Polly’s work is Practice Research and is artistic in nature. She also talks and writes from an embodied perspective.
Polly’s research focuses on process within an artistic practice, ethical embodied approaches to teaching and leadership, and is informed by the Slow Movement and somatics which she views as both artistic and political positions. Her approach values process as much as outcome, performance and artefact, and she is curious about at what point a practice or an activity becomes art.
As an artist and researcher she has created screendance works that encompass installation and single screen presentations, and which question normative structures of hierarchy in the film making process alongside applying improvisational dance practices to filming and editing procedures. Polly’s Screendance work accolades include ‘Best Of’ for Making Lemonade in Transmit International Screendance festival, Philadelphia, USA, and semi-finalist in International Videodance Festival, Santiago, Chile, for Vis-er-al.
Polly is currently engaged in a number of research projects that examine ethics in dance and theatre, and embodied approaches to leadership.
Her current long term research project (2018-present) considers embodiment, dance and gardening.
Polly is pleased to hear from prospective students in her research area. She supervises PhD students, MA and MFA research projects.
Current PhD students:
Shi Ling Chin: The Theatre of Twentieth Century Solo Violin Chaconnes: A Collaborative Practice
Ann Brook: Corporate Governance Principles in Dance Organisations
Masie James: Living in and through our bodies: Somatic principles, practices and processes that support the experience of pain
Leigh Tredger: Performance methods in connection to forests helping children deal with the probability of ecological collapse. (September 2021 start)
Selected practice Research
2020 (present) - Collaborator, Interactive Dialogues: Ethics and Equity in Practice Research - Dance and Theatre, with colleagues from Coventry and Warwick Universities
2018 (present) - We Reap What We Sow (and so I sow); interdisciplinary dance & gardening project
2016 - Vis-er-al; single screen dance film
2016 - 9evenings Redux, Vivid Projects: Birmingham, UK (installation)
2016 - Mexico City Videodance Festival: Mexico City, Mexico
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, Chile
2017 - C.O.T.A. Festival Fort Worth, Texas, USA (60 secs version)
2018 - San Mauro Film Festival: Turin, Italy
2018 - FICCE: Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2020
2019 - Cinedans dance film festival: Amsterdam, Holland
2020 - 60 seconds International Film Festival, online (60 secs version)
2020 - OtherMovie Lugano Film Festival: Lugano, Switzerland
2020 - 60 Second Intl Film Festival: Islamabad, Pakistan (60 secs version)
2015 - Making Lemonade; multiple screen dance film installation
2015 - Body, Space, Object symposium: Coventry
2016 - Journal Dance and Somatic Practices conference: Coventry, UK
2016 - 9evenings Redux: Vivid Projects, Birmingham, UK
2016 - Tran(s)mit International Screendance festival: Philadelphia, USA
2017 - TechFest: Innovation in Technology + Film: online and USA
2020 - Keynote; Moving the Earth: gardening as somatic practice. Ecosomatic Dance & Arts Conference: Practices of Social, Political & Spiritual Transformation; Moving Soma, Cheltenham (postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19)
2019 - At what point does a practice become art? Dance, art and allotment gardening, public research seminar, Birmingham City University
2018 - Convener: Slowing and stilling: foregrounding process in performance practices, Birmingham City University, in association with International Dance Festival Birmingham
2018 - Imaginings and embodiment in dance; metaphor and image states in Skinner Releasing Technique. Movementis: movement, body, brain, cognition; Harvard University, USA
2017 - Skinner Releasing Technique and the artist-scholar: shifting paradigms in contemporary dance practices. International Symposium on Practice as Research; Kong Hong Academy for Performance Arts
2017 - Slowing perceptions, an alternative to spectacle: interventional performance practices and site-specific dance works in city spaces. AHRA conference; Birmingham City University
2017 - *as yet untitled* the process project: Life in the Piazza, contemporary histories of Europe in artistic and creative practices symposium, BCU
2016 - Convener: 9evenings Redux, Vivid Projects, Birmingham
2015 - Making Lemonade. Dialogues across and between dance and art symposium; Coventry University
Selected publications: text based
2020 - We Reap What We Sow, embodiment and urban allotment gardening. Part 1: autumn- late winter. October- January, Ruuku Journal
2020 - Beyond Technique- Letting Go and the Art of Making Dances; in Skinner Releasing Technique Emerging Narratives, (Emslie et al) Triarchy Press (in press)
2019 - Slowing and Stilling; gardening and Releasing, Journal Dance and Somatic Practices, Volume 11, Number 2, 1 December 2019, pp. 209-226(18)
2018 - Slowing perceptions, an alternative to spectacle: interventional performance practices and site-specific dance works in city spaces, Architecture and Culture Journal, Taylor & Francis
2017 - PhD: Practice and Process: Skinner Releasing Technique and Making Dance for Performance and on Screen