News: Wayne McGregor

Friday 12 December 2003

Wayne McGregor has been awarded an Arts Council England /Arts and Humanities Research Board Arts and Science Research Fellowship with Cambridge University for Choreography and Cognition: a joint research project.

The Arts and Humanities Research Board and Arts Council have announced a Fellowship Award of £29,925 for the joint research project Choreography and Cognition. This is one of 16 other awards each ranging from £22,000. – £35,000., funded jointly by the AHRB and Arts Council. The award supports a six-month Research Fellowship hosted by the University of Cambridge’s Department of Experimental Psychology for Wayne McGregor and a group of collaborating scientists from the fields of cognitive psychology and neuroscience to research connections between choreographic processes and the study of movement and the brain/mind.

The project, initiated by Scott deLahunta (Arts Researcher, Writing Research Associates) and Wayne McGregor, asks what might be discovered by opening up the choreographic process to alternative modes of looking, analysis and questioning through the participation of the collaborating scientists. The team will participate in the development of new methods of artistic/choreographic and scientific research through a series of intensive workshops in the rehearsal studio.

\“As a choreographer interested and committed to a rich exploration of physical languages and movement systems this project affords a real opportunity for me to look differently at my methods of working and potentially generate new ones.\” Wayne McGregor

\“The aim is to seek a cross fertilisation of ideas within a shared research processes that will enhance innovative thinking in both domains.\” Scott deLahunta

The project will be coordinated by Cambridge University experimental psychologist Dr. Rosaleen McCarthy, who said cognitive psychology was “very bad on the whole at dealing with expressive movement and a sense of the body and the self. This is something that is confronted all the time by choreography.”

The collaborating scientists from centres in Cambridge and Birmingham, Philip Barnard, Alan F. Blackwell, Rosaleen McCarthy, Anthony J. Marcel, Alan M. Wing have a variety of research interests including: macro theory for cognition and emotion; cognitive dimensions of notations; bodily sensation/ representation and self; object recognition and spatial processing; kinematic analyses of movement and its timing.

The project continues until the end of February 2004 and is the preliminary research phase into Random Dance’s new work, AtaXia that premieres at Sadler’s Well’s on 3-5 June 2004.

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