bull, John (2010), '"England People Very Nice": intercultural confusions at the National Theatre', in Staging interculturality. Contemporary Drama in English(17). Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, Trier. ISBN 9783868212327

Bull, John (2009), 'Galileo and his children: adaptation and contestation in British political theatre', in Adaptations: performing across media and genres. Contemporary Drama in English (16). Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, Trier. ISBN 9783868211481

Bull, John (2008), 'Spectacular reconstruction: innovation and appropriation in modern British drama', in Non-standard forms of contemporary drama and theatre. CDE Contemporary Drama in English (15). Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, Trier, pp. 13-29. ISBN 9783868210408

Hudson, James (2013), 'Blasted at the Queen's Hotel: coincidence of sign and site', in Performance Research, 18 (2).

Hudson, James (2013), 'Absent Friends: Edward Bond's corporeal ghosts', in Platform, 7 (1). pp. 12-25.

O'Thomas, Mark (2013), 'Translation, theatre practice and the jazz metaphor', in Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance, 6 (1). pp. 55-64.

Yazbeck, Samir and O'Thomas, Mark (2012), 'The Ritual', in National Theatre Connections: plays for young people (London: Methuen).

O'Thomas, Mark (2012), 'Rewriting "The Book of Disquiet"', in Word and Text - A Journal of Literary Studies and Linguistics, 2 (2). pp. 173-179.

O'Thomas, Mark (2010), 'Analysing the screenplay: a comparative approach', in Nelmes, Jill (ed.), Analysing the screenplay (Abingdon:Routledge), pp. 237-250.

O'Thomas, Mark (2010), 'Turning Japanese: Translation, adaptation and the ethics of trans-national exchange', in Adaptation studies: new approaches (New Jersey: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press), pp. 46-60.

O'Thomas, Mark (2010)'"Brokeback Mountain" on the London Underground', in Redefining Adaptation Studies (Lanham: Scarecrow Press), pp. 45-53.

Hunt, Justin (2013), 'Scent, siblings and filiality: queering 'Twilight'', in Screening Twilight: critical approaches to a cinematic phenomenon. London: IB Tauris.

Jones, Kelly (2012) ‘Authorized absence: theatrical representations of authorship in three contemporary ghost plays’, in Studies in Theatre and Performance, 32 (2). pp. 165-177.

Jones, Kelly (2011) ‘Professing the paranormal: The corpus of the academy in Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman’s 'Ghost Stories'’, in Horror Studies, 2 (1). pp. 145-157.

Poore, Ben and Jones, Kelly (2009) ‘Introduction to 'Swing your razor wide ...': Sweeney Todd and other (Neo-)Victorian criminalities’, in Neo-Victorian Studies, 2 (1). pp. 1-16.

Symonds, Dominic and Taylor, Millie (2013) Gestures of music theatre: the performativity of song and dance. (Oxford University Press, New York).

Symonds, Dominic and Karantonis, Pamela (2013) The legacy of opera: reading music theatre as experience and performance . (Rodopi Press, Amsterdam).

Symonds, Dominic (2011) ‘Orchestration and arrangement: creating the Broadway sound’, in Oxford handbook of the American musical (Oxford University Press, New York).

Symonds, Dominic (2009) ‘Putting it together and finishing the hat? Deconstructing the art of making art’, in Contemporary Theatre Review, 19 (1). pp. 101-112.

Symonds, Dominic and Dan Rebellato (2009) (eds), Contemporary Theatre Review 19(1) (Special issue: 'The Broadway Musical: New Approaches') (Guest editors).

Symonds, Dominic (2008) ‘The story of Oh: the aesthetics and rhetoric of a common vowel sound’, in Studies in Musical Theatre, 2 (3). pp. 245-259.

Tsilimpounidi, Myrto and Walsh, Aylwyn (2011) ‘Painting human rights: mapping street art in Athens’, in Journal of Arts and Communities, 2 (2). pp. 111-122.

Warden, Claire (2012) ‘Dirty old town: the ambivalent city in the theatre of Ewan MacColl’, in The Literary North. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

Warden, Claire (2011) ‘Ewan MacColl, “the brilliant young Scots dramatist”: regional myth-making and Theatre Workshop’, in International Journal of Scottish Theatre and Screen, 4 (1).

Warden, Claire (2011) ‘Politics, war and adaptation: Ewan MacColl’s 'Operation Olive Branch'’, in Comparative Drama, 44/45 (4/1). pp. 536-538.

Warden, Claire (2010) ‘Reappropriating the pace-egging tradition: Ewan MacColl's St George and the Dragon’, in Modern Drama, 53 (2). pp. 232-243.

Hunt, R. Justin (2011) Trashy records: what remains? Dance Theatre Journal, 24 (3). pp. 48-53.

Hunt, R. Justin (2014) Scent, siblings and filiality: queering 'Twilight'. In: Clayton, W. & Harman, S. (Eds.) Screening Twilight: critical approaches to a cinematic phenomenon. IB Tauris, London.

Kountouriotis, Pavlos (2012) 'Notes on the necessity of the explicit body in performance', in Performance Festival, State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki.

Kountouriotis, Pavlos (2009) 'Nudity, nakedness, otherness and a still difficult spectator', in Movement Research: Performance Journal, 34.

Nair, Sreenath and Madhavan, Arya (2013) 'The kinetic body: foot, memory and dispositions of the body in performance', in Nine ways of seeing a body. Devon: Triarchy Press.

Madhavan, Arya (2013) ‘Actor's imagination: Kutiyattam and Natyasastra’, in The Natyasastra and transcultural performance practice. (McFarland, North Carolina).

Madhavan, Arya (2012) ‘Eye-scape: aesthetics of "seeing" in kudiyattam’, in Asian Theatre Journal, 29 (2). pp. 550-570.

Madhavan, Arya (2010) Kudiyattam theatre and the actor's consciousness. (Rodopi ltd, Amsterdam and New York).

Meyer-Dinkgräfe, Daniel (2013) ‘Fire and the development from unmanifest to manifest creation’, in Performance Research, 18 (1). pp. 136-138.

Meyer-Dinkgräfe, Daniel (2013) Theatre, opera and consciousness: history and current debates. (Rodopi, Amsterdam).

Meyer-Dinkgräfe, Daniel and Nair, Sreenath and Proctor, Deborah Claire (2012) ‘Performance anxiety in actors: symptoms, explanations and an Indian approach to treatment’, in Canadian Journal of Practice-Based Research in Theatre, 4 (1). pp. 1-28.

Meyer-Dinkgräfe, Daniel (2012) ‘Spiritual aspects of operatic singing: Klaus Florian Vogt’, in Performance and Spirituality, 3 (1). pp. 71-94.

Meyer-Dinkgräfe, Daniel (2012) Consciousness, theatre, literature and the arts 2011. (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle).

Meyer-Dinkgräfe, Daniel (2011) ‘Opera and spirituality’, in Performance and Spirituality, 2 (1). pp. 38-59.

Meyer-Dinkgräfe, Daniel (2010) Performing consciousness. (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle).

Meyer-Dinkgräfe, Daniel and Watt, Daniel (2010) Ethical encounters: boundaries of theatre, performance and philosophy. (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne).

Meyer-Dinkgräfe, Daniel (2010) Consciousness, theatre, literature and the arts 2009. (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle).

Meyer-Dinkgräfe,Daniel (2013) ‘Embodied consciousness, warm-up and cool-down’, in Embodied consciousness: performance technologies. (Palgrave MacMillan, Houndmills).

Meyer-Dinkgräfe,Daniel (2009) ‘Dramatic modernism in the context of consciousness studies’, in Origins of English dramatic modernism 1870-1914. (Academica Press, Palo Alto).

Nair, Sreenath (2013) (ed.) Studies in South Asian Film & Media, 4 (2) (Indian Theatre special issue: The Body). Guest Editor.

Nair, Sreenath (2013) ‘Rasa theory and neural mechanism’. New Zealand Online Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 1 (2). pp. 1-27.

Nair, Sreenath (2013) The Natyasastra & Indian performance studies. (McFarland, North Carolina, USA).

Nair, Sreenath (2013) Trance-formations: intercorporeality in performance studies. (Cambridge Scholars Press, Newcastle).

Nair, Sreenath and Madhavan, Arya (2013) ‘The kinetic body: foot, memory and dispositions of the body in performance’ in Nine ways of seeing a body. (Triarchy Press, Devon).

Nair, Sreenath (2013) Synesthetics: ‘Rasa and neural mechanism’ in Natyasastra: aesthetics, epistemology & performance practice. (McFarland, North Carolina, USA).