Research

Moving across dance studies and theatre and performance studies, my research specialism lies in theoretical explorations of the choreographic and in particular of its social and political character.

I am interested in thinking about choreography as a practice of performance that extends beyond dance and that is both contoured by and generative of dynamic cultural contexts. My interest in choreography in this expanded sense is represented in my recent publications on heterotopia, choreography, and the Middle Passage slave ship; on sabotage as a dramaturgical mode in theatrical and industrial protest; and on the nature of epic timespace in choreographic and literary modernisms.

My current monograph project, Choreographies of Space, argues for a materialist concept of choreographic space as an analytical fulcrum for understanding the dialogical relationship of the choreographic and the social. Interweaving the thought of Henri Lefebvre, Mikhail Bakhtin and Pierre Bourdieu, I theorise choreography as the practice of producing society through an exploration of European and North American theatrical productions made by artists in dance (Marius Petipa, Rudolf von Laban, George Balanchine, Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham), and in theatre and music (Oskar Schlemmer, John Cage).

Through the work of these artists I consider choreographic space as it shapes and is shaped by various utopian impulses, namely: the imperialist drives of balletic classicism; acquisitive and settler-colonial conceptions of 'American' dance modernism; discourses of 'the natural' in geometric conceptions of the body produced in Wilhelmine and Weimar Germany; and the confluence of North American liberalism and social fantasies of electronic media in some choreographies of the mid-century, New York neo-avant-garde. The book offers both a language of space with which to articulate the ways in which choreographic productions are always a matter of form and so always already a matter of politics, and a model for reading Lefebvre as a thinker who speaks deeply of and to practitioners who make with movement.

A second book on choreography and light is in its early stages of conceptualisation. 

Selected publications

Articles:

(2016) ‘Heterotopia as Choreography: Foucault’s Sailing Vessel’, Performance Research, Vol. 21, No. 3, On Dialectics, (June), pp. 6573.

(2014) ‘The Choreography of Space: Towards a Socio-Aesthetics of Dance’, New Theatre Quarterly, Vol. 30, Issue 1, (February), pp.7290.

(2012) ‘Merce Cunningham's Ensemble Space and the Black Mountain Principle of Community’, The Journal of Black Mountain College Studies, Vol. 3, www.blackmountainstudiesjournal.org/wp/?page_id=899.

Book chapters:

(forthcoming) ‘Choreographing Epic: Ocean as Epic Timespace in Homer, Joyce, and Cunningham’, in Epic Performances: From the Middle Ages into the Twenty-First Century, ed. Fiona Macintosh and Justine McConnell, (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

(2017) ‘Dramaturgy and Sabotage’, in The Practice of Dramaturgy: Working on Actions in Performance, ed. Konstantina Georgelou, Efrosini Protopapa, and Danae Therodoridou, (Amsterdam: Valiz).

(2010) ‘Striking a Balance: The Apolline and Dionysiac in Contemporary Classical Choreography’, in The Ancient Dancer in The Modern World: Responses to Greek and Roman Dance, ed. Fiona Macintosh, (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp.347367.