Rachel Rimmer and Dr Julie Armstrong

Documenting the Dancing Moment: Dance Improvisation and Creative Writing

Working with dance artist Rachel Rimmer and experimental writer Dr Julie Armstrong, this workshop will investigate the reciprocal relationship between dance improvisation and creative writing.


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We will begin with a short contextual introduction to our inquiry, and then we will guide participants through a series of experimental tasks connected to our practice. Exploring the potential for creative writing to act as a method for capturing the embodied experiences of the dancer, the practice is underpinned by psychologist Rosemarie Anderson’s research into ‘embodied writing’ and the notion of ‘witnessing’ (Authentic Movement). Dancing will act as a stimulus to write, and writing will act as a stimulus to dance.

More about this research inquiry can be found via the following publication on choreograph.net: http://choreograph.net/articles/lead-article-the-speaking-body-in-space-documenting-the-dancing-moment

Rachel Rimmer (BA Hons, MA, FHEA) is a dance artist based between the Midlands and North West, UK. She lectures on the Dance programme in the Department of Contemporary Arts, Manchester Metropolitan University in Cheshire. Primarily a teacher and performer, she has collaborated with many contemporary practitioners performing in a range of choreographic projects, both nationally and internationally. Her research interests include somatic movement education, free-flow/anatomical release-based movement, improvisational approaches, instant composition and interdisciplinarity. She is currently developing a practice-led PhD project investigating innovative pedagogies in the teaching of dance technique at Higher Education, with specific interest in the development of the autonomous, thinking dancer. Academic papers include: Boy’s Dance Lab, Improvising with Material in the Higher Education Dance Technique Class: Exploration and Ownership, The Speaking Body in Space: Documenting the Dancing Moment and Introducing Choice in the Higher Education Dance Technique Class.

General info - www.rachelrimmer.com

Dr Julie Armstrong (BA Hons, MA, PhD) lectures on the Creative Writing programme in the Department of Contemporary Arts, Manchester Metropolitan University in Cheshire. Julie’s research interests are the boundaries between creative and critical writing, experimental fiction, praxis, the spiritual dimensions of Creative Writing and interdisciplinary approaches; she is also a practising yogi.

Her poetry and short stories have appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies including: Crocus Books, Forward Press, Poetry Now. She published her experimental novels: Mirror Cities, 2010, and Dream Space, 2012.  Bloomsbury commissioned her to write a book entitled:  For Readers & Writers Of Experimental Fiction to be published in September 2014.

She has produced multiple academic papers including: Changing Perceptions Of Reality, Narrative & The Myth Of Origin, Spirituality & Creative Writing , Unblock The Exits: Experimental Writing,  All Writing Comes From Somewhere and Paths To Knowing & Knowledge: Memory, Mindfulness, Neuroscience & The Stories We Tell Ourselves. 

General info - www.juliearmstrongwriting.com

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