Research Seminars & Events

The Research Department regularly organises research seminars, symposia and other events. The schedule for 2016-17 is currently being developed with, amongst others, two forthcoming evenings in the Parallax showcase series already confirmed; and seven new Research Seminars now scheduled also. Please find information on these as well as on other research events below.


The Trinity Laban staff and Creative Practice research student showcase series. Find details of forthcoming events below; for information on previous events go here.


PARALLAX 07 - Moving as a thought process: An insight into mindfulness through dance and choreography

Wed 12 Oct 2016

Faculty of Dance, Lecture Theatre, 17.15-18.30h
Followed by drinks in the Laban Bar - all welcome!

Dr Naomi Lefebvre Sell (Trinity Laban), Tara Silverthorn and Lucille Teppa

This work draws on Naomi, Tara and Lucille’s understandings and expertise acquired through a collaboration which began in 2007, within the frame of Lefebvre Sell’s Doctoral research, investigating how mindfulness meditation impacts the dance making process. Over a nine-year period, they have let this original research filter and settle through our individual journeys as artists, teachers and researchers before recently carrying out a new research project funded by Arts Council England which focused on developing a practice towards a greater sense of mindful engagement and creativity, enabling and empowering artists and young people to draw on these principles. Their findings will be presented, also proposing novel methods in making and performing dance.

Chair and mentor of the project: Prof Sarah Whatley, Professor of Dance and Director: Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE), Coventry University

Free and open to the public. External visitors are requested to book their place in advance by emailing the Research Administrator, Angela Kerkhoff, [email protected].


PARALLAX 08 - Difference and Repetition

A showcase of new and recent works by current Trinity Laban staff and research students across the Faculties of Dance and Music, including live performances, installations, improvisations, multi-media projections and more.

With The Trinity Laban Contemporary Music Group, conducted by Gregory Rose

Fri 2 Dec 2016

Trinity Laban at Blackheath Halls, 19.30h

Curated by Dr Sam Hayden and Dr Dominic Murcott

Difference and Repetition - after the title of Gilles Deleuze's famous thesis - will be the 8th in the Parallax series at Trinity Laban.

Deleuze’s idea of Difference understands the identity of any given thing as constituted on the basis of the ever-changing network of relations in which it is found. For Deleuze, identity is a secondary determination, while difference, or the constitutive relations that make up identities, is primary. This important and influential idea has multiple applications to the materials and concepts of art, whether sonic, movement or otherwise, and our composers, musicians, choreographers, dancers and other artists have been invited to respond.

Free and open to the public. This event is ticketed, please book your ticket here.


Research Seminars

Seminars usually take place on occasional Wednesdays from 17.15h-18.15h.

Free and open to the public. External visitors are requested to book their place by emailing [email protected]


Wed 9 Nov 2016

17.15-18.15, Faculty of Dance, Lecture Theatre

Jonathan Owen Clark/Charles Linehan (Trinity Laban)

Shadow Drone Project. Movement, Kinetics, Film 

In this joint presentation and film showing, Jonathan Owen Clark and Charles Linehan discuss recent work of the latter that utilities drone technology (including a recent showing at the Brighton Festival 2016). This work raises a number of important issues and concepts that relate the praxis of choreography to visual art, film and more general definitions of what defines the ‘choreographic’ at all. The presentation will touch on three themes:

1. When we talk about choreography today, and in the relation between choreography and screen dance, Linehan’s recent films may provide clues at to a certain direction of travel, namely the extension of the ‘choreographic’ via the deliberate juxtaposition of planned and random elements, to both natural and non-human kinetics;

2. Thus automatically brings into play questions about reception. In addition therefore, what can we say how how such films are experienced and received? Here we will use ideas from affective and embodied cognition, and from film and visual arts theory; what can these films say about these same theoretical approaches to contemporary art, especially digital or internet-based art?

3. The drone technology involved in making these films has obvious connotations with illegality and surveillance, but how are the films examples of perhaps a new type of political art?


Wed 23 Nov 2016

17.15-18.15, Faculty of Dance, Lecture Theatre

David Leahy (Trinity Laban)

Musicians in Space

What would an improvised music performance sound, feel and look like, if the musicians were encouraged to conduct their sonic negotiations through a more varied and fluid relationship to their spatial environment? This report into a doctoral, practice-based research looks at the potential for a spatialized performance model for free improvised music, exploring the underlying corporeal nature of the practice and the potential for a more active engagement with the entire performance environment by the participants. ‘Musicians in Space’ brings into question the assumed set of expectations, roles and behaviours associated with the separation of the performer and audience in a live performance, offering instead the improviser and listener the invitation to explore more fully the spatial possibilities of the performance environment. This presentation will include a review of previous and existing practices related to spatialization within music and sonic art, along with the wider perspective of how society both shapes and is shaped by the spatial environment around us.

By exploring the differences between the Western classical music tradition and free improvisation this research argues that a spatialized performance model can be seen as an appropriate format for the presentation of free improvised music.  This presentation also builds on the arguments made by Small (1998) and Attali (1985) for a re-examination of the way music is consumed. By re-evaluating the physical divide between the performer and audience, it is argued that a spatialized improvisation can be more representative of the shared ‘Musicking’ act, while at the same time reinforcing the egalitarian right to ‘compose’.


Wed 11 Jan 2017

17.15-18.15, Faculty of Dance, Lecture Theatre

Emile Bosejen (University of Winchester)

Details tbc


Wed 18 Jan 2017

17.15-18.15, Faculty of Dance, Lecture Theatre

Leah Gordon (Independent Artist)

Details tbc


Wed 1 Feb 2017

17.15-18.15, Faculty of Dance, Lecture Theatre

Guy Harries (Trinity Laban)

Live Electronic Sound as a Performance Discipline

Electronic sound is an integral part of contemporary music across a vast array of genres and fields: dance music, pop, rock and experimental music as well as film music and applied sound design. With its specific modes of production, based on innovation in the field of sound production as well as instrument design, it is clear that electronic music employs unique methodologies that are not present in the traditional vocal-instrumental tradition. The discussion of live electronic music, both in the academic and more public domain, tends to focus on studio production, interactive technologies, composition aesthetics and cultural context. However, the area of actual performance has often been neglected. My research seeks to address this, providing a holistic view of live electronics as a performance practice and exploring the elements of live performance and its dramaturgy: space, the body, audience and narrative. 

As well as practice-based research, which includes my live performances and compositions for other performers, I am also investigating the work of other artists and their approach to creating live performance using electronics. I have been interviewing artists since 2013, and have recently launched a website to provide open access to this growing archive. In this seminar I will present the main themes and methodologies that this process has revealed, including examples by artists featured on the website.


Wed 15 Feb 2017

17.15-18.15, Faculty of Dance, Lecture Theatre

Patricia Holmes (Trinity Laban)

Towards a conceptual framework for resilience research in music training and performance:  a cross-discipline review

Resilience has become an increasingly ubiquitous term during recent decades, resulting in a prolific and eclectic body of literature. In this paper I explore the potential relevance of the concept of resilience to the life world of the musician. Drawing on conceptions of resilience and critical arguments from fields of study as diverse as social ecology, sociology, psychology, anthropology, sport and political economy, I define resilience in a way that might carry meaning for the musician practitioner. I then attempt to establish to what extent musicians are likely to embody or acquire the characteristics associated with resilience, and to what extent this is actually desirable within an artistic medium. With this caveat in mind I seek to identify risk factors, together with stabilising and destabilising forces that might impact on the musician’s ability to survive adversity. Protective factors are also identified. Following this and in line with current thinking in social theory, I offer some cautions regarding the over-reliance on standard approaches to resilience at the expense of a more creative and productive management of adversity and trauma. Finally, with a view to fostering resilience in the individual musician, I suggest approaches that might inform educational practice can reshape it in some way.


Wed 15 Mar 2017

17.15-18.15, Faculty of Dance, Lecture Theatre

Sam Hayden (Trinity Laban)

Complexity versus Clarity in British Orchestral Music

This article discusses how normative perceptions of British contemporary orchestral music can be underpinned by a residual binary of ‘clarity’ versus ‘complexity’ as positive and negative value judgements respectively, informing public discourse around the orchestra by reviewers, audiences and performers alike. A post-war valorisation of ‘clarity’ is traceable to the transparent neo-tonal harmony, melodic invention and approaches to orchestration characteristic of the post-Britten tradition. The adoption of such a valorisation by ‘mainstream’ contemporary British composers, exemplified by Faber Music, has generalised an aesthetically specific compositional approach. Using the examples of Thomas Adès and George Benjamin, the article shows how certain residual normative approaches to material and notation are defined against the tendencies of ‘complexism’ as exemplified by Brian Ferneyhough. This binary has engendered conservatism towards traditions of radical new orchestral music that do not conform to normative expectations of ‘clarity’, as the immediately perceptible separation and identification of musical elements.


Other Research events

This section, as those above, is under continuous development throughout the year.


RESEARCH PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Research Ethics (facilitator Emma Redding)

Wed 7 Sep 2016

10.00 – 11.00, Faculty of Dance, Seminar Room A

What is research ethics, why is it important and how does one apply for ethical approval?

This session will explore research ethics particularly in relation to students undertaking projects as part of their studies. We will discuss issues relating to human participant protection, confidentiality and guidelines for authorship with reference to the Research Council's UK Code of Conduct. The guidelines and procedures for students and staff applying for research ethical approval for both written and practice projects will be fully explained.

Open to Trinity Laban staff only.


RESEARCH PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Supervisor Training (facilitator Jonathan Clark)

Wed 7 Sep 2016

11.15 - 12.15, Faculty of Dance, Research Hub

Open to Trinity Laban staff only.



Sessions in this new module on RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES for M-level students across both faculties run WEEKLY throughout the year. Topics covered include research methodologies, practice-as-research, collaboration, documentation & archiving and much more. 

Dates for the Music and Dance joint sessions of the M502/702 RESEARCH LAB this term are


14 September (one-day symposium)

5 October

19 October

2 November

16 November

Find details for these and all the other sessions on Moodle/Research!

Open to Trinity Laban M-level and research students only.


RESEARCH GROUP: Sound and Movement Research Group

Wed 28 Sep 2016, Faculty of Dance, Research Hub

Open to Trinity Laban staff and research students only.



External visitors who would like to attend events which are open to the public are requested to book their place in advance by emailing the Research Administrator, Angela Kerkhoff, [email protected].


Find information on staff/student showcase events in the PARALLAX series.
Find information on Research Professional Development events.


Banner image: Artist Jaimie Henthorn, Photographer Rachel Cherry


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