Dr Lesley Main
Lesley Main PhD is Head of Performing Arts and formerly Principal Lecturer in Dance at Middlesex University, teaching Humphrey-based Technique, Repertoire and Performance. Amongst other roles within the university, she was Chair of the Dance Department from 1999 – 2004 and Acting Head of Performing Arts in 2008. A leading European exponent of Doris Humphrey's dance tradition, she worked with Ernestine Stodelle in the USA from 1985, performing in and directing a number of Humphrey's major works, including The Call/Breath of Fire, Water Study, Two Ecstatic Themes, The Shakers, New Dance, With My Red Fires and Passacaglia. Lesley is director of the Doris Humphrey Foundation, a charitable foundation that produced the Humphrey Centenary events in 1995 and continues to promote her work throughout the UK. She has also taught extensively throughout Europe. Publications include articles for a range of dance journals and conference presentations in the UK, Italy and Germany including Congress for Research in Dance (CORD) and the Society for Dance History Scholars (SDHS). Two recent publications are a book chapter arising out of an AHRC funded project, and a sole-authored monograph for the Studies in Dance series published by SDHS/University of Wisconsin. For the past twelve years, Lesley has been guest director in Turin, Italy, for the company and school of Arke Compagnia d’Arte. She performs regularly with the company and has directed a number of Humphrey’s works. Recent productions include Water Study and Passacaglia (2007/8). She was invited to stage Passacaglia for Momenta Dance Company in Chicago, USA in 2007 and revived the work for the company’s autumn season in 2008. She will be returning to Italy to stage With My Red Fires for Arke in 2014.
General teaching and learning interests encompass • Technique (Humphrey-based) • Performance and Repertory • Teaching dance technique • MA Independent Project: (Supervision) • MA Professional Practice in Dance Technique Pedagogy: Supervision
Current areas of research activity:
Pedagogic strategies for the teaching of dance technique The dance tradition of modern dance pioneer, Doris Humphrey Directing the Humphrey repertoire Developing new directorial/interpretive strategies for modern dance stagings Influences and impact of the Dance and Music interchange within a dance technique class environment
PhD supervision: Completion: Abigail Hoffman (2011) ‘Yoga practice in dance training’ Current supervision: Susanne Martin - ‘Dance improvisation and aging’ I welcome the opportunity to supervise PhD projects in a variety of practice-based contexts including dance technique and performance, dance pedagogy, choreographic practice.
Key research publications include: Sole authored book Main, Lesley 2012 Directing the Dance Legacy of Doris Humphrey: the Creative Impulse of Reconstruction. USA: University of Wisconsin Press ISBN 978-0299-28584-5; ISBN (e-book) 978-0-299-28583- Chapters in edited books Fensham Rachel and Carter, Alexandra (eds.) 2011 ‘Nature moving naturally in succession’ in Dancing Naturally: Nature, neo-classicism and modernity in early twentieth century dance. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 978-0-230-27844-8 'The Staging of Passacaglia - A Director’s Perspective' in ed. Jordan, Stephanie, 2000 Preservation Politics London: Dance Books pp. 106: 113 Refereed articles ‘Creative Choice – on whose authority’. Choreographic Practices, Vol. 4.1, 2013, p. 59 - 74 'The Dances of Doris Humphrey: creating a contemporary perspective through directorial interpretation'. Dance Research, Vol. 23.2, Winter, 2005 p.106 – 122
Performance Work includes: • Passacaglia by Doris Humphrey, director, performed by Arke Compagnia D'Arte, Torino, Italy, Teatro Venaria, March, 2008 • Water Study by Doris Humphrey, director, performed by Arke Compagnia D'Arte, Torino, Italy, Teatro Venaria, September, 2008 • Passacaglia by Doris Humphrey, director, performed by Momenta Dance Company, Chicago, USA, October/November, 2008
Conferences Refereed and published conference proceedings Pierce, Ken (ed) 2010 ‘The Spectacle of Silence and Stillness’. Society of Dance History Scholars, Thirty-third Annual Conference, University of Surrey, Guildford and The Place, London, UK. Randall, Tresa (ed) 2009 ‘The pedagogic significance of 20th Century modern dance training for the 21st Century dancing body’ in Global Perspectives on Dance Pedagogy Research and Practice: Proceedings Congress for Research in Dance, De Montfort University Rhodes, J. (ed) 2005 ‘A Narrative Perspective on Doris Humphrey’s ‘With My Red Fires’ – an exploration of the consequences of directorial intervention in the staging of dance’. Proceedings for 2005 Symposium on Systems Research in the Arts. ISBN no. 1894613457 pp. 67 – 71. 17th Annual Conference on Systems Research, Informatics, and Cybernetics, Baden-Baden, Germany Bennett, Toby (ed) 2005 ‘A Musical Exploration of Doris Humphrey’s Passacaglia’, with reference to how musical interpretation can influence directorial interpretation and performance of a dance work’ in Proceedings from the Sound Moves Conference – an international conference on music and dance. http://roehampton.ac.uk/soundmovespp.118 – 124 Co-convened by Roehampton University, Princeton University and the Royal Ballet at Roehampton University. London Non-published conference contributions (sole-authored) 2009 Reaching ‘the natural’ through ‘nature’ – an exploration of Doris Humphrey’s Water Study’. University of Surrey/NRCD International Symposium, Moving Naturally, Rethinking Dance 1900s – 1930s AHRC funded project
Founder/Director – The Doris Humphrey Foundation UK (from 1995) Website www.dorishumphreyfoundationuk.co.uk Board member - The Doris Humphrey Society, USA (from 2007) External Examiner: • BA (Hons) Physical Theatre, St Mary's College, 2005 - 2009 • BA (Hons) Dance, DeMontfort University, 2006 - 2010 • MA Dance and Professional Practice, DeMontfort University 2009 - 2012 • PhD Roehampton University, 2012 Membership of learned society • Congress on Research in Dance (Int) • Society for Dance Research, (UK) • Society for Dance History Scholars (Int) Periodic book reviewer for ‘Dance Research’