Outputs - Performing Arts

Performing Arts Department: Research Outputs

Research groups, projects and outputs:

The department for Performing arts has several interconnected well-established research groups-  


1    The first group is researching Applied Performance in a number of social and cultural contexts. The work of this group covers the use of applied drama and performance techniques in conflict resolution; the role of applied drama in working with specific target groups (prisoners youth groups) and the role of performance in education (from School through to HEIs). The group has a long track record in collaborative practices, and has fostered strong links with other HEIs, educational establishments and client groups, both across Britain and internationally. The department’s impact narrative is strongly connected with the idea of performance as a tool of social action and interaction. Applied Drama projects have been conducted in Japan, Eastern Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East. In the UK, applied drama projects involved working with local Romany community, running a music festival in Liverpool and a local theatre group. Projects and cooperation has been established with Warrington Wolves rugby club and mumming groups and communities both locally and internationally. 


2   The second group is researching creative practices and processes. This group is well placed to take advantage of the integrated interdisciplinary nature of the department, including as it does representatives from Drama, Dance and (Popular) Music. This group has developed common links and approaches between researchers working in the three disciplines. For example, research has been conducted linking Drama and Popular Music, including the study of fandom and the work on staging and audience reception; the work on the aesthetics of performance is being conducted across drama dance linking to other departments (Fine Art) in the Faculty; the expertise in musicology was used while researching, analysing and writing on Beckett and 20th Century composition. 

3  The third group (which draws on personnel from the other groups) is engaged in ethnographic research. This research strand gathers together ideas, models and reflections on performance ethnography within the broader discipline of performance studies. Performance studies ‘practice’ brings together theatre and anthropology, privileging ethnography over spectatorship and process over product. The terms ‘practice-based research’ and ‘embodied ethnography’ have strong currency in all the research projects giving evidence of new orientations in areas of performance research. The areas of research include mumming, ritual, secular spiritualities, dance collaboration, and music fandom. The department for performing arts supported and organized the international conference ‘Contemporary Ethnography and Traditional Performance’ held at the University of Chester in July 2012. The conference brought together number of international scholars discussing wide ranging ethnographic material from Canada, England, New Zealand, Philippines, Scotland, and Spain the conference considered the changes in ethnographic practice that serve our shifting understanding of traditional and contemporary performance.