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Moving & Mapping: Knowing Sites through Dance Practice


‘Moving and Mapping: Knowing Sites through Dance Practice’ will be run from the Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE) at Coventry University by Dr Natalie Garrett Brown and Dr Emma Meehan.

This m-p proposes a research lab curated by enter & inhabit, a group that draws together dance artists associated with C-DaRE and who have made work in the cityscapes of Coventry. The focus of research lab will be to explore the ways in which dance practitioners and the moving body offer spatial, haptic and affective understandings of the cityscape, understood to be an evolving and dynamic landscape.

Specifically the m-p will use dance to engage with those who inhabit the city of Coventry and those that contribute to the public planning and social policy of the city. In taking this approach, the m-p recognizes the legacy of the past, such as the city’s post-war modernist architecture, alongside the current potential of Coventry –eg. the envisoning of its future as it moves towards UK City of Culture 2021. As such, organisations engaged with the development of dance practices within and for the cityscape will be points of reference and their role in city development tracked and investigated.

The m-p is aligned with an embodied approach to coming to know site, place and community. Implicit within this is an assumption that inhabitants and environments are inextricably linked through an inter-subjective positioning, and that moving in and amongst the city (with scores ranging from walking to dancing) is one way to make this relationship conscious and thus accessible to city planners, social policy makers, arts programmers and funders.

The m-p will be practice led and take a multi-disciplinary approach, its rigour thus being in part assured by processes of peer review by m-p members who will include dance artists, scholars, arts programmers, arts policy makers and those working within the town planning and social policy sector. The inclusion of cultural partners engaged with this area of creative practice will serve to open up the possibility of co-developing new thinking and policies around the practices of curating dance within the city and its wider benefit, while also contributing to emerging discourses on the worth of embodied approaches to city planning.