Visiting Academics

Emilyn Claid is a choreographer and independent dance artist. Her book Yes? No! Maybe…Seductive Ambiguity in Dance published by Routledge is now available. The book investigates performer spectator relations in Western contemporary dance theatre from 1950s onwards. The main focus is the UK-based phenomenon of 1970s New Dance and its influences on independent dance culture. She has also completed a three-year performance and writing project, Embodying Ambiguities, co-directed with Valerie Briginshaw at University College Chichester.

Emilyn has choreographed a new show Pocketsize that has had sell out performances in the southwest during autumn 2005. Performers include Jane Mason, Neil Callaghan, Susie Reeves Smith, Jeremiah Krage and Kristin McGuire. Music is by Chris Best and text by David Williams. Emilyn is co-director of M&DE (Music and Dance Exchange) a Dartington Plus project. M&DE is a performer-led research lab for cross-disciplinary performance.

In 2007 she was invited to University of Auckland, New Zealand as external examiner. This post will continue through 2008. In January 2008 Emilyn presented a paper at the Danse et Resistance conference at National Centre for Dance in Paris. The paper will be included in a publication of the conference.

Anita Donaldson holds a BA in English and History, a Diploma in Physical Education, a Diploma in Secondary Teaching, and a Graduate Diploma in Education. She taught Movement Analysis, Dance History, and Dance Criticism in the first BA Dance programme in Australia (Adelaide). Her key areas of expertise are Choreological Studies, Dance History and Dance Criticism. In three continents she has played a major role in the development of both undergraduate and postgraduate conservatoire-based dance programmes: as Dean of Performing Arts at the University of Adelaide (Australia); Head of Research and Postgraduate Studies at Laban; Head of Academic Studies/Coordinator of the MFA in Dance, and subsequently Dean of Dance, at the Hong Kong Academy of the Performing Arts.

She has held key positions on state and national advisory and funding bodies in Australia, and continues to contribute to the field in various capacities internationally, most recently as a member of the International Advisory Board for the German government. Dr Donaldson was responsible for establishing five Masters degrees at Laban – Choreography, European Dance Theatre Practice, Dance Performance, Scenography and Dance Science (the latter was a world first, bringing science into an arts institution).

She also teaches Choreological Workshops in international programmes/institutions including Tanz im August International Festival, Berlin; the Chinese Culture University, Taiwan; and Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain. She was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) by the Australian government in June 2003, for “service to the performing arts as a practitioner, teacher and researcher; and to the development of dance studies at the tertiary level”.

Naomi Inata is a scholar and critic. She is an Associate Fellow of the International Institute for Education and Research in Theatre and Film Arts, at the Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum, Waseda University. She teaches dance history and theory at Keio Gijuku University, and continues her dance and ballet practice in university and independent workshops. Her research interests range from Western classical ballet to Japanese contemporary dance and Butoh, cultural policy and community dance.

Her recent papers include ‘Study on the Grace of Romantic Ballet – Grace as a Technique for the Pleasure of Visual Perception’ (Bulletin of The Institute for Theatre Research VIII, The 21st Century COE Programme, Waseda University, 2007), ‘Rethinking the Period Before Tatsummi Hijikata Founded Ankoku Butoh: Discipline of the Body and Japanese Modern Dance in the 1950s’ (Bulletin of The Institute for Theatre Research, The 21st Century COE Programme Waseda University, 2005), ‘Invisible Technique in 1970s Ankoku Butoh’, (Bulletin of The Institute for Theatre Research, The 21st Century COE Programme Waseda University, 2004) amongst others. She holds MA and BA degrees from Waseda University.

She is the author of Tatsumi Hijikata – The Extreme Body (NHK Book, 2008), a critical biography of Tatsumi Hijikata, the founder of Butoh. The book was awarded the 14th Association International des Critiques Theatre (AICT), Theatre Critic Award Japan. She is co-writer of Keywords in Theatre Studies (Pericansha, 2007), Ballet Gallery 30 (Gakken, 2006), 20th Century Dance, Choreographers, Works (Yugisha, 1999).

She is a Judge of the National Arts Festival Grand Prize and a Committee member for two programmes of the Japanese government’s Agency for Cultural Affairs: Prioritised Support for Creative Artistic Activities of the Highest Calibre, and the Programme for Viewing Authentic Stage Arts.

Katherine Mezur is a scholar, director and choreographer whose interdisciplinary research moves across gender studies, corporeality, new media and transnational performance studies in the dance/theatre forms of the Asia Pacific region. She holds a Ph.D. in Theatre and Dance, emphasis on Asian Performance, from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, an MA in Dance (Mills College) and a BA in Film and Photography (Hampshire College). She is a member of the History and Critical Theory faculty of the School of Drama, and the Japan Studies faculty at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Her book, Beautiful Boys/Outlaw Bodies: Devising Female-likeness on the Kabuki Stage (Palgrave 2005), analyzes the history and contemporary practices and politics of female gender performance. Her manuscript-in-progress Cute Mutant Girls: Corporeality in Contemporary Japanese Performance, Visual Art, and Media by Japanese Women, examines the Japanese “little girl” evolution and iconography in performance, media and art from the 1990s to the present. She has articles in critical journals such as Dance Discourses, Women and Performance, and chapters in several anthologies. She has taught at the California Institute of the Arts, McGill University, Georgetown, Mills College and the University of California, Davis.

In 2007-08, she was a principle investigator in a National Science Foundation research grant, “SGER: Collaborative Research: Interactive Choreography in 3D Tele-Immersive Spaces.” She served as chair for the Society of Dance History Scholars’ 2009 International Conference, “Topographies: Sites, Bodies, and Technologies” held at Stanford University and sites in San Francisco.

Janet O’Shea is Associate Professor in the Department of World Arts and Cultures. Her book At Home in the World: Bharata Natyam on the Global Stage (Wesleyan University Press 2007) investigates the twentieth-century history of bharata natyam, considering transformations in choreography, presentation, and pedagogy as they intersect with large-scale social, political, and economic concerns. She is currently co-editing the second edition of the Routledge Dance Studies Reader. She has published articles in The Drama Review, Dance Research Journal and Asian Theatre Journal as well as in several anthologies. She was the recipient of the Association for Asian Studies First Book Award and the Society of Dance History Scholars Selma Jeanne Cohen Award. Her research activities have been supported by the American Institute of Indian Studies, the British Academy, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. She holds a PhD in Dance History and Theory from the University of California, Riverside and an MA in Tamil from the University of California, Berkeley.

Paul Rae is an Assistant Professor on the Theatre Studies Programme at the National University of Singapore. His research interests include theatre and mobility, contemporary Southeast Asian performance, and performance-making processes, and he has published articles in The Drama Review, Contemporary Theatre Review, Performance Research and Theatre Research International. His short book Theatre & Human Rights was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2009. Paul is also co-Artistic Director, with Kaylene Tan, of spell#7 performance (