At BCU Polly teaches dance and movement to undergraduate and postgraduate students.
She also guest teaches externally including open Skinner Releasing Technique workshops and classes.
Polly has made performance and screendance works that have been shown across four continents to critical acclaim including ‘Best Of’ for Making Lemonade in Transmit International Screendance festival, Philadelphia, USA, and finalist for Vis-er-al in Screendance Festival, Stockholm, Sweden.
Her current work is a long term research project in eco-somatics, based at an inner city urban allotment plot, entitled And So We Sow, and developing since 2017. It investigates the nature of embodiment in this situation and the multiple ways in which awareness of embodiment and mindfulness impacts on connections to our environment. Her eco-somatic work focuses on body-mind-ecology and brings together embodied dance studies with social justice, environmental activism and eco-feminist approaches. It asserts a holistic approach to environmental consciousness; one which recognises that our bodies and minds are not separate from the land, but are intricately connected to it.
All of Polly’s work is Practice Research, regardless of whether that is shared via performance, film, through words or images.
Polly is always pleased to hear from prospective students in her research area. She also supervises MA and MFA research projects.
Current PhD students:
Masie James: Living in and through our bodies: Somatic principles, practices and processes that support the experience of pain
Leigh Tredger: Moving Forests: Embodying nature to propagate eco arts activism
Alexah Tomey-Alleyne: Dreaming the Impossible: reimagining Blackness through dance improvisation
Chapters in edited collections:
- The Poetics of Eco-Somatics, in ‘Encountering Environments’, (Hunter et al), UK: Routledge (2024)
- We Reap What We Sow: Eco-Somatics, Embodiment and Urban Allotment Gardening. Part II: spring – late summer. February – September in ‘Digital Performing Arts: Participatory Practices in a Digital Age’, The University of Arts Press, Serbia (2023)
- Beyond Technique- Letting Go and the Art of Making Dances in ‘Skinner Releasing Technique, Emerging Narratives’, (Emslie et al) Triarchy Press, UK (2021)
- Video essay; Performing the garden: embodiment and the urban allotment in a digital age, video, film and practice for the web-anthology of practice research projects, The University of Arts, Serbia & CIPA, BCU, UK (2023)
- Video essay; Embodiment and the urban garden, Ecologies of Embodiment issue, Journal of Embodied Research (2023)
- We Reap What We Sow, embodiment and urban allotment gardening. Part 1: autumn- late winter. October- January, Working with the Vegetal issue, Ruuku Journal (2021)
- Slowing and Stilling; gardening and Releasing, Journal Dance and Somatic Practices, Volume 11, Number 2, 1 December 2019, pp. 209-226 (2019)
- Dancing bodies, Moving Images, International Journal of Screendance 3, pp. 144-150, with Barzey, A. (2013)
Performance and Screendance:
Polly has made over twenty five performance & film works that have been shown nationally and internationally since 1994. Examples include:
2015: Vis-er-al; single screen dance film
2020: OtherMovie Lugano Film Festival: Lugano, Switzerland
2020: 60 Second Intl Film Festival: Islamabad, Pakistan
2020: Rogue Dance Film Fest, USA, online
2019: Cinedans dance film festival: Amsterdam, Holland
2019: 60 seconds International Film Festival, online
2018: San Mauro Film Festival: Turin, Italy
2018: FICCE: Buenos Aires, Argentina
2017: Hope Film Awards: Las Vegas, USA
2017: Global Short Film Awards: Cannes, France
2017: Screendance Festival: Stockholm, Sweden
2017: FIVC, International Videodance Festival of Chile: Santiago
2017: C.O.T.A. Festival Fort Worth, Texas, USA
2016: 9evenings Redux, Vivid Projects: Birmingham, UK (installation)
2016: Mexico City Videodance Festival: Mexico City, Mexico
2013: Making Lemonade; multiple screen dance film installation & single screen work
2017: Techfest, Innovation in film + screen, USA
2016: Journal Dance and Somatic Practices conference, Coventry
2016: 9evenings Redux, Vivid Projects, Birmingham
2016: Tran(s)mit Intnl Screendance festival, Philadelphia, USA
2014: Body, Space, Object symposium, Coventry
2007: Multiple Body; multiple screen dance film installation & single screen work
Birmingham, Coventry, Oxford, Manchester, Brighton, Portugal, New York & Los Angeles, USA
2007: Personals; live performance & film works, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham
2006: Let me count the ways; live & video work, San Francisco Fringe Festival, USA