Monday, 14 October 2019

Theories and Frameworks in practice...

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...

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Theories and Frameworks Sunday Discussion group...

At this Sunday disucssion group we took the themes of Theories and Frameworks as a starting point for discussions. The conversations involved those from all three MAPP modules and moved between looking for relationships between theory and practice, how we begin to relate theories we are reading with the day to day of our professional practice, how we engage with theory through critical reflection, and what kinds of theoretical approaches to research people had found and are using. 

We then stripped back to really look at what the term Theory and the term Framework mean to us and how they might be seen in relation to one another. Nighat spoke about theories being thoughts and ideas that scaffold to form a framework and how frameworks are needed in research to bring theories into a structure to offer context. Stella has blogged about already, and spoke about the notion of 'fitting in' to frameworks, and more interestingly noticing what falls outside of the framework. Agata spoke of seeing theory as a lens to help you see your own framework, or using theory to help you to define your own framework. 

We spoke about 'things' always needing to be questioned in order to be developed and how this questioning, unpacked, scratching away the surface happens in different ways through all the modules. 

Those in this discussion please do add your blog post here in the comments so that we can engage further with the thoughts you gathered from the discussion and now share through your blogs...

Friday, 11 October 2019

Queering the Somatic: Interrupting the Narrative Symposium

We are excited to let you all know that BOOKING is NOW OPEN for our next somatic-inquiring symposium!!

Queering the Somatic: Interrupting the Narrative Symposium
Nov 1st - 2nd 2019 (Friday 1st, 1-5pm, Sat 2nd, 10am-6pm)
at Middlesex University London

We really would love as many of you as possible to join us for this and we have FREE places for Mdx students to attend.

Please comment if you intend to join us!

We are excited to have a key note presentation from Dr Thomas F. DeFrantz, Duke University and a number of International and UK-based artists and scholars ...we will post the full schedule soon.

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Module Three focus on Research terms...

Last nght we had a discussion with a Module Three focus. 

We talked about the different approaches to, and stages of the research inquiry process and the need for being in the process of the research in order to be able to listen to it...not rush through to find answers or results.

We covered Qualitative Research approaches, agreeing that everyone in this discussion was using this approach to their inquiry and unpacking why, what it offers the research knowledge. We talked about data, data collection, and organisation, sharing systems of coding, colour-coding to help track and organise the information gathered.We spent some time unpacking analysis and tri-angulation in the process of discussing wht we do with the data. 

Those in this call, Agata, Tara, Katya, Nella, Nighat, do comment here with your blog post focusing on this discussion...

Monday, 30 September 2019

Open discussion Sundays...

Last night we had our first Sunday Discussion group of the term and it was great to hear discussions from many of you across the different modules and different MAPP programmes.

Disucssions centred around Learning and articulated our different experiences of others as learner when we teach, ourselves as learners, how we experience, through reflection the different strategies and processes we engage with. 

Some of the thoughts I took from the conversation were around the need for curiosity in learning, frameworks or structures which hold or shape learning enviornments and experiences, containers, discovery, freedom and balance. 

Others who were a part of the discussion please comment here with your blog address with your reflections on the discussion and what you feel you took from it, what was the discussion as a learning experience for you?

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Re:generations conference

We are really excited to be able to offer a few funded places for MAPP students to be able to attend the Re:generations conference hosted by One Dance UK in partnership with Mdx in November. The funding covers three days of entry to the conference plus your accommodation. The conference is held at The Lowry, Salford, in the UK. 

Re:generations is a biennial academic and artistic conference which aims to share current practice and research in the field of dance of the African Diaspora (DAD); explore and stimulate further research, documentation and new approaches to education and training in the field; and encourage new perspectives on the future of African Peoples Dance (APD). The conference invites scholars, artists and dance practitioners from the Caribbean, Africa, the United States, Canada and the UK to share their research with other artists, practitioners, dance teachers, students and the general public.
The Re:generations Conference* is the UK’s ONLY international platform dedicated to connecting academic and artistic voices within African influenced dance styles; such as Hip Hop, Jazz, Afro Caribbean, traditional and contemporary African and Caribbean, Afro-Latin, and African American Dance.
This will be a great opportunity to be a part of a vibrant conference, network with other artist-scholar practitioners, and get inspired in your own professional development. The funding requires you to blog each day about the sessions, papers, workshops and performances you attend to share with the rest of the MAPP community.

To express your interest please comment here. We will then email you directly. We will announce which students have places on October 10th 2019. 

*Re:generations – dance and the digital space
7-9 November 2019
The Lowry, Salford
An international forum exploring how technology drives innovation in dance of the African Diaspora.
Hosted in partnership by One Dance UK, IRIE! dance theatre, Middlesex University, Dance Immersion and The Lowry, the theme for Re:generations 2019 is dance and the digital space. We will explore the ways digital technologies can be used for artistic innovation and creative practise, unite global communities through online platforms whilst increasing the visibility of diverse work to mainstream audiences.
Across the three days there will be panel discussions, lecture demonstrations, masterclasses, workshops, academic paper presentations, performances, networking events and more!
The conference will provide CPD for dance teachers, healthcare practitioners and other dance professionals, in addition to bespoke programming for producers, new media practitioners and executive artistic leaders. A key event will be the launch of the report for One Dance UK’s ‘Dance of the African Diaspora Mapping Research’; presenting the current state and needs of the DAD workforce with a scope for future growth and development.

Monday, 23 September 2019

Critical thinking - boxes, boundaries, resistance, fluidity

What is critical thinking for you in your practice, what does it feel like?

Week two of your study now and I wanted to share with you this TED talk from Professor Giovanni Corazza from the University of Bologna and ask you to respond with your thoughts around 'thinking', 'creativity', 'boundaries', 'fluidity' and in doing so to think about being part of a network - the network of your learning, the MAPP programme, your professional practice...

I look forward to hearing your thoughts... 

How might we exchange knowledge?