Centre for Performance Practice and Research News and Events Roundup

21 Jan 2019

A roundup of recent news and events in the University's Centre for Performance Practice and Research

CPPR expertise featured in Winchester research exhibition   

Centre for Performance Practice and Research image of Helen Grime in the play Gaslight

CPPR member and Senior Lecturer in Drama Dr Helen Grime in the play Gaslight. Helen's research was featured in Images of Research 2018, alongside Fallout, a collaborative project by Gordon Murray, Senior Lecturer in Drama (Community Theatre & Media).

Now in its second year, Images of Research is an exhibition showcasing the excellence and impact of research across the University. Both IoR 2017 and 2018 can still be enjoyed online. Find out more.

Making a song and dance: Musical Theatre news

Hamilton's heritage

On 12 December 2018, Dr Adam Rush, Lecturer in Musical Theatre, presented: The model of a modern major musical': Hamilton's Musical Theatre heritage.

Hamilton was not created within a vacuum. Instead, it is a well-crafted piece of postmodern entertainment, which relies on intertextual references to, among other things, various popular musicals. This talk therefore focussed on Hamilton’s relationship with the musical theatre canon, through direct references to other shows and broader structural or stylistic similarities. Find out more.


Book launch

Wednesday 5 December 2018 saw the launch of Theatre Music and Sound at the RSC: Macbeth to Matilda by Millie Taylor, Professor of Musical Theatre. The book discusses an exciting laboratory that has been developing the practice of theatre music composition and sound design since 1961: the Royal Shakespeare Company. Find out more about the launch.

Musical Theatre research: Prof. Millie Taylor at the RSC in Stratford

Prof. Millie Taylor at the RSC in Stratford, flanked by Jeremy Dunn, Head of Music, and Bruce O'Neil, Head of Sound. Image Martin Nangle.

Public lecture

On 30 November 2018, Prof. Millie Taylor presented a public lecture to a packed audience at the National Theatre in London, exploring the development of American musical theatre. The evening, which also saw live musical demonstrations, revolved around three themes:

  • From Show Boat to Les Misérables: the integration of musical theatre form 
  • From Cinderella to Shrek: love stories and quest narratives 
  • From ragtime to rap: the impact of popular music on the American musical

Professor Taylor then discussed how these three themes and story lines interact to set the scene for the new hit musical Hadestown, a 21st-century retelling of the ancient myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in the Underworld.

Symposium: Bridging Dance Training Contexts: Re-assessing Techniques and Skills for the Social and Cultural Sphere

Building on the Roundtable event below, the Centre hosted this symposium in Dec. 2018. It aimed to provide a wider forum to share practice and discussed issues arising within dance training in HE and FE environments, with a particular focus on issues of bridging between different contexts including educational, social and cultural. Find out more.

Roundtable event: Dance Technique and Performance Training

Dance fosters both singularity and collectivity in artistic education, offering invaluable training to operate within the immediate and interconnected contemporary professional world. Considering the impact on dance of major shifts in contemporary culture, such as the influence of media and technology on young people, this roundtable event in May 2018 sought to gather the perspectives of a wide range of dance educators and academics on issues of dance training in the UK. We examined the different approaches to dance training and their relations within and to the wider professional context. Watch the video here

In Conversation With Series

Centre for Performance Practice and Research, In Conversation With series image of two chairs on a stage

In 2018, the CPPR launched the 'In Conversation With' Series. In the first, titled Performance and Migration, Dr Marilena Zaroulia, Senior Lecturer in Drama, welcomed Dr Emma Cox from the Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance, RHUL. This conversation took place on 20 April 2018.

With some people enjoying the right to cross borders freely while many others have to find 'illegal' ways of fleeing war, poverty, prosecution and climate change, what kinds of artistic responses are generated in response to migration? Drawing on their individual and joint research, Emma and Marilena discussed various recent examples of performance and visual arts which engage with refugees and migration. They considered the role of images and words in this context, while probing some of the difficult feelings that art about migration often elicits. Watch the video here

Further In Conversation With events are planned for 2019; for more information, explore our events calendar


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