Society of Dance History Scholars
Twenty-Ninth Annual Conference
15-18 June 2006
The Banff Centre
Alberta, CANADA

The twenty-ninth annual conference of the Society of Dance History Scholars, entitled "Grounding Moves: Landscapes for Dance" will be held 15- 18 June 2005 at The Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada. The Banff Centre offers a unique location, known for its dedication to the arts and to creative process, and for its breathtaking location in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Jacqueline Shea Murphy (University of California, Riverside) will serve as program chair. Anne Flynn (Dance, University of Calgary) and Lisa Doolittle (Theatre Arts, University of Lethbridge) will serve as local arrangements chair.

[Banff Centre TransCanada Pipelines Pavillion]
Banff Centre TransCanada Pipelines Pavillion

Conference Schedule. The Programming Committee, chaired by Jacqueline Shea Murphy, has selected participants for the 2006 conference schedule. Other members of the committee include Susan C. Cook (School of Music, University of Wisconsin, Madison); Susan Kozel (School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University); Allana Lindgren (SSHRC Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Victoria); Jens Richard Giersdorf (Department of Dance Studies, University of Surrey); and Nadine George-Graves (Department of Theatre and Dance, University of California, San Diego). The updated conference schedule is now available here. This schedule is subject to change.

Conference Registration. On-line registration is not yet possible for the conference itself. If you need information immediately, contact Jim Ranieri, Office of the Society of Dance History Scholars, 3416 Primm Lane, Birmingham, AL 35216, Fax: 205.823.2760. Click here for the conference brochure and registration form.

Local Arrangements. The chairs of the local arrangements committee for "Grounding Moves: Landscapes for Dance" are Anne Flynn and Lisa Doolittle.

Venue. The Banff Centre is located in Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The spectacular beauty of the Canadian Rockies surrounds our campus. A ten minute stroll brings you to the bustling town of Banff. Banff is 128 kilometres (80 miles) west of Calgary, Alberta.

Conference Highlights. In recognition of this stunning site and the vibrant role The Banff Centre has played in Canada for decades, the 2006 conference will engage with dance projects fostered in this location. These include the unique and internationally-renowned "Aboriginal Dance Project," inaugurated in 1996; the many cutting edge media and visual arts programs of the Banff New Media Institute, which include numerous projects that integrate dance and technology; and the Centre’s renowned ballet program, which has trained dancers in Canada since the 1940s. The program committee hopes to stimulate proposals that will look at Aboriginal dance, dance and new media, ballet training, and issues of state and institutional support that may be raised by the success of The Banff Centre itself.

A full call for papers is available as a DOC file here or as a PDF file here. The submission form to the conference is located here.

[Rolston Recital Hall, Banff Centre]
Rolston Recital Hall, Banff Centre

General Information

Anne Flynn, The University of Calgary
Local arrangements co-chair, with Lisa Doolittle, University of Lethbridge

Throughout its history, The Banff Centre has been dedicated to providing space to artists from all disciplines, all over the world, for creation, discussion, education and institutional best practices. Its location in a delicate ecosystem has forced it to confront issues about human impact on the environment and to utilize more best practices around human presence in wilderness areas. The elk and deer live there too and so people simply have to negotiate that dance.

The Banff Centre is located up a big hill from the bustling and picturesque tourist town of Banff – and mid-June is not yet high tourist season, so there won’t be too much bustle. You can walk to the town in about 10 minutes down a groomed path through the woods, or you can walk on the road. Once you are at the Centre there is no need for a car. It’s a beautifully laid out campus consisting of residences, theatres and studios, a dining centre, a recreation complex, a state of the art New Media centre, a dynamic contemporary art gallery and meeting facilities. There are balconies everywhere and lots of glass to take advantage of the stunning views. The whole facility has been designed to support people in their work. All the usual day-to-day responsibilities fall away and you are freed up to focus on whatever it is you’re doing there.

We have arranged for two accomplished Aboriginal Contemporary dance artists, Gaeten Gingras (Canada) and Rulan Tangen (U.S.A.), to perform on Friday night in the Margaret Greenham Theatre and conduct a pre-conference workshop on Thursday for interested delegates.

The SDHS link to The Banff Centre Reservation form is live now and so you should book your accommodation immediately to avoid disappointment. Rooms are limited (we are holding 100 rooms) and “Superior” ones are located in the relatively new (and very lovely) Professional Development Centre. After March 15, SDHS will be charged a penalty for returning un-booked rooms back to The Banff Centre and therefore SDHS needs your support in reserving your room as soon as possible. The rate quoted on the form is in Canadian dollars so you must do the conversion to U.S. dollars to get a better sense of the costs. The package includes accommodation AND meals. GST tax is refundable to non-residents of Canada upon completion of an exemption form.

If you attend the conference from its opening on Thursday evening to the closing on Sunday at lunch, the conference food package includes:

  • Breakfast and Lunch Buffets on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Dining Centre
  • Solstice Barbeque on Friday
  • Coffee/Juice breaks twice a day at the presentation sites

There will be an Awards Reception on Thursday June 15 at 7:30 at the Trans Canada Pipeline Pavilion. All annual SDHS Awards will be given at this opening reception. We are also hosting an SDHS fundraiser called "Dollar A Dance" at the Thursday reception so bring your loonies and twoonies.

The accommodation at the Centre is lovely and I think you will find that the Centre has a high standard of service, including nice down duvets and wireless internet service. Lloyd Hall is where the “Standard” rooms are located and the building is named in honour of Gwyneth Lloyd, founder of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Canada’s oldest ballet company. The 3rd floor of Lloyd is filled with wonderful photographs of dancers at the Centre beginning in the 1940s--great outdoor shots with spectacular mountain backdrops. The Banff Centre is, at heart, a complex for artists and researchers. You’ll see... it’s a really beautiful spot.

The mountain weather can be unpredictable so you need to bring outdoor wear. Nights might be chilly. Lisa and I are arranging for sightseeing opportunities on Sunday afternoon and The Banff Centre will extend its conference rate to delegates for a few days on either side of the conference so you can stay in the area longer. If you like mountains, there’s a lot to explore here. If you want to stay in Calgary for a few days, we can help with booking a hotel for you at a very good rate. Contact Heather Baldwin at: for this service.

There are links on the SDHS website to numerous tour providers in Banff so you can browse your options for sightseeing. There is also a link to the Banff Airporter so you can arrange your ground transportation from the Calgary International Airport to The Banff Centre (2 hour drive). Most major car rentals have counters at the Calgary International Airport if you choose to rent a car. Driving to Banff is very straightforward and takes 90 minutes.

We hope this gives you a better sense of the 2006 conference. See you where the elk live with the artists on campus.

For information on the Banff Upper Hot Springs (Saturday night event):

For information on Lake Louise (Sunday afternoon excursion) and possible activities:

For information on Banff Gondola (also Sunday afternoon):

For information on Bed & Breakfasts in Calgary for those who wish to visit the city:


The Banff Centre



Orientation to the Banff Centre for SDHS Conference Delegates

Anyone sleeping at the Banff Centre should go first to the PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CENTRE, which is the central registration desk for the Banff Centre. There are signs on the road indicating this and it is very easy to find. The building is wood and glass and is located on the lower level of the Centre, on the road below where the theatres are situated. You can park in short term parking when you check-in, so just pull in to the semi-circle driveway and you're there. The desk clerks will tell you exactly how to get to your room (if you are staying in Lloyd Hall), where to park your car, etc. and give you a map of the Centre.

Once you check in to the Centre, go to the SDHS Conference Registration table located in the foyer of the MAX BELL BUILDING, where you will find Heather Baldwin and Liza Contreras.

For anyone not sleeping at the Banff Centre, please go directly to the MAX BELL BUILDING.


  • Thursday June 15 8:00 A.M.-10:00 AND 3:00-9:00 P.M.
  • Friday June 16 7:30-3:30
  • Saturday June 17 7:30-3:30


SDHS publications

Studies in Dance History SDHS’s monograph series, published by University of Wisconsin Press, answers a growing demand for works that provide fresh analytical perspectives on dancing, dancers, and dances in a global context. Read more...

[cover of 2015 Conversations] Issued yearly in early spring generally, Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies reflects the dynamic and diverse membership of SDHS. We seek to bring you themes and debates current in the field of dance studies and the profession, alongside news from the international community of scholars in dance and related disciplines. Read more...

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