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Research Cabaret

On Friday 31st May the IAS held its inaugural Research Cabaret in a sold-out venue at the Warwick Arts Centre. Research Cabaret is an evening of music, dance, and intriguing talks, all communicating different areas of research at the IAS.

Researchers presented not only their work but the motivation behind their research to an audience that comprised of fellow researchers, students, and members of the public. The audience was doubled by online viewers following our live-stream, and the performance received an overwhelmingly positive response. The talks were carefully prepared to avoid academic jargon, to engage a non-specialist audience, but also to present the complexity of the research described. Researchers surprised the audience with their own poetry, a dramatic embodiment of an historical figure, and a game of toy cars. Former and current IAS Fellows Karol Kurnicki, Rebekah Vince, David Coates, and Wendy Eades stunned the audience with their thoughtful and carefully-crafted contributions.

Award-winning composer, Ben Osborn, visited the IAS and interviewed our researchers as part of a week-long residency. Ben chatted with IAS academics, read their work, and performed some research of his own. Over a six-month period, Ben composed five musical responses to IAS research. These compositions responded not only to the contents and themes of the research, but also to the processes and patterns of the academics’ methodology, and to the personal journeys of his collaborators. One of Ben’s questions to the researchers was ‘what to find difficult to communicate about your work?’ Ben’s music helped to tell the stories that words can’t always communicate.

In the two days before the performance, the IAS was joined by dancers from Motionhouse, an internationally renowned dance company based in the local area. Dancers Becky and Berta listened to research presentations and quizzed the academics before coming up with thought-provoking physical responses that captured another side to the story.

The evening proved a success, with members of the public reporting an improved attitude to the nature and scope of Warwick University research, and other researchers taking inspiration from the way that research was communicated. The performances were entertaining, moving, and informative. Many thanks and congratulations to our researchers and to our collaborators.


Ben Osborn

David Coates

Karol Kurnicki

Motionhouse

Rebekah Vince

Wendy Eades