The Research Department regularly organises research seminars, symposia and other events.

The schedule below for 2016-17 is augmented throughout the year and includes evenings in the ParallaxCreative Practice showcase series, Research Seminars and other events.


The Trinity Laban staff and Creative Practice research student showcase series. (Full list of Parallax 01-09 events)


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

Wed 12 Oct 2016
Faculty of Dance, Lecture Theatre, 17.15h - 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, but ticketed.


PARALLAX 09 - Exercise: Les Noces

Sun 29 Jan 2017
The Asylum, Caroline Garden’s Chapel, London SE15 2SQ, 16.00-19.00h
Elena Koukoli (Trinity Laban PhD candidate)

Elena Koukoli’s Exercise: Les Noces pushes the limits of performance by interweaving music, dance and visual art. The work translates Bronislava Nijinska’s iconic ballet Les Noces to an installation of ‘ready-made choreographies’: replicated and re-performed artworks, design objects and video clips. Throughout the three-hour event, the audience is invited to watch and listen, move around, come and go as they please or even attend a self-defence class. Exercise: Les Noces expands the conventional verges of dance performance, introducing a durational installation that challenges the frames of both theatre and gallery.

Free and open to the public, no booking necessary.



Seminars usually take place on occasional Wednesdays from 17.15h-18.15h.
Free and open to the public. External visitors who would like to attend are requested to book their place in advance by contacting the Research Administrator, Angela Kerkhoff, at  [email protected].


Wed 9 Nov 2016
17.15h - 18.15h, 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
17.15h - 18.15h, Faculty of Dance, Lecture Theatre
David Leahy (Trinity Laban; PhD candidate University of Westminster)

Underscoring a Performance Ecosystem

David’s presentation will focus on Nancy Stark Smith's Underscore and the Music-based Underscore, which was the product of his MACP project, focusing on how these two practices have come together to shape, not only his PhD study but also, his approach to music and dance collaboration. He will discuss the potential of viewing this work within the context of a 'Performance ecosystem', where the traditional divisions of performer, audience member, performance space, etc., are removed to recognize the active part that they all play in the creation of the performative experience. Additionally, he will examine this work as a model of co-existence that is built on the acceptance of difference rather than the need to conform to one set ideology.

Wed 11 Jan 2017
17.15h - 18.15h, Faculty of Dance, Lecture Theatre
Emile Bosejen (University of Winchester)

A Philosophical History of Education: Renaissance to Realpolitik and Beyond

What are the practices available to us in our teaching and in our educational institutions? What are their histories and what kind of pedagogical lexicon do they provide us with? This lecture will attempt to contextualise the variety of ways in which we think about institutional education. It will illustrate how quite often even radical or critical pedagogies share many of the same intellectual histories and resources as those that are more seemingly traditional. In terms of education in England, a line will be traced back to the Sixteenth Century, where the influence of Renaissance Humanism drew together classical and religious educational practices which would set much of the tone and spectrum of educational discourse from then on. This will lead to a sketching out of a range of contemporary phenomena which might be seen as putting an end to the practice-based components of this long standing educational discourse, while suggesting that it lives on as a ‘ghost’ which assists in validating ‘educational’ processes which are otherwise entirely alien to it. It will conclude by asking if a contemporary radical educator far more traditional than they might think? And whether or not there are alternatives to tradition which do not simply give in to our contemporary exigencies?


Wed 1 Feb 2017
17.15h - 18.15h, 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
17.15h - 18.15h, 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 1 Mar 2017
17.15h - 18.15h, Faculty of Dance, Lecture Theatre
Leah Gordon (Independent Artist)

Vodou and Art: a museology between the altar and the market place

Leah Gordon explores the multifarious links between Vodou and art, in both Haiti's art history and current contemporary practice. Leah will discuss the use of image and artefact within Vodou ritual and the often-interchangeable role of artist and Houngan (Vodou priest). Gordon will explore the liminal space that contemporary artists currently inhabit maintaining their ancestral histories and cultural antecedents, whilst trying to negotiate a contemporary art market that still has a conflicted relationship toward ethnographic and ritual objects.

Gordon will discuss the possibilities and problematics of exhibiting Haitian art from her experience of co-curating ‘Kafou: Haiti, Art & Vodou’ at the Nottingham Contemporary, on the curatorial team for ‘In Extremis’ at the Fowler Museum, UCLA, Los Angeles, as one of the directors of the ‘Ghetto Biennale’ held in Port-au-Prince and as the adjunct curator for the Haitian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale.

Finally, Gordon will talk about her own photographic and film practice, which increasingly attempts to highlight the intervolved economic and political histories of Britain and Haiti and how this links with her curatorial practice.


Wed 15 Mar 2017
17.15h - 18.15h, 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.


Wed 3 May 2017
17.15h - 18.15h, Faculty of Dance, Lecture Theatre
Owen Underhill (Simon Fraser University, Canada)

Collaborations with Music and Dance - A Composer and Artistic Director's Perspective

Owen will give an overview of his work, focussing on examples of different kinds of collaborations he has been involved with, from the more ‘traditional’ choreographic approaches to more experimental projects.  His experience is extensive, collaborating with ballet and contemporary dance companies, and independent choreographers in Canada.  As a composer he has worked with Ballet BC, the National Ballet, and choreographers such as John Alleyne, Wen Wei Wang, and Henry Daniel, among others.  As the Artistic Director of Turning Point Ensemble, he has regularly mounted new and historical interdisciplinary productions that have involved live music by large ensemble with dance and other media including a rare remount of Satie's late work 'Relâche', and the supervision of multiple collaborations between composers and choreographers.



Symposium: Opera and Politics 2 - Voices of Anarchy

Wed 14 June 2017, Faculty of Dance

14.00h-15.45h - Workshop, Studio 8

16.00h-19.00h - Presentations and panel discussion, Laban Lecture Theatre

The second Opera and Politics symposium at Trinity Laban will examine the connection between anarchy and the singing voice, with presentations by a range of speakers discussing aesthetics, philosophy, education and artistic practice in relation to this theme.

Anarchy in its broadest sense suggests an approach of dissent and subversion countering hegemonic systems and potentially including emergent, participatory and self-organising practices. Anarchic art usually manifests in anti-establishment, DIY cultural practices located in marginal and informal spaces. However, cultural appropriation of anarchic practices by mainstream institutions and the legitimisation of anarchy as a methodological approach to cultural studies may appear to destabilize any subversive manifesto. During this symposium we will be exploring how dissent and subversion can manifest in theatrical and musical practices, explored through the lens of anarchism.


composer Roger Redgate (Goldsmiths University of London) presenting his opera in progress based on Peter Weiss’s play Marat/Sade;

writer Tessa McWatt (University of East London) on her collaboration with composer Hannah Kendall on the opera The Knife of Dawn,;

Louise Jackson (Trinity Laban) discussing participatory paradigms for learning through vocal practice;

Jonathan Owen Clark (Trinity Laban) on emergence and aesthetic negativity; and

Guy Harries (University of East London/Trinity Laban) on punk influences on composition for opera.

Programme and booking information:

14.00h-15.45h  Workshop on devising performance with sound and voice, based on socio-political narrative. The workshop is open to all levels and backgrounds (from the age of 18). Please book your place on the workshop on eventbrite.

16.00h-19.00h   Presentations and panel discussion chaired by Eve Katsouraki (University of East London).  RSVP for the presentations by email to [email protected]

Free and open to the public.


Becomings: An Anglo-Spanish Programme of Contemporary Piano Works

Wed 11 Jan 2017
19.30h, Recital Room, Blackheath Halls
Performance event

A contemporary piano recital with an Anglo-Spanish theme features a premiere of Becomings by Sam Hayden, Trinity Laban’s Reader in Composition, written for highly acclaimed Spanish pianist José Menor, former Junior Fellow at Trinity Laban. The programme includes Michael Finnissy’s Summer Morn, described by the Guardian as ‘rich and complex’. Recent works by José Menor himself and Hector Parra complete the bill in what promises to be an evening of exciting contemporary work.

This project is supported by the Britten-Pears and Hinrichsen Foundations and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

Free and open to the public.


Research Ethics (facilitator Emma Redding)

Wed 7 Sep 2016
10.00h – 11.00h, Faculty of Dance, Seminar Room A
Research professional development

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.


Supervisor Training (facilitator Jonathan Clark)

Wed 7 Sep 2016
11.15h - 12.15h, Faculty of Dance, Research Hub
Research professional development

Open to Trinity Laban staff only.


Research Lab

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. 

As part of the module, two Research Lab Graduate Symposia are scheduled: 


  • 14 Sep 2016 (one-day symposium - Term 1)
  • 19 Apr 2017 (half-day symposium - Term 3)

Find programmes for these and details of all other, weekly sessions on Moodle/Research
Open to Trinity Laban M-level and research students only


Research Group

Sound and Movement Research Group, 15.30-17.00h:

  • Wed 28 Sep 2016, Faculty of Dance, Research Hub
  • Wed 09 Nov 2016, Faculty of Dance, Research Hub
  • Wed 01 Feb 2017, Faculty of Dance, Research Hub
  • Wed 03 May 2017, Faculty of Dance, Research Hub

Open to Trinity Laban staff and research students only


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