Professor Vida L Midgelow used her inaugural professorial lecture to challenge the role of improvisation in an education and academic setting, moving away from more conventional model of performance, choreography and interpretation.
Addressing trends in dance research, Professor Midgelow set out to discuss what dance research looks, feels and sounds like, considering dance practice as not only the object of research, but also the methodological and conceptual apparatus for research.
During her talk she answered three main questions:
• How has dance as a discipline and field of knowledge been organised?
• What epistemologies are at work in improvisation as a mode of critical enquiry?
• What are the relationships between improvisation, language and knowledge?
There was also an exhibition of video and installation works by the Professor of Dance & Choreographic Practice.
Vida L Midgelow joins Middlesex from the University of Northampton where, over many years, she established the taught programmes in dance and performance studies and developed the postgraduate research provision.
She has over 20 years experience facilitating and lecturing in performance. Her movement and video work has been shown internationally and has had her research published in distinguished academic journals, including the innovative Choreographic Practices, of which she is co-editor.
In addition, she contributes to the discipline through her board memberships for Society of Dance History Scholars and Dance4. She has also just completed her term of office as Chair for the subject organisation for dance, DanceHE.
She is a regular peer reviewer for several funding bodies including Leverhulme, British Academy and Austrian Science Foundation, and for publishers and journals including Routledge, Oxford University Press, and the Dance Research Journal.