Modes of Capture: The Capturing of Process in Contemporary Dancemaking

We are inviting proposals for the Modes of Capture Symposium which will be held as a blended event, facilitating online and in person presentations* at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at University of Limerick in partnership with Liz Roche Company and Dublin Dance Festival.

The event invites proposals for scholarly presentations, workshops, process showings, films and low-tech performances of various formats and is open to experimental or interactive modes that would intersect with the themes or processes in other ways.

Dates: 21 to 22 May 2021

This year’s symposium explores the theme of decolonising structures, thinking and embodiment within current modes of dancemaking and documentation. Located in Ireland, where bodies have only in recent years unravelled processes of colonisation by church and state, the conference invites investigations from an Irish and international perspective. We ask how colonial thinking influences the formation of dancers and dance practice. We question what counts as archival material and whether bodily expression can be understood as testimony when the ‘bodies of evidence’ are missing. This theme resonates with current international imperatives to decolonise dance studies and to allow the voicing of multiple narratives and minoritized positions on creative dancemaking processes. The themes include but are not limited to:

  • What is the interrelation between documentation, surveillance, self-observation and self-moderation in dance and how might we understand disconnections between internal sensing and external surveillance?
  • How can we explore choreography as a container for experience, an embodied archive that can be transmitted to and/or can colonise other dancing bodies?
  • How is visibility given through the markings of dance techniques and how are subjects made invisible when operating outside specific techniques and genres? 
  • Who are the voices/bodies ‘missing’ from the repertoire, history, discussions and development of dance?
  • How can we expand and/or decolonize training and programmes of study/funding to ensure minoritized and differently abled bodies engage in dance practices and research at all levels?
  • How does technology colonise dancing bodies and how might more awareness of the ubiquitous influence of technological tools reinstate a sense of agency in our practices?
  • How is dance positioned in Ireland as a creative practice and how can we draw on international networks to share international best practices in capturing its vitality and liveness?
In your submission, please highlight the key theme(s) you will be exploring.
If you are proposing a low-tech performance or existing film to be screened please identify all technical or presenting requirements.

Also, please bear in mind that we cannot offer high level technical support; however, MOCS2021 will be able to offer limited financial assistance for the presentation of performance/film work and that will be negotiated on a case by case basis.

For all presentations, please email your abstract (300 words) and short biography (including institutional affiliation if relevant) to

Deadline for submitting proposals: 1st March 2021
Late applications will be considered up until March 15th.

Offers will be emailed by the end of March

Symposium committee: Dr Jenny Roche, Liz Roche and Dr Róisín O’Gorman.

*Every effort will be made to have in person presentations, but this will always be in line with Government health guidelines at that time. Contingencies will be provided for online delivery if required.

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