Centre for Performance Practice and Research News and Events Roundup

4 Mar 2019

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

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Outdoor arts research at the University of Winchester: image of group of young street artists



Jan. 2019

All the world's a stage?

Are we born to play? Are our brains wired to act? Tim Prentki, Professor of Theatre for Development, argues we live our lives simultaneously as actors, characters and spectators. Read his captivating blog.


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. Each event features one member of CPPR in conversation with an invited external researcher or artist about their current research interests.

Recent In Conversation With events:

Wednesday 27 February 2019: Prof. Tim Prentki in conversation with Prof. Victor Merriman

Wednesday 27 February 2019: Prof. Tim Prentki, Professor of Theatre for Development in conversation with Prof. Victor Merriman, Director of the Performance and Civic Futures Research Group at Edge Hill University. The focus was on a specific outcome from the Research Group: the establishment of the One Hour Theatre Company, for which Prof. Prentki has written three scripts to date. These works attempt to use connections between current political debates and Shakespeare plays to draw in audiences for whom the scripts act as discussion triggers.

So far OHTC has created A Pound of Flesh (The Merchant of Venice and The Tempest) on racism and identity, Half Measures (Measure for Measure) on trafficking and gender, Lear in Brexitland (King Lear) on identity, Britishness and the EU, and Empires’ Edge, Passions’ Pledge (Twelfth Night) on migration and power.

Wednesday 20 February: Helen Grime in conversation with Dr Michael Goron and Dr Christina Wilkins

This conversation considered the ongoing appeal and resonance of the play Gaslight by Patrick Hamilton, and the subsequent film that coined the term ‘gaslighting’: a trope which is endemic in our culture and remains a prevalent cause for concern in our society, as recent legislation against coercion and control as a form of domestic abuse suggests.

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

Helen Grime in the stage version of Gaslight

30 January 2019: Philip Stanier in Conversation with Dancer and Choreographer Sung Im Her

Philip Stanier and Sung Im Her are currently working together on their first collaboration. Nutcrusher, a new piece by Sung Im Her with Philip in the role of Dramaturg, is a broad response to the #metoo movement. The piece premiered in Seoul on 18 January.

6 February 2019: John Lee in conversation with Deb Mullins

In this conversation, John Lee and Deb Mullins, Director of Emergency Exit Arts and chairperson of Outdoor Arts UK, discussed artistic practices, creative activism, issues of ‘place’, gender and diversity in making work in the outdoor arts sector.

13 February 2019: Dr Olu Taiwo in conversation with Freddie Opoku-Addaie

Dr Olu Taiwo’s conversation with Freddie Opoku-Addaie explored some implications that emerged from previous discussions at the Dance Umbrella International Festival in September 2018. There, Dr Taiwo shared his choreological practice of ‘Urban Butoh’, an interdisciplinary transcultural movement practice that has been developed by combining a number of performance techniques, including Japanese artists, Hironobu Oikawa’s interpretation of Antonin Artaud’s techniques, Jacques Lecoq’s mimetic technique based on open neutrality and elements of performance styles the Return beat. Dr Taiwo took part in the panel discussion curated by Opoku-Addaie, titled ‘Beyond the 3T’s – Tick box/Token/Tolerated’).

For forthcoming events, explore our Public Events Calendar. 

2018 NEWS

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

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, Royal Holloway Univ. of London. This conversation took place on 20 April 2018. Watch the video here.

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.


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