Devising Workshop.

Beatrice Jarvis workshop

Please click the abover link to see Workshop flyer.( opens as PDF )

Dancing your landscape | A site specific performance devising workshop| By Beatrice Jarvis

Thursday 17th November

University of Ulster

Magee Campus: Main studio: 11 am to 3.30pm.


Are you interested to explore dance and movement in the city?

Are you interested to explore how to animate public space?

Are you willing to challenge yourself to explore new approaches to performance devising?

Are you keen to explore multidisciplinary approaches to creating performance work?

This workshop explores Derry as a studio, collecting and gathering observations and stimulus from daily urban life and using it as a resource for performance-devising. This workshop unites dance, choreography, performance-making, sociology and photography as a means to generate unique urban portraiture. Exploring the experience of the city as a primary resource; this workshop uses creative choreographic methods to explore the city through the construction of a unique, personal, movement-journey through a specialised guided workshop.



Workshop Outline:

The workshop begins in the Dance Studio (Foyle Arts Building, Magee Campus) with a short presentation by Beatrice Jarvis: ‘The City as Studio.’ This will provide a brief introduction to concepts of site-specific work and explore currents in site-specific performance-devising methodology. This will explore both my own experience of site-specific performance and wider examples of site-specific methodological approach.

Moving then into a Release-based studio warm up, the workshop will move on to explore specific choreographic methods of embodiment of landscape. Allowing participants to explore through movement their own perspectives of the city, incorporating their current movement vocabulary and using the workshop as a spring board to develop new approaches to the creation of movement vocabulary.

The main themes which will be explored in this initial session are:

The body as archive’ – enabling, through a series of led improvisations, participants to generate a series of unique movement motifs which can later be used in the city as movement tools. The focus for the initial session will be the construction of a movement vocabulary through memory, exploring personal history as a choreographic resource.

Studio to city – taking a walk from the Magee Campus to the Guildhall Square. The walk will function as a talking/moving tour.  Each participant will talk briefly en route about his or her relationship to the city and the other participants can take images, words and sentences from each ‘tour’ which they can form into motifs.  The cartographies which emerge from this initial encounter will all be unique and the workshop process aims to platform the individual experience of the city as a stimulus for collective movement action. The personal cartographies will form the stimulus for further performance and intervention devising; also exploring the use of voice in choreographic practice. The participants will explore specific parts of the route through movement, using their body to explore the textures of the terrain traversed.
Using the Guildhall Square and surrounding areas as studio; the workshop will then explore the following modes of choreographic devising processes for site-specific performance:

– movement observation and interaction in public space

– the body as social object:  exploring the body as sculpture

– movement as social tool; improvisation tool as mode of public engagement.


This section of the workshop will explore how performance and choreographic action can be a social facilitator and highlighter, encouraging participants to explore their own performativity and that of the space through a series of action-based encounters leading to the creation of small set choreographed interventions by participants.  These will be created from observation and reaction to each other’s encounters to animate, enliven and shift the atmosphere of the space.

Returning to complete the workshop in the studio, participants will then reconnect to all the choreographic movement materials accumulated throughout the workshop and perform them as set material in the studio.  They will then be able to alter and adapt the material into set movement pieces which can be filmed and replayed for a small discussion and evaluation of participants’ reactions and journeys through the workshop.


This practice-based, choreographic, devising workshop will enable participants to develop and expand the following areas of performance knowledge;

– Site-specific devising methodology

– Widening potential stimulus base for choreographic material

– Exploring the use of choreography as a social/cultural tool through the use of movement memory

– Performance boundaries and explorations of dance in public space

– Explorations of the relationship between site and studio

– Adaptation of choreographic material to multiple sites.

– Experimentation with the use of choreographic scores for performance stimulus

This workshop offers a unique opportunity to experiment, explore and reflect upon dance and choreography as a method of spatial encounter. Through a series of carefully crafted score-based activities, participants will have the opportunity to move, create, discuss, reflect and perform; from studio, to city, to performance, to film, this is a unique approach to multi-disciplinary choreographic practice.

These are examples of the work that this mode of workshop has produced:


A personal example of the use of this devising method can be seen in this project example: to generate

Further information:

Beatrice Jarvis University of Ulster

PhD Research title: The Choreographic Apparatus| How Far can Choreographic Practice be used to Develop New Methods to Explore and Offer Insights into a Range of Urban Contexts:

“As a practice based interdisciplinary practioner; my PhD unites the disciplines of choreography and sociology; relying on photography as a medium in which to present my research findings so they can be applied to the disciplines of urban planning and social policy surrounding regeneration.”

For further work examples please the following links:

Beatrice Jarvis is making a choreography exploring daily life in the City of Derry. Working with local residents, this process will explore how life in the city can be explored through dance and movement.

This project aims to work with people of all ages and abilities to explore choreography as social process, creating a space for local exchange and interaction. This workshop will provide a brief introduction to the project and will give participants further opportunities to take part in a series of collaborative workshops and local based performance as a means of creating a social platform in which to talk about their experience of daily life in Derry.

This work explores the social position of dance and movement in Derry/Londonderry. This will be explored both through verbal interviews, an overview of existing movement activities in the city and the instigation of a choreographic intervention in a local venue working with people from the city. This project investigates the capacity of movement to function as a social dialogue, creating channels of collaboration and exchange between people all over the city.

Participants are not required to have any specific previous movement experience; this is a unique activity to take part in an open, creative and exciting challenge.

If you wish to take part in the workshop or are interested to hear more about this project please contact Beatrice on 07790149647 or email

~ by beatricejarvis on November 12, 2011.

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