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. My growing interest lies at the intersection of critical race theory and indigenous studies as frames for thinking through the ways bodies move: from the choreographic practice of modernist and contemporary dance artists to what might be termed the choreographics of the everyday.

My current monograph project, Dance and Dispossession is about the unsteady underneath of utopian choreographic modernisms. In this book I develop a materialist, anti-racist theory of choreographic space for excavating the histories of spatial and racial dispossession underwriting idealisms of the Euro-American theatre dance canon. I argue that dances by Marius Petipa, George Balanchine, Martha Graham, Rudolf von Laban, Oskar Schlemmer, Merce Cunningham, and Boris Charmatz, are all marked by various utopian impulses concealing formative, material conditions of social violence. I trace this argument in: the imperialist drives of balletic classicism; acquisitive and settler-colonial conceptions of land in North American dance modernisms; reactionary discourses of 'the natural' in geometric conceptions of the body produced in Wilhelmine and Weimar Germany; Cunningham's choreographic idealisation of spatial democracy as the guarantor of a white settler conception of the land of the free; and the expungement of colonial histories from Charmatz’s anti-institutional interventions into metropolitan institutions of display.

A second book on rebellious bodies at sea is in its early stages of conceptualisation. 

My interest in collaborative research is represented in the international conference on disco I co-organised in 2018 with Mimi Haddon and Michael Lawrence at Sussex, and my work in 2019 with Royona Mitra (Brunel) and Simon Ellis (Coventry) on a research project exploring racism and anti-racist action in British contemporary dance, .

Selected publications

Articles:

(2019) ‘Bodily Wreckage, Economic Salvage and the Middle Passage in Sondra Perry's Typhoon Coming On (2018)’, Performance Research, Vol. 24, No. 5, Staging the Wreckage, (July/August 2019).

(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 2020) ‘Ballet Gone Wrong: Michael Clark’s Classical Deviations’ in The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Ballet, ed. by Jill Nunes Jensen and Kathrina Farrugia-Kriel, (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

(2018) ‘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.