Year 2…

I made it through my upgrade unscathed! It was a really useful and interesting process, albeit a bit terrifying!

I have been quiet for a while as I have been really focussed upon my data gathering, I have been doing so mainly through studio observation, interviews and archival processing. Over the summer the Phoenix dance cast were learning and reviving several dance works in preparation for the 2012 Spring tour (Crossing points). This was a really rich experience for me in terms of being able to observe such private creative and experimental processes. It has helped me shift my thinking with regards to the dancing body as an archival site, I will be writing more about this on my ‘Studio Observation’ page so please do have a look if you would like to read more about this. .

Phoenix Dance theatre reaches a significant milestone next week in that the company will mark thirty years on 11.11.11. This has been an opportunity for the company to reflect upon its artistic heritage-also a large aspect of my research. The company has planned a private performance for company members, staff and associates which offers a snapshot of the company’s work from past to present. This has been a hugely interesting process as past dancers have taken it upon themselves to revive historic works which they will perform on the 11th November. This activity and my ability to observe and engage with these artistic processes has been a real advantage to my research and is one of the many benefits of working collaboratively for my PhD. I will be reflecting on the processes and the performance on my blog (again in the studio observation section) over the next few weeks.

In late December and January I will begin to consolidate the research I have generated to date, at the moment this feels like an enormous task and I am sure it will be! I am hoping that reflecting upon all of this activity over the next few weeks will give me a head start.

Thanks in advance for any comments you might have!I hope you enjoy reading about these processes.


About Laura Griffiths

I am a PhD Research student at the University of Leeds, currently in the second year of my research, a Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). My programme of study is unique in that I have a collaborative research partner- Phoenix Dance Theatre, a contemporary repertory company based in Leeds. I have a background in Dance Studies, with a BA (Hons) and an MA from the University of Surrey. I became interested in archval dance practice after my role within the Pioneer Women: early British modern dancers project at the National Resource Centre for Dance, University of Surrey (2008-2010) The reserach and archiving I undertook during this project made me curious about what materials we archive and why in relation to dance. It also raised some interesting questions with regards to how dance archives are organised and therefore interpreted by the historian/researcher. Following my first year of study, my PhD reserach has now taken me in a more philosophical direction through both archival theories and concepts of embodiment.
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