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

The programme for 2019-20 below will be augmented throughout the year.

Research Seminars

Seminars usually take place on occasional Wednesdays from 17.15-18.15 and are followed by drinks in the Laban Bar – all welcome!

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.

Autumn 2019

Wed 6 Nov 2019

17.15-18.15, Lecture Theatre, Laban Building

Tim Palmer
Virtuoso Soloists’ views of Higher Music Education

Conservatoire curricula are contested spaces, where competing narratives of artistic success, professional skills, entrepreneurialism and creativity meet, in institutions criticised for celebrating performance rather than learning. This research project (in partnership with Dr David Baker from the UCL IOE) sought the views of renowned virtuoso soloists working with the resident orchestra in the 2018 season of a major international music festival in order to reveal their own experiences of higher music education, and their views of how conservatoires could better prepare students to become professional soloists. Whilst higher education was highly valued in general, and some aspects of a conservatoire training were considered invaluable, a number of recommendations were made, some of which contradict prevailing discourses in Western Art Music education.

Wed 4 Dec 2019

17.15-18.15, Lecture Theatre, Laban Building

Ann van Allen Russell
Cultural Economics and Music Business: The Bach-Abel Subscription Concerts, 1773-1775

The production and consumption of culture has been a central theme for researchers of the long eighteenth century (including Simon McVeigh, John Brewer, Robert D. Hume, and Susan Staves). However, a facet of historical music business practices in eighteenth-century Britain that receives limited attention is that of subscription concerts. Neglect of this area is not altogether surprising; there is a lack of extant accounts and other documentation associated with the running cost of subscription concerts. Account books held at the Royal Bank of Scotland Archives in Edinburgh associated with a ‘Subscription for a concert under the direction of Messrs Bach and Abel’,  however, provide a rare opportunity to look inside the books of one of the most prestigious, and significant musical business ventures in late eighteenth-century London: the concert series run by two of its most formidable musicians, Johann Christian Bach and Carl Fredrick Abel.

This paper draws on new thinking put forward by Hume on the buying power of money and the employment of spread-figure (‘a basket of goods’) multipliers to convey more realistic approximations of value. Hume’s work applies this methodology to books, collections of plays, and chapbooks; I have extended this in a new direction to concerts, and with the existence of the Bach-Abel account books there is an exciting opportunity to apply and test this methodology with one of the most popular concert series of the era. This paper argues that these underexplored financial documents in tandem with Hume’s spread-figure multipliers provide a new and significant perspective and understanding of the economic realities of cultural production and consumption in eighteenth-century musical life, revealing that there were prominent musical entrepreneurs catering to the 1%.

Spring 2020

Wed 15 Jan 2020

17.15-18.15, Lecture Theatre, Laban Building

Jamieson Dryburgh
Collective entanglements: An exploration of collective effort in the dance technique class

In the dance technique class learners influence each other. Consequently, learning can be conceived socially as both an individual and collective process. In this paper the teacher/researcher exploresthe significance of peers in the studio-based process and how, through body interaction, ways of being with fellow learners builds learning communities. Collective effort (hooks 1994) is discussed as the means through which learning is stimulated by the contribution of all participants. The teacher/researcher expands on the deliberate ways in which collective effort has been privileged in the classroom through attentive-peer-observation of materials-in-common. Time spent at the side, not dancing, when students are dancing the materials in groups afford opportunities for learning through attentive peer observation. As such self-directed and inquiry-oriented learning is enabled through shared exploration of materials in particular and distinctive ways.

Learning collectively is to engage in acts of recognition of one’s peers that can expand, provoke and inspire embodied knowing. This can redefine the power hierarchies that may exist in the dance technique class. Through the utilisation of attentive peer observation, the learner might become aware of the reciprocity involved in seeing and being seen by peers. The discussion develops by considering the influence of behaviours by peers that are not perceived as contributing to collective effort. Disengagement is reflected upon as agential dissent.

Weaving through this pedagogical exploration are ideas about social interaction as interrelated threads of lives lived along lines (Tim Ingold 2011). As students learn together, they knot and tangle and enmesh. It is suggested here that through the torques and tension of threads as they pull away from each other that the vitality of the meshwork is realised. It is this vitality that is generated through the entwined influence of peers in the dance technique class.


Wed 4 Mar 2020

17.15-18.45, Café Meeting Room, Laban Building

Dominic Murcott
East, Drink, Listen

The artistic juxtaposition of food and music goes back to the Futurists and probably earlier but in recent years it’s become common, if not fashionable, to create concerts with food or fine dining with accompanying sound. There is an increasing body of neuroscience that looks at this relationship which throws up complex creative and ethical issues. This session will include some bold tastes, demanding sounds and will blur the line between a research talk and the drinks event afterwards.

Participants will need to sign up in advance so the correct amount of examples can be prepared. It should be noted that dietary requirements cannot be catered for but participation without tasting is welcomed. Email  to book your place.

Dominic Murcott is an award-winning composer, educator and percussionist with a long standing interest in the culinary arts. In 2019 he presented The Ultimate Taste Test at the British Library with celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal.


See a full list of past events: Research Seminar Series: Archive


Parallax is the Trinity Laban staff and Creative Practice research student showcase series.

Spring 2020

Parallax 14 – Craft and Art Symposium

Wed 12 February 2020, 09.30 – 17.00
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Laban Building

A one-day symposium curated by
Zoi Dimitriou and Jonathan Owen Clark

What is the relation between craft and the performing arts? What are the socio-political connotations these relations hold today and how do these challenge, redirect and nourish artistic, curatorial, pedagogical and social practices?

Craftmanship as an intimate working with materials and their transformation has recently been drawing attention in both the artistic and academic milieu. Notions of repetition, persistence, resistance, foresight and ‘following the materials’ are but some of our anchoring focal points. One line of theoretical inquiry can be traced through the work of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, who suggest that to ‘follow the materials’ is to think from the materials – to find ‘the consciousness or thought of the matter-flow’ (Deleuze and Guattari 2004:454). Another way of approaching the subject is through Tim Ingold’s anthropological analysis of the embodied processes of enskillment that join both art and craft-making.

Practices of craftmanship have close links to the daily practices of the dancer, musician and artist. How can we discuss these processes from the viewpoint that even the smallest of ‘gestures’ (actions) can produce things, affects and change that encompass the potentiality for domain shifts and moving us through/across borders?

Download the full programme (pdf).

Please book your place by emailing the Research Administrator Angela Kerkhoff.

Parallax 13: Melting, Shifting, Liquid World

16 Mar 2019, 17.30, 19.30, 21.30, National Maritime Museum, Romney Road, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF

With the Trinity Laban String Ensemble
Composer Hollie Harding 
Director/ Electric Viola Nic Pendlebury

The world premiere performances of Melting, Shifting, Liquid World on the iconic Great Map at the National Maritime Museum. This is a new immersive, site-specific piece written by composer Hollie Harding (PhD candidate Creative Practice, Music) for Trinity Laban String Ensemble and electric viola soloist Nic Pendlebury. The work explores themes of climate change and ocean pollution and includes a pre-recorded tape part delivered to the audience over bone-conduction open-ear headphones. Hear the composer talk about her work.

Parallax 12 – Moving as a thought process: studio development and creative encounters

Wed 21 Nov 2018, 17.15-18.15, Lecture Theatre, Laban Building

Through investigative practice involving stillness processes and relational moving, this artistic research, conducted by Naomi Lefebvre Sell, Tara Silverthorn and Lucille Teppa over an eleven year period, has fostered a methodology where a refinement of the “felt sense” (Gendlin, 2003) was embodied, articulated and documented. This has taken place through the writing and moving of scores, or ‘Pathways’; compositions of improvisational agreements/frameworks, designed collectively. All this has provided a framework for the consideration and examination of dance-making from a mindfulness perspective.

Naomi, Tara and Lucille will present a new film,developed in collaboration with Jason Brooks, which captures this work. The film exposes the research at a point in time, as well as reveals some of their engagement with various groups (Cando2, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Centre for Advanced Training). The presenters will share some of their current concerns, inviting questions and dialogue surrounding their practice.

Dr Naomi Lefebvre Sell, Tara Silverthorn and Lucille Teppa

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

Lottery Funded, Supported by Arts Council England

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.


See a full list of past events: Parallax 01-11.

Other Research Events

Research Degree Programme/MFA Week

16-19 March 2020 – cancelled

A week of events for research and MFA students during which they share their work in progress: these presentations have been cancelled. We hope to reschedule the event during the summer term. Please contact the Research Administrator Angela Kerkhoff with any queries.

Research Lab

Sessions in this 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, a one-day Research Lab Graduate Symposium is scheduled on 18 Sep 2019.

Find programmes for this 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

  • Term 1: Wed 30 Oct 2019, 16.00-18.00, Laban Building, Research Hub
  • Term 3: Wed 20 May 2020, 16.15-18.15, online

Led by Prof Sam Hayden.

Open to Trinity Laban staff and students.

Professional Development Events for Researchers

Trinity Laban offers an extensive programme of professional development events for research students and staff.




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.