Improvisation in Dance: A Philosophical Perspective

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Date(s): 21. May – 22. May
09:00 - 18:00

Devonshire Hall


Improvisation in Dance: A Philosophical Perspective

Sponsored by the Centre for Aesthetics at Leeds and the British Society of Aesthetics

May 21-22, 2015
University of Leeds
Leeds, UK

Keynote Speakers:
Renee M. Conroy (Philosophy, Purdue-Calumet; Fulbright Scholar in Dance, Roehampton, from Jan. 2015)
Vida Midgelow (Performing Arts, Middlesex University)
Barbara Gail Montero (Philosophy, CUNY)

The Centre for Aesthetics at the University of Leeds, with the support of the British Society for Aesthetics and in collaboration with Improvisation Exchange Leeds, is pleased to announce the hosting of an interdisciplinary and participatory conference on the philosophical issues raised by dance improvisation.

Improvisation is a fundamental element of contemporary dance: in addition to being a popular mode of practice across many forms of contemporary dance, it is central to the postmodern dance form of contact improvisation, and it is an important topic of investigation in contemporary dance research. However, improvisation in dance has been largely neglected in the philosophical investigation of improvisation in the arts, which has focused mostly on music, especially jazz improvisation.

Our conference aims to start filling this lacuna by integrating the scholarly and academic perspective (both in philosophy and dance studies) with the practitioners’ experience and viewpoint. To this end, our conference will incorporate traditional academic talks along with practical and performance elements.

We invite talk proposals on any topic that is relevant to the conference theme. Please send an abstract (450-500 words) suitable for anonymous review as an attachment to, and include in the main text of the email the following: paper title, contact information, and current affiliation (if applicable).

Talks that include performative elements and/or videos are welcome, but not required. In writing your abstract, please bear in mind that full papers should be suitable for a 30-40 minute presentation.

The (extended) submission deadline is February 15th, 2015.

Members of traditionally underrepresented groups in academia and junior scholars are warmly encouraged to apply. We aim to be a family-friendly and child-friendly conference and we will do our best to help with childcare needs.

Further questions can be directed to Aaron Meskin and Sara Protasi, the conference co-organizers, and Jade Fletcher, the assistant organizer, at:

For more info, see