From ‘Future Memory’: A Triangulation of History, Theory and Practice (REF 2021 Practice Research Submission)

Elswit, Kate (2020) From ‘Future Memory’: A Triangulation of History, Theory and Practice (REF 2021 Practice Research Submission). The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. ISBN 978-1-8383967-6-3


This multi-component output comprises a piece of professional practice on which I was dramaturg and historian, plus two single-authored essays. The three components reflect upon and extend one another to address both historical questions, and the artistic and scholarly questions that arise in relation to inquiry into them. They use multiple registers of research to triangulate an investigation of ‘dance’s alternative histories,’ specifically engaging with works and archives previously unstudied, but that reveal and remedy the erasure of German dance’s transnational past.

Methodologically, there are two interrelated core concerns: 1) how scholarly historical research and professional practice can work in tandem in both critical and reparative modes to build and share with audiences a view of history in which a minor work becomes central and simultaneously 2) the performance practice of such an alternative history can develop further insight into dance historical narratives and canons. Developed over eight years, the research draws together primary source materials in three languages from formal archives, as well as from personal archives, oral histories, and embodied practice.

The research has been shared through performance practice, printed academic and non-academic publications, invited academic lectures, public workshops, reading circles, and performance talk-back sessions. The practice component appeared in key performance festivals in Europe and Asia, and two additional performance works were commissioned as a result. The research has been presented in eight invited talks and two artistic workshops in seven countries. The first print essay was one of Dance Research Journal’s five most downloaded articles in 2014, has been cited in nine peer-reviewed publications to date, and an expanded version was published by invitation in the Oxford Handbook of Dance and Reenactment (2017). The second more recent essay has been cited twice to date, both in the context of new directions in the field of dance.


Published Version - PDF (REF 2021 Practice Research Submission)

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