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Dance & Spectacle
Society of Dance History Scholars Annual Conference
University of Surrey, Guildford and The Place, London, UK
8-11 July 2010

Dance and spectacle exist in tension with each other. This conference invites discussion of their related histories, aesthetics and politics. From movement choirs in ancient Greece to the forms of spectacle in modern Olympic ceremonies; from the Baroque ballets de cour to indigenous corroboree; from protest sit-ins to Yvonne Rainer’s "no to spectacle," the moving body exhibits meaning through choreographies of the visual.

The conference marks a collaboration between the University of Surrey, Guildford and The Place, London. The Place is one of the leading training and performance centers for contemporary dance in the United Kingdom and during 2010 it celebrates its 40th anniversary as an instrumental institution in the development of British modern dance.  The Place has also acted as a host institution for University of Surrey students in their professional training placements and, in view of this long and close professional relationship, the Saturday of the conference will be sited at The Place and papers and performances will be co-curated by its Artistic Director Eddie Nixon. In addition, the University will host a series of events by leading British artists engaged in explorations of vertical, aerial and site-specific dance on campus and in Guildford town centre and, since the conference falls over the Big Dance week in London, performances will be taking place in and around the capital that conclude with a dance extravaganza at Trafalgar Square.

The event will include a keynote lecture by Dr. Kevin Finan, director of Motionhouse dance company; a vertical dance performance, Descent of the Angel, on Guildford cathedral by choreographer and climber Kate Lawrence; an outdoor installation, Cascade, at the Electric Theatre, Guildford by Motionhouse Dance Company; and a day at The Place Theatre, London as part of its 40th anniversary celebrations.

SDHS is no longer accepting paper proposal submissions for this conference.

Image © Philip Ely/Novari Limited 2009

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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...

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