Saturday, 27 April 2019

Submission of Work and Finalist Presentations...

As you all make the final push to prepare your work for assessment, a few notes and an open invitation for you all to attend (in person or via skype) our MA finalists presentations this term.

Submission of work:

May 3rd 2019 is the submission date for all work across all modules of the MAPP programmes. Work is to be submitted via Turnitin by 23:59 (please don't leave it until this time though in case of computer/system problems...please submit your work in good time. Any late submissions are classed as non-submissions and receive a fail grade. 

The Turnitin drop box is under your Module folder on your MAPP (DTP, DANCE or Somatic Studies) page on UniHub. Please check that you have found this and tried submitting work ahead of the deadline. You can re-submit work, each new submission simply replaces the previous one, up until the deadline date/time on May 3.

Please email a copy of your submitted work to us as Programme Leaders so that we have it as a back-up in case of any problems with turnitn. Please email to both and again by the deadline. This is simply as a back-up, we cannot accept any late submissions via email in the same way that they will not be accepted via turnitin.

Finalists on the MAPP DTP and MAPP Dance programmes will present their research over two days in May also. Each student will share the journey of their research inquiry and their professional artefact with us as the culmination of their MAPP programme.  All MAPP students are invited and encouraged to attend these to support the MAPP community and to get an insight into others areas of research and practice. Details below: 

Please let us know via email if you intend to attend via skype so that we can call you in.

MA Professional Practice, Dance Technique Pedagogy 
MA Professional Practice Dance
Finalist Presentations

Thursday May 9th and Friday May 10th 2019
Room C106 (College Building) please go to Main reception on arrival
Middlesex University London

Presentations will run from 13.00-16.00 (UK time)  

Each presentation (including sharing of the artefact) is 30mins in length with some time for questions/comments afterwards.
You do not have to attend for the whole session but please be mindful of timings if you are dipping in and out of the session.

Sunday, 7 April 2019

Sunday Open Discussion... Communicating Ideas...

We had lots of voices on the Open Discussion Group call this evening. 
We talked about communication of our ideas both within our practice and within the MA. 
We talked about the need to recognise and acknowledge the 'bigger picture', looking beyond your immediate knowledge of something, moving beyond a personal narrative of experience in order to be selective, more critical in your communication.  

Some of my notes while people spoke included;

Finding different ways
asking questions
recognising challenges
making comparisons
listening to (becoming aware of) other perspectives

All of these words I feel have resonance with your journey on the MA. They came from listening to you speaking of communication in your practices. They are my interpretation of what was said. 

Do share through your blogs your interpretation of the conversations this evening. What did you take from them, what thinking was sparked maybe, or challenged, how might you relate this process to the process of communicating your ideas through your writing for your module assignments?

Remember that the MA itself is a process you are engaging with. It is not a fixed thing. Each module is developmental, connecting to the next module, to your practice to the wider field of practice around you. There is not an end point in your learning by the end of module three, it is still part of the process of your learning through practice which will continue beyond the MA. 


Thursday, 28 March 2019

A note on Drafts...

As drafts of your work come in now; I am re-posting this blog post from last term for students on Module One who would not have seen it and as a reminder for those of you on Module Two and Three...

Drafts are intended to initiate a feedback dialogue (in person, skype, via email) with your supervisor, they are not usefully used to ask if things are 'right' or sent with an expectation of receiving corrections, by way of a pre-marking opportunity.

Please do receive feedback as an extended discussion of your work

Often feedback contains prompts for further reading, suggested texts/practitioners to look at, comments regarding the level of critical thinking/analysis in your writing over overly descriptive personal narrative approaches etc.. Feedback comments are not telling you to 'correct' something and re-submit, but more trying to help you to move your thinking and writing on as we see the process of your work developmentally.

With this in mind, when you have received feedback on a draft of work, please take time to read and consider comments made, come back to your supervisor asking to extend the conversation, arrange a skype is you have further thoughts and questions as a result of the feedback, but please try not to send a 2nd draft asking if the work is now correct.

At MA level we put our trust in you as professional people and see our role as supervisors as guding you, being a critical friend, promting, pushing your thoughts, challenging sometimes in order for you to develop further. We are not testing you getting things 'right' we are interested in your engagement and curiosity about your own work.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Reflection and Ethics...

We had some great conversations around reflection and ethics this evening with people from Module one and two contributing to this discussion group.

We recognised how reflection offers a kind of making-sense of past experiences, attributing value and learning from in order to situate and continue on the journey of our professional practice. We noticed how ethics are central to our lives and practice, not something only addressed through research (just that ethics become neccesarily visible then perhaps) and we discussed both ethical considerations, how we are mindful of our actions, words, practice and the potential impact is has on those around us, and how these considerations cannot avoid the social, cultural and historical contexts from which they emerge, and ethical procedures, the ways in which we may go about informing and 'safe-guarding' others of our practice-research. The MORE process we use in Module Two is just this, the ethical procedures that the university requires you to undertake in order to approve your proposal for a research inquiry.

Rhoda bought a good point into the discussion, that of Self-Care, how we might develop a sense of our own ethics as central to who we are particularly when there is no other overtly recognised ethical practice or policy in place to support us, Rhoda will blog more on this. Tara shared some literature she's been reading around Social Research and talked about how she related this to conversations from a previous skype discussion, she will blog more on this in relation to reflection and ethics.. Christopher, Jovanka, Catherine, Nighat, Marianella will also blog their thoughts extending from this conversation. A great discussion with lots of valuable areas raised by you all...thank you.

I look forward to reading your blogs for more, do add your addresses to the comments here!

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Respect...Trust and Flow...

I've been thinking a lot this past week about respect, about trust and about flow.
 I've  been thinking about how these words are meaningful in my life, through my practice, in all that I do. I'm not sure I can see these three things separately from one another, so I am going to explore a little of what I see as their relationship with each other.

Respect and trust for me, are earned through our encounters with others and through the flow was are a part of in our environment. When we meet others in contact improvisation for example (as I've been leading a lot of CI sessions this past week, I have been thinking through this practice particularly), we greet each encounter as a possibility. We offer and we respond, we give and receive information through a non-verbal dialogue with a shared understanding of their being respect for each others offering-gesture through movement. We trust in the environment we are in, co-creating it in the moment of our movement together. We trust in our own bodies, our relationship with gravity, with the earth and with each other. We do not know what is going to happen in an improvisation; that is the very beauty of it!! The word improvise from the Latin 'improvisre' means quite literally not being able to see ahead of time. We enter the space and in doing so we enter into the flow of possibilities; of change, encounter, interruption. We are in a continous flow of communication. Flow becomes an energy which supports us. It is not a thing as such, it is not related directly to time(space), but aware of the presence of flow within each of us and so within the environment we are able to be responsive to it, responsive to its energies, and responsive to change. With a respect for each person and our environment having something meaningful to offer, we can trust ourselves to enter the flow of the moment, to be open to the possibilities of the now. 

These processes are not exclusive at all to improvisation, to dance, but this is how I have been thinking about them this week. Respect, trust and flow are a part of who we are as people, communities, societies, the environment, how was approach and are a part of the world around us. It is important to to respect the encounters we have in life, through study maybe this is with other artist-scholars work through literature, or direct engagement through practice. We should respect that this is their lifetime's work, something they are passionate about, have invested time, energy, effort, life into to explore how it is meaningful and are generous enough to share that with you through their writing and/or through their practice. While we don't have to agree with everyone's ideas (in contact improvisation, we don't have to respond to every offering), we should be open to explore why we don't agree (why our response did not meet the offering of another). We do this through researching further, finding out more, considering our practice further in relationship to others, asking questions (verbally and through our practice) and trusting ourselves to be ok with being challenged by the possibility of something other than us, an idea outside of our immediate or current frame of reference. If we allow ourselves to be in the flow of our own lives, of our learning, to be in conversation with each other, with our environment, we are able to at least notice and acknowledge change as possibility and make choices in our responses in relation to that trust in ourselves.

This short TEDTalk by Itay Yatuv offers some thoughts around flow, trust, respect, challenges and learning to respond, through contact improvisation.   

What are your thought in relation to your own learning?

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Theories and Frameworks...the evening discussion

Lots of great areas came up in this evening's Open Discussion group. 

I want to offer a brief summary here and some provocations for you all to consider further and share your thoughts through your blogs (please do add your blog post in the comments below here).

The theme of the discussion was Theories and Frameworks and we talked about some possible perceptions of what these are, how we can see them in our practice and through the modules of the MA. We looked at different examples for these and acknowledged that examples can come from both within and outside of our immediate frame of reference. See Adesola's blog from the earlier discussion on this today-

For me a framework of my practice is Bartenieff Fundamentals (a movement system developed by dancer, choreographer, physical therapist, Irmgard Bartenieff, somewhat a bodily focused extension of her tutor Rudolf Laban's work through Laban Movement Analysis).  Bartenieff Fundamentals offers me a way of structuring and a language through which to articulate my moving body through specific patterns (Bartenieff sees the body as connected through core-distal, head-tail, body-half and cross-lateral patterns in order to achieve total integration). The theories I am interested in are in relationship with this framework, theories of the body in movement. These theories look at space-time and our relationship to, with, in, as it. I am also interested in theories of improvisation developed by other practitioners, and what frameworks are used to speak of the moving body through these. Theories and frameworks can offer us ways through which to deepen our understanding of things. They can frame perspectives and allow us to question and challenge our own practice. I do not have to find theories that match my framework, I am more interested in learning more about my body as I read, and experience in practice, and see the theories as ways of opening new doors to more questions for me.

An image I like to think about learning and knowledge is from the kids movie Monsters Inc. where the opening of a door into an unknown place is like the opening of a book, the taking of a new class, the conversation with another practitioner , it can open the way to more doors, more questions, to alternative perspectives and deeper understanding. Bartenieff's work sees value in the opening of space in the body as opening greater possibilities for moving efficiently through the space of our environments. I use the imagery of tiny doors at the joints of the body with the idea that we try to open the doors to allow the breath to travel and flow freely through the whole connected body...


My provocations from this evening's discussion ;

- There is a need to challenge dominant discourses, how might we go about this as artist-scholars?

- What do you feel is the value of research (our own and the work of others)?

-  How might we look at the between-ness rather than focus on the binaries of things (male-female, theory-practice...)?

I'd love to hear your thoughts...

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Sunday PM skype discussion...

So this evening we had some great discussions around initial thoughts on Knowing and Leanring which touched on, leanring from and using past experiences, knowing what / knowing how, seeing things from different perspective, the translation of ideas and communication and language. 

We talked a lot about expressing our ideas and thoughts to others in ways that we feel our intentions would be communicable and we got on to talking about language and expectations. 

Some things we left the conversation cosidering were around communciation is its broadest sense, that things aren't always fixed things, that learning is a process and new contexts bring with them new challenges, encounters, new learning demanding many responses.

There were a lot of us in the discussion... I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts on your blogs as you continue these conversations...please post the link to your blog in the comments below so that we can all continue to connect and discuss...

I completely forgot to give time at the end of the call to talk about Agata being your Student Voice Leader this year. This means you can communicate with Agata anything about the MAPP programmes that you would like to be raised within the university as a whole. Agata will then represent the student body at our Programme Voice Group meetings. It's an opportunity to engage in dialogue around processes, practice, and to voice the student experience, so do contact Agata with your thoughts in the coming weeks.

Agata if you could add in the comments here how you can best be contacted for this please?