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Tower Seminar- Modes of Capture: scoring, annotation and documentation in contemporary dance practice

March 7, 2018 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Presenters: Ursula Robb, Dr Jenny Roche and Dr Grant McLay

Chair: Dr Jenny Roche

This seminar will explore the growing interest in annotation in contemporary dance and its connection to archival processes, documentation, and increasingly through creative practice, as stimulus for choreographic thinking. Ranging from the materiality of choreographer/dancer notebooks through generative choreographic scores to the digital capture of movement, annotative practices reveal the traces of meaning making in the formation and understanding of choreographic work. Dancing bodies are the repositories of the detailed intricacies of the choreographic process, details which are often elided in more traditional forms of notation and documentation. The three speakers, drawing from professional practice with extensive embodied archives as contemporary dancers, will outline recent developments in the field and elaborate on their engagement with annotation across a range of research and practice contexts.

Ursula Robb was born and raised in New Zealand. Ursula trained at the New Zealand School of Dance, and before travelling to Europe in 1995, danced with the ‘Royal New Zealand Ballet’ and the ‘Douglas Wright Dance Company’. Whilst in Europe, Ursula spent a decade dancing and touring with acclaimed companies: Ultima Vez’ (Wim Vandekeybus), ‘Rosas’ (Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker) and ‘Zoo’ (Thomas Hauert). Since 2005, Ursula has been focusing predominantly on teaching and rehearsal directing; tutoring at performing arts institutions including PARTS (Belgium), the NZSD (New Zealand), and DNSPA (Denmark). Ursula has recently completed a Masters in Cultural Policy and Arts Management at UCD (2017).

Dr Jenny Roche has recently returned to Ireland from Brisbane, Australia, where she was a Senior Lecturer in Dance at Queensland University of Technology, to take up the post of Course Director of the MA Contemporary Dance Performance. Her research focus is the creative practice of contemporary dancers. She has worked extensively as a dancer, with a range of choreographers including Rosemary Butcher, Jodi Melnick,
John Jasperse, Michael-Keegan Dolan and Liz Roche. From 2007 to 2011 she was dance advisor to the Arts Council of Ireland. Her book Multiplicity, Embodiment and the Contemporary Dancer: Moving Identities was published in 2015.

Dr Grant McLay, Course Director, BA Performing Arts (Contemporary Dance), has danced with Expressions Dance Theatre, the Queensland Ballet and Meryl Tankard’s Australian Dance Theatre. In Europe, he performed in Phantom of the Opera in London’s West End, also working with Scottish Dance Theatre, Opera Ireland, Carol Brown Dances (UK), Maiden Voyage Dance Company (Belfast), Emilyn Claid (UK) and extensively with Rex Levitates Dance Company (now Liz Roche Company) (Ireland). He completed a practice-based MA at UL and a Doctorate of Creative Industries at Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane). Research areas include Creative Practice, Data Dramatisation, Choreographic Studies, and Dance Pedagogy.


March 7, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


Theatre 2, Irish World Academy
Ireland + Google Map