Monday, 5 June 2017

In-between time...


Just a quick note to let you know the process now as we hit the in-between modules time of the year for you all!

The University Assessment Boards take place in mid-June. Following this (at the end of June) you will receive feedback on your submitted work (via email from myself or Adesola) and your final grade for the work submitted will be shown for you in your MyLearning page on UniHub. 

It is really important to read and make sense of your feedback as it is written in order to support you moving forwards into the next module. 

The next term/next module starts on Sept 25th. 

Will will resume our monthly Skype group discussions from October, welcoming our new starters into Module One then also.

It is a good idea at this point to download from UniHub / print out the module handbook for your next module. Read through it, make notes of any questions you may have, look at the reading list /resources suggested and generally preparing for the next term.  You can chat to Adesola and I during the summer break, as always just drop us an email to arrange a Skype call. Please bear with us on email response times over the summer period, like you all, we are busy with our research, projects and summer schools, but we will get back to you and find a time that works out to talk through anything with you.

Those of you progressing to Module Three in September. Until you have approval from the University Ethics Committee to go ahead with your research (remembering what you submitted was a proposal to undertake your chosen research inquiry), you are not permitted to start gathering data, engaging actively with participants etc. We should have confirmation of this approval by the end of June/early July.

All the best for your Summers for now...

Helen


Sunday, 7 May 2017

Sunday Skype discussions...

Some interesting thoughts and questions raised today during both Skype discussions.

The first Skype had a range of voices from across the modules and we talked about teaching and learning - traditions of hierarchy and moves into more transactional learning experiences. Motivating students to learn and take ownership of their learning became quite a key point for many and a challenge recognised in today's societies. The role of the researcher and the ethical implications of this within our professional practice/research. Adesola has posted a blog looking at Vulnerability, our vulnerability within our research.http://adesolamapp.blogspot.co.uk

We talked about value of prior learning and how to articulate this, transitioning from dancing to writing in order to find its expression for the AOLs.

A reminder here that the Dancing and Writing Professional Practice Summer Intensive we run annually is designed to look at just that; we move, we talk, we write, in order to explore our practice and engage in dialogue and written articulations of our embodied experiences. The summer intensive is open to booking now, reduced fee for MAPP students and very reasonably priced accommodation available on campus in London NW4.

Summer Intensive August 14th to 19th 2017


http://www.mdx.ac.uk/courses/cpd/dance-and-writing-professional-practice-summer-intensive/










What I noted from the first conversation was the need for Dialogue, considered and varying ways of Communication, understanding Expectations and a need to challenge some of our Assumptions.

Those from this conversation are going to blog their reflections and extend thinking on some of the themes raised, do visit and comment on each blogs...


http://raymond-chai.blogspot.co.uk
http://brandonleesears.blogspot.co.uk
https://dixieogivar.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/blog-post_17.html
http://chelleymapp.blogspot.co.uk
http://maitemappdtp.blogspot.co.uk
https://parimalamapp.blogspot.co.uk
http://jorootsmapp.blogspot.co.uk
http://barbarabesque.blogspot.co.uk/


The second Skype discussion today was focused around learning, self-learning, competing with yourself, with peers, the learning and progression that can be derived from this, where feedback lies, how feedback might feed-forward.  We talked about looking to areas outside of dance to better understand and talk about dance. What is 'just dance'?

Becky and Davis will blogs further their thoughts around these themes.

http://rebeccajones87.blogspot.co.uk
https://kensdancer.blogspot.co.uk




read, write, comment, talk...
we look forward to receiving your submissions of work now on May 12th.

All work should be submitted via UniHub
http://unihub.mdx.ac.uk

with a copy also emailed to Adesola and myself for back-up.

Monday, 1 May 2017

What's holding you?

Just a reminder at this point in the term particularly of recognising what's holding you in your learning...Whilst theories yore meeting and frameworks for structuring your thoughts into writing might be new, you, your practice, what you know are not.  Your embodied histories, your experiences are what shape you and also what hold and support you...not holding you still or fixed in any way, (think non-positivist) but offering you a layer of skin if you like that allows you to take on other layers, to grow, to shift, to change, to be vulnerable because you have a rich bodily knowledge of experience to draw on.

I've been reading (and largely disputing) theories of improvisation in dance being about 'newness' and finding new material. I believe nothing is entirely new, but met through different relationships. Your relationship with the MA may be allowing you to meet things you have not encountered in the same way before, to develop a new language (from that which you already know) in order to articulate your thoughts in a different way to a different audience perhaps, to reflect on how you respond in different situations (but you have encountered other situations before). Improvisation for me offers a way of revealing what the body already knows, in different relationships with its current environment. So the people, places, climate, culture may be new, and so the responses I find in my body are not ever the same, but allowing myself to enter into a relationship with my current environment, to be vulnerable within that, opens new possibilities for me to learn.

What does my body know? what experiences does it hold? how might these be revealed in different ways through encounters with shifting fluid environments around me?

What does the environment of the MA offer you in terms of new relationships to engage with, through the literature, discussions with each other, reading the blogs...what do they reveal of your knowing?  What's holding you?  What do you know in order to be able to not-know, to enjoy the vulnerability of unknowing?

Referring to Adesola's blog this week...trust yourselves, trust us and enter into discussions, relationships in order to reveal, to challenge, to grow.


Thursday, 9 March 2017

Stumbling with confidence...



I was reading this piece from Paul Kleiman on my train journey this morning (on my way to assess some student work actually)...I thought it might resonate with you too ...



https://stumblingwithconfidence.wordpress.com


Let me know what you think!


Helen

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Roots and Parties...

The second Skype discussion today took on lots of visual imagery as we talked around communication, subjectivity, structure, literature, language and choices...through images of trees, roots, ballerinas en pointe and party guest lists!

For me, there was much about the process of the discussion today which resonated with the process of research; a common ground that Sam and Alice mentioned in relation to their literature searching.

Everyone offered starting points, seeds, possible roots to grow from.  As the discussions unfolded we moved with ease, not in a clear, linear manner from one beginning to one end, but around multiple beginnings, multiple roots from the many seeds that had fallen at the outset.  Something of a rhizome emerged (roots with multiple shoots - philosophically, research that allows for multiple, non-hierarchical entry and exit points in data representation and interpretation) as a structure supporting our discussion allowing for multiple possible interpretations and many trajectories.  

This mirrors the research process.  As I said as we started the conversation, the aim of it is not to pose a question, seeking an answer to that question, but to offer a seed for discussion, seeing, in relationship with others where that might go.  

Your research is the same; your interest, ideas, passions, questions are your seeds.  
Alone they will not flourish. 
Through exposure to other elements; each other, the voice of the literature, the environment of your practice... they can be nourished and thrive.



It was a great active discussion during this session;

Davis is going to share further his thoughts around the ideas of clarity and interpretation
https://kensdancer.blogspot.co.uk 

Alice was interested in talking more about relevance and meaning in beginning to streamline her research, looking at drawing up the guest list for a party.
http://elysiandance.blogspot.co.uk

Sam wanted to follow-up on the notion of us making choices in our research and beginning to look at the ethical implications around these choices.
https://dixieogivar.blogspot.co.uk

Parimala will share thoughts around our personal, social, cultural roots.
https://parimalamapp.blogspot.co.uk

Raymond is talking about looking at and situating yourself, your practice within a bigger picture and offered an interesting story in the conversation around the language we use to communicate, when talking about a friend experiencing Romeo and Juliet through classical ballet.
http://raymond-chai.blogspot.co.uk

Laura will carry on the discussion around subjectivity in dance and our interpretations and intentions.
http://caterpillarlaura.blogspot.co.uk



There was some nice sharing of resources also, don't forget to share these through your blogs and discuss with each other what you're reading...

Monday, 13 February 2017

A little bit of breath...

There were some interesting areas raise in both the Skype discussion groups on Sunday.

Ones that resonated with me were those pointing to the following;

Academia...versus...Us

Truth

Validity

Being 'in limbo'

Willingness to accept change

Transactions

Each notion here needs some unpacking, some unraveling, needs to enter into a process of interpretation, evaluation (upon reflection of that interpretation) in order for any of the notions to carry meaning for any of us.  The meaning we attribute is to do with the choices we make, affected by the context we're in, our values, what we know as 'known' and what we do not yet know...and this will be different for each of us.

There is no universal meaning.  
But there is space to breathe. 

There is a little bit of breath for all of us here.  


Brandon offered the phrase, that I've adopted here 'a little bit of breath' as a feeling for him in response to the discussion he was a part of yesterday. That this programme is not telling you what to do and how to do it. That there aren't right or wrong answers (actually that we're not posing questions seeking answers at all). There is room for individuality and that is valued. There is a valuing of your experiences and those experiences being meaningful through a process of reflection. There is choice... and there is always the spaces between.

The space between is where we breathe.
  
Take in what's around us...let things affect us...consider how we experience them... and choose how we may respond.




In this MA try not to position yourself in opposition to things ...Academia...versus...Us

Try to question what you believe to be Truths.

Look for Validity of you, of your experiecnes from within them, not external to.

Accept the in-betweens, moment of being 'in limbo' and recognise the space they offer to breathe.

Harness a willingness to accept change as inevitable, fundamental, rather than resist it by sticking to patterns you hold habitually perhaps.

Try to see teaching and learning as Transactions, more than an offering and receiving of knowledge. 


Enjoy the spaces you find this week...talk about them through your blogs... 
I look forward to sharing them.



Monday, 6 February 2017

Feedback...

Those of you who have just completed Module One or Two (submitting work in Jan for this) you will receive your feedback via email this week.  This is in order to offer you some feedback and give you some time this week to reflect on your work as you begin to galvanise your study-mode again to move into the next module when term officially starts back next week Monday Feb 13th. You will not receive confirmation of approval for your claim for accreditation or your grade for the ROL essay until later in the month (via UniHub).


Finalists who completed the programme in Jan, as your feedback does not feed-directly into a next module for the MAPP, this is withheld until your grades are published later this month (around the 18th).  Please do take our very best wishes and congratulations on all your hard work for now, and we look forward you sharing where your research has taken you next at our Alumni Sharing on May 20th (more details to follow but save the date for now!)


First monthly discussion group via Skype is this Sunday Feb 12th, at the usual offers of 1100 and 1700 (UK time).


Look forward to talking then and welcoming new starters on their MAPP journey with us too!

MAPP (soon to be) Graduates - do remember you are still a valued part of our community, feel free to join us on Skype discussions, blogs and keep us in the loop of your work!

All best wishes

Helen