If life is what happens to our plans, then dance is what happens to our steps.
ideas sometimes when you wait they come to you.

Preparation for starting with BAPP

Sunday, 19 December 2010


In January I am going to try to tweet more often. I was thinking of sending useful ideas (!) and reflections. If you want to follow I am  adesolaa

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Presentation of your work

Presentation of your work, (is often) presentation of you: I wrote in blog some time ago about sending your CV to people. If you are sending information to someone for an audition for instance, do not send a document call ‘CV.doc’ or ‘Swanlakeaudition.doc’ The person receiving it is getting hundreds of CVs and if they are call ‘CV.doc’ it is really annoying because if they need to check something or contact you or something they have to open  each one them to find one they want at best, and at worst one  ‘cv.doc’ replaces another ‘cv.doc’  because it is the same the name and then your CV maybe lost altogether. Call it “yournameCV.doc” then it is easy to find for the person receiving it.

Likewise when sending in your work, maybe as a draft for feedback, call it “yournamexxxxx.doc” Otherwise if it gets separated from the email you sent it in it is really hard to find who wrote it.

Also ALWAYS page number everything – I like to use 1 of 6, 2 of 6 option because then if it printed and a page is missing the person reading it can see they have mislaid a page. Put the page number in the footer along with YOUR NAME, ID NUMBER (IN THIS CASE YOU STUDENT NUMBER), and the date.

This is about thinking about the person receiving what you sent and acknowledging you are not the only person in the world in contact with them. This is a professional way to behave I think.

Another tip is: if you are sending something to someone right at a deadline or after the deadline do not asked for feedback “as soon as possible” because you were so late sending it in! For instance some grant applications allow you to send in a draft to receive feedback before you send in the application. This is always a good idea for one thing you get to see what angle they are looking for from the feedback they give and it also means your idea maybe to talked about so people are already thinking about it. But if you, then, give the person ‘helping you’ an instruction Like “please get back to me as soon as possible so I can work on this”, it feels as if you are giving them another job to do. It can mean that the person feels they are being taken advantage of rather than extending a helping hand to you. The deadline was probably in place for THEM, so that they could mange the work NOT as a deadline for YOU.

Hope this helps!!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Portfolio and tasks

Hi, just a thought about the Portfolio (and the tasks). Please remember it is the Portfolio that is being assessed NOT the tasks. A word about guilt: some people feel they did not do the tasks completely. There is no point trying to back-fill the tasks before you start the portfolio. That is your guilt trip only. The assessed work is about you summarising your learning this module. Whatever happen is learning. What you do with the experience shows what you have learnt. If your experience was finding it hard to get started, or not wanting to blog that is your learning journey. NOW what does that mean, why did that happen? Use the module to explain this.

So it’s like a dance performance. You are being assessed on the portfolio you submit that is like the dance performance. To help you to do the performance has been like doing the tasks. The tasks are like ballet classes. You could have done a ballet class each day in order to prepare for the performance. (Done the tasks which would have guided you through a learning experience) BUT if you missed some of the ballet classes, there is no point coming on the stage and doing the 52 plies you missed over the term!!! Its time for the performance… What have you learnt?

This is also a nod to the professional arena we are not here to tell you what boxes to tick in order to pass. We want to empower you, you tell us what you have learnt and use the language and ideas in the module to explain to us.  It is not a case of us knowing and you having to find out. We really do not know what you have learnt because we are not you! What you put in is what you will get out. So let go of thinking you have ‘not done enough’ and ‘do now’, get drafts done, get feedback. (Then if you are feeling you did not get ‘your blog on’, blog about it too.
What do you think?

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


I don't want to confuse things but I read about a really interesting idea this week. It is in a book about Deleuze & Guattari (Post-modern): Rhizome structures. That is like grass lots of shoots that are connected running along them as a posed to the tree model where things develop and branch off from one thing. The Rhizome (grass) has an interesting implication on the connectivity we have all talked about. Also makes you think more about all the odds and ends that may be sticking out in your mind as you start to write the assessed work. Things may not connect in a linear straight way. Ideas (blades of grass) from one end of the field may connect to ideas (grass) at the other end but you just need to look carefully at the structure through which you are looking for connections.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Assessment portfolio

Assessment portfolio

The deadline for the assessed work for 3002 is quickly heading our way. It would be good if you had started draft copies of what you are planning to hand-in.

The portfolio of work that is asked for is like a summary or overview of the learning you have experienced this module. Everyone is learning things all the time, so some learning has happened!!! It is just you might not recognise the full scope of it or the value or it might not feel it is within the context of the course.

This assignment is about you reflecting on what has been happening and what you have been doing. To do this you need all the skills and ideas in the three sections of the module. The tools and web-based ideas because this is how we have been exchanging ideas and a lot of the initial learning experience was about understanding the range and uses of web-based technology.

To think back over the module you use the reflection tools and ideas (hopefully you have also left yourself a breadcrumb trail in the form of a reflective diary – if not start one you will find it very, very helpful through the lifetime of the course, and beyond we hope).

Lastly you need to contextualise the information and learning into your own professional practise. In other words it is no use learning something you will never use or rather I should say something you an never understand using or see the value of in your life. The last part of the module helps you to look more closely at your Professional Practice what resources you have, how you are connected so that you can give a context to the new ideas and learning you have experienced so far.

We have also looked at how the learning might have happened for you when we looked at research that explores different way to understand the process of learning like Kolb’s cycle or Gardner’s intelligences.  

Part 1
I think you need to find something to hang your portfolio on. This is like a clothes hanger to hang your ideas and experience on. This is like the ‘hook’ of a song or the theme movements of a piece of choreography. Find something to give your portfolio structure. Common structures are:

A timeline – starting at the beginning (September) and working to the end. This gives your work a story like feel. It can become very narrative. There maybe danger of getting lost in the story and ignore the meet and bones of the learning also remember you do not have a lot of words.

Theme based  - finding two or three key ideas and gathering the learning and experience that happened around them.

Concrete evidence based – giving concrete examples of things and elaborating on the ideas and learning that manifested them.

A representational object – making something that sums up the learning both in its content and in its own form. This might be useful if you need to make something to understand what you think. That is for people who do not think in words. Like myself. I make or do things to understand what I think and then explain it back in words once I know what I think! This is something that I have found takes quite sometime to master because at first you can make something you and other people who think that way can understand but that everyone else finds “too abstract”. So it is important you support your work by using the written summary to explain your process and what it means to you.

Either way ~I think it will be really important to get started and then you will have time to get feedback.

Part 2
Supports and gives example of the learning and ideas drawing from things you have done over the course. It is way to show how you have come to where you are. It also allows you to show you didn’t just make something up overnight. You can show is the pathway that has got you to the clearing where you are now.

What if you don’t feel you are in a clearing!!!! Maybe you don’t feel you are a point where you can summarise. This is the hardest thing because of course learning is on-going. I always feel I am almost there!!! And is not always on schedule that I get an ‘Ahh  moment’.  But this does not have to be the end point just let us know where you are at. By trying to summarise and talking it through with people you will find you start to consolidate ideas and experiences.
What do you think?

Monday, 8 November 2010

Poem 5


Wet drops down from ceiling on to commuters,
Making dark grey ovals on newspapers
Dripping down necks
And seeping into socks.
Grey silver sky
And spongy trees
Big puddles

I love England

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Poem (4)

Call in times

I met an old friend in the mirror
And promised her I would not let her disappear.
Then looked at my diary and tried to fit her in again sometime soon…
Our loving meeting: where she moved across the floor timid and still quite hurt
Left me with promises of salads and time
I wonder how good a friend I am to all the work she did when she was younger.

I met old friends who appeared out of the crowd
And hugged me
“Oh my god 16 years, where did it go!”
Then we sat together and I felt the joy of just being with someone who knows me
All the things I think at times I must have imagined: they talk about memories Tripping off the tongue
They are so beautiful and alive
I promise I will email
Left me with a feeling I do belong to the person in the mirror.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Poem 3 (!)

The knowledge of children

Would you like to disappear
Time holds you
Light find you
A faint mist gives away where breath has been
-      ............ listen

I had a bit of a block with my poem task because the poems all seem to be coming out with teenage anxed and sad. Maybe because I have been attending difficult meetings and not enough dance classes! But rather than fall behind here is yesterdays … Ballet today maybe the poem tonight will be a bit warmer!!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Poem 2 (!)


I’m like a bullet
Piercing the street
Parting the crowd
Mouthing obscenities to people who don’t move.

My mantra :“Start the day ten minutes late
And that lost time shadows you”

Heavy bag.
I don’t feel I am in my head
In my body, in this place.

I make promises with God
To get there on time.

Then the sun jingles an Autumn leaf
And cuts my eye with hope.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Poem one (!)

Lost for words

One word,
two breaths,
ice dances through my thoughts.

No words,
three breaths,

I reach up, 

In my own space

Sitting there, scraping explanations off the roof of my mouth

Monday, 1 November 2010

Playing with ways to reflect

Hi Guys
Some people have said they haven't got much to reflect on or put in their journal and they are waiting for rehearsal or something scheduled to happen to start (and feel there is something to write about). But this is about teasing out from the every day. In research it is making the familiar unfamiliar (looking at 'everyday' things in new ways) and / or making the unfamiliar familiar (exploring new things and ideas). Here is an idea....
Ten minute poem each night. Take ten minutes to write a poem about anything from your day. These will be good starting points for realising what has effected you or what resonates with you. I am going to try it. Anyone want to join me. I am going to take ten minutes each night for a week to write a poem about my day. Lets see what comes out!!!

Another thing you could do if the poem doesn't sound like something you want to do. Choose a random time at the beginning of the day and when it gets to that time wherever you are or whatever you are doing stop and reflect on where you are. Write something as part of the reflection and then carry on. Again this might help to start to find things in everyday. There is Learning, Live, Love in every minute reflection is about finding meaning.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Can action be reflection?

Melissa wrote an interesting blog about reflection and the reader

More research on Reflective Practice

I commented on her blog as below. I  putting it on my blog because I think it would be interesting to get others peoples take too

The first part of your blog about Kolb is really interesting. I too, find it hard to understand each part when I think of them out context of the cycle. That is as a lone activity. I think it helps to remember thinks can be focus on a larger whole. The whole is the cycle the entry points are just ways to understand the movement of the cycle. BUT if you really want to see where you enter I think it helps to think of ... if you have a plat-pack cupboard kit in front of you what do you do. 1) Just start making it, 2) read all the instructions first, 3) check-out one that's already made or someone else making it, 4) plan out all the stages by putting the parts in order of use. I have trained myself to look at all the parts. BUT the 'real' me would sooner just start and learn as aI do it even if it takes longer than reading the instruction or I end up making something else and have bits left over!!!!!
Anyway the flat-pack question helps me think about the points of the cycle more easily.

Then I want to say a quick word about what you say about reflection-in-action and reflection-on-action, Schon and Kottcamp. It is important to check-out what you consider thinking and what you think with. These are not a 'facts'. There are many arguments that define thinking. Your blog implies that thinking and learning are mental / mind activities. I think That the brush strokes of the painter. They are meaningful movements. When I go to look at Van Goth's paintings at the National Gallery I see his brush stroke and they talk to me as deeply as him talking to me would. The movement of the brush strokes have emotion, knowledge, sensitivity, understanding of the flower or chair they create in my eye. I believe reflection-in-action or on-action  is also to do with what you value as reflection. Remember not everything, thoughts or ideas has to have words to it. In dance think of contact improv. there is a physical conversation without words but you know and you exchange ideas.

In answer to the question I pose "Can action be reflection?" I passionately believe that action is reflection. Dewey points out its all very well working out the best way (theory) to do something but to be part of a community (network) it is only useful if you actually do something about it. This is also important to me as a woman because so many western women philosophers did rather than wrote about it and the importance put on words rather than action have led us to loose much of the meaning behind their work. But I am sure I also feel like this because I am dyslexic and constantly justifying my bad relationship with words!!! What do you think?

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Task 2c

E-mailed question: “I wonder if you could explain what exactly I need to do for task 2c...”
Answer: Write an short ‘essay’ (aprox.1 000- 1500 words) about your relationship with Reflective Practise

This means write about reflective practises that you have experienced, tried-out, and /or see in others. Maybe use the experience of keeping your reflective diary or blogging to frame the essay. But don’t just tell the story of your experience look at it through the theory of some the Thinkers mentioned in the reader (like Dewey, Schön; Kolb, Moon). Critically look at the theory. Try to quote from some of the people you reference. Try to use proper referencing techniques. Discuss whether the theory resonates with you and your experience; see if you can extend your reading beyond the books and Thinkers mentioned in the reader. (There are not many voices of women or non-white Thinkers in the reader see if you can find these voices too.)

It is a very short essay 1000-1500 word. I would post it on my blog to get feedback. Use this as an opportunity to learn about and practise academic style techniques, (language, citations) for writing. Does that all make sense? How are the tasks going for you all?

Thursday, 21 October 2010


I just looked at Ruby's Flicker page she is a make up artist. She has some great shots. I am posting pictures of my good friend Iggy. We have know each other for years, from when I lived in New York with him. He is well established in his field. He does all his make-up and costumes and as well sometimes working as a make-up artist for other people. I think he makes beautiful work, very detailed. What do you think, Ruby?

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Campus session, Reflection

Hi guys how was campus session. I couldn't go!!!!   :(
Reflection comments PLEASE :)
This is my first time using faces. I never thought I would  ;)


Saturday, 16 October 2010

Positioning of Self

Thinking about the whole semester, that is the three sections of the WBS 3002. You may be starting the next section (Reflective practise) having worked through the technologies section. It is important that you think of the work as joined up. There are many threads in this module that continue across the whole course. So there are many ways that the three sections join up. It is important not to think of the modules as a long set of tasks to complete.

The module is not written from a positivist perspective. Positivism values the idea that there is one truth, one thing that is out there to find. This is what a lot of ‘science’ based ‘learning’ (research) assumes. That something is out there and it is up to us to find it. This kind of work would mean it made sense for someone to tell you what to do, where to go to get that truth. You would follow the instructions and find it! But we are not doing that. Simply ‘doing’ the tasks will not mean you will trip over some answer. This is not like ‘hide and seek’ or a ‘treasure hunt’, we hide the answer and you find it and get a BA (Hons) as the prize!!!

The tasks are ‘experiences’ / activities that we think will help you. It is not only ‘doing’ the task it is thinking about the experience of doing them and it is looking at how other people have done them that will give you the information we hope you derive from the module. This is why I think you should think of the whole module as one episode (not a linear progression through time). Each section looks at the same ‘thing’ but from a different perspective.  Like walking around the edge of a big circle looking into the middle, different parts of the circle will give you different views. The module is the circle and each section is a different point on the circle. What we are looking at is YOU.  At the end of this episode (module) we want you do be able to know more about what is in the middle … that is YOU.

First we look at YOU from the perspective of what you do and what you have done, and how you present the ‘working you’. Then we look at YOU from the perspective of how you think about the meaning of what happens to you, and how you make sense of YOU!!! This is reflection, your inner conversations, looking at how they are a part of your journey. Lastly we look at YOU from the perspective of how you fit into the community, population around you. How you are connected to your world. By the end we want you to feel you have a clearer picture of YOU and have a clear way to continue to question and look at YOU.

Why are we looking at YOU?  Because it is YOU who is doing the course. You are the vehicle being used to go on the journey of the course. This first module is to find out how the vehicle works, giving yourself a little MOT to see where you have strengths where you want to develop. Getting yourself a picture of YOU!!!

As a way to help underline the idea we are looking at the same thing in different ways in order to understand it, we have identified three perspectives. As you have read in the handbooks. 1) From the perspective of the tools (actions) technologies. 2) from the perspective of what you think, your inner conversations  3) from the perspective of what other people have said, referencing other people (importantly people who have published work or have their work recognised by a large group of people). The first part of the module was technologies based, it looked and had a number of tasks that meant practise using  different tools like Web 2.0 to get you started but it is not completing the tasks that is important, it is what you can (articulate you) get out of doing the tasks that is important. You can’t know what you can get out of them with out doing them but it does not stop at just doing them. The task is an experience you need to go on to make the experience meaningful and connected to what you want to achieve. That is where the work lays.  

So I see this module as you finding the place you are at. This is called positioning. You can then go on to interact with the ideas the course will introduce.  I might know I am interested in XXXX from my reflections, (I noticed all my diary enters mentioned this, it makes sense because when I look back I always felt I did better in XXXX, I tend to read better when things are paper but I enjoy the free flow of drawing I can use this to take notes. I work best at night I realised this when I started to notice I wrote better blogs at night. Etc….. So when I read Hegel next semester I might be aware I will be more willing to accept his ideas because I know I like…..I should question my dislike of Goffman because it might be because I think he is racist rather than the ideas he has about identity. I may not be sure what I think but now I know if I go for a long walk and write something that evening I might get through the block etc, etc…

OK reader I am really interested to know if this makes sense please let know (in a nice way!!!) 

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


I am  looking for 7 to 8 dancers (BUT not for any body on the BAPP course at the moment, graduate students welcome!) to be apart of an initial Research and Development project to do with site-specific work. Dancers are required for four days across November and December (November 30th, December 6th, 9th and 14th). Part of the four days will be spent working with children to choreograph dances in sites in their school. This should be a fun and interesting project. It is part of the final year of my PhD. If you are on BAPP maybe you could forward this information to someone you think might be interested.

Due to funding there is only travel paid for this initial stage. Dancers interested are asked to send CV to Adesola at adesola@dancingstrong.com as soon as possible. Please also indicate if you have a current CRB check.

To find out more about Adesola's work please visit www.dancingstrong.com 

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Validity and CVs

Looking at the CV task.  Here are some things I think are important:
DO NOT put your physical address or phone number on your Blog, people can contact you through comments or email if they want to. Not everyone who reads your blog maybe from BAPP.

I think it is good to have an overview of their CV, many people have done a great job of giving us some idea of their work in the description and photo area. But I do not think having a formal stage type CV (ie just copied from your paper CV) just as a blog entry is useful.

What I did on my web-site which I use as my professional blog is have a pdf of my CV and a pdf of my Biog. This is so people can download it if they need to. But I do not have it as a page I think it can look as if I am selling myself as a product (which is what we are doing in the performance industry but not everyone reading through blogs and web-sites is in the performing industry). For non-performers seeing a beautiful photo of you and then reading your dress size etc... is unexpected. Please remember that our blogs are completely public. As I said in my last blog (half and hour ago!!!) Think about whether anyone is completely themselves either on-line or in person, we all need each other to shape ourselves somewhat. Like when you ask someone how are you? Very few people really want to know all the details of how you are!

This is looking at the validity of the WEB not just as a way for you to find meaningful information but also how much validity is there in your ability to manage what people think of you (even if there is no-body purposely trying to present you in a bad light, see conversations previously). Part of this module is about you starting to think about who you are. You may feel you are the sum of all your experiences but (for us) are you the sum of all the experiences other people have of you?

more thoughts on WEB 2.0

Commenting on Melissa G blog I wrote:
Some great comments about the practicalities of WEB 2.0 and professional practise. But what about wider implications?

For instance I think avatars are really interesting. The whole idea of people who design themselves quite differently from their physical body or gender. Performers are used to designing themselves physically.  There is a kind of consumerism of image we are all involved with. We come from a very 'beautiful' world as performers. What do you think? Is the platform of 'equality' on the Web effected by this. Have you noticed any techniques you use to edit, sculpt create yourself in print / on the net?

On a superficial level I hate to appear as someone who does not spell well. It takes me ages to write short comments that if I spoke them I would spend much less thinking time on. (If I spelt well I think I would write more often!)

On another level I have found that in fact one starts to have the persona that people create through not knowing you just seeing your work / images and a persona that is created from working directly with you. In fact this two are different and it is important to honour the fact people want / need an image to hang their ideas of you on. This can be as simple as looking the part... dressing like an artist etc...
What do you think?

Wednesday, 6 October 2010


Mark, wrote a comment on my last blog, some of the comment said

"(this) has made me realise that there is till hierarchy because sites like Google control what information is most available to you and they are given vast amounts of money to promote particular companies or pieces if information. In terms of professional practice it has made me aware that I should be much more cautious and also more thorough when looking for information, to make sure I get a balanced view"

Yes, this is really interesting because we have come to feel that things in print are true. Sites like wikipedia are really useful but also can be quite misleading if they are used as a sole source of information. On another note however being aware of the motive (or drive) behind a source of information can allow you to find information in unexpected places. For instance I look for books in on-line libraries but sometimes I only have part of the information I need to find the book. However if I look on Amazon (whose motive is to find it for me so I can buy it) I can type in half bits of information and Amazon finds an assortment of possibilities. Then I can find the book and get all the details and sometimes read a part of it on Amazon then find it in the on-line library of the university or where ever I was looking before.

I come from a school of thought where your feelings and sense are also important in assotaining what is 'true' or 'real'. As a dancer 'knowing' is more than a set of thoughts, I need to interact with environment to find meaning. I am writing about this because I think it is important to have your own personal way of 'knowing'. This course is saying it is not about finding someone else's 'right' answer (out there). As a professional person how are you going to decide when you are doing 'good' work? In my career I have not been able to rely on other people to decide this for me. (I got told to give up dancing on a daily basis at school!!! but I turned out ok) Then this became less about a fight to do the thing I loved and more about how I become the artist I want to be. Then it is not fighting to carve a place for yourself but about see who you are. What is your artistic vision?

During the campus session I told one group that its ok not to know, but to keep going and find yourself in process of finding rather than a process of knowing.

Frogs in a bucket -
Two frogs fell in a bucket of milk. One couldn't see how to get out and slowly sank to the bottom. The other one swam round and round waiting hoping to come to an answer. By the morning that frog's swimming round and round had churned the milk into butter and he was able to hop out of the bucket.
My friend Suzanne told me that story I often tell myself it when I feel like I'm going round in circles.


Sunday, 3 October 2010

BAPP first Campus Session

Campus session was fun. It was nice to meet some people starting the course. We looked at the technologies being used during this course. Throughout you will notice we are looking at ideas from three different perspectives. 1) The tools (technologies), 2) your experiences and ideas, and 3) the experiences and ideas of others. This first part of the module is very much about the tools you will be using (and already use). But we are looking at them in terms of professional practise, what they do to support or be un-supportive to your professional practise and what how you can engage with them to further your learning. We looked at the difference between web 2.0 and web 1.0 and focused on 2.0. The people who attended divided into three small groups and researched ideas about web 2.0 and how it is used and can be used.

There were some important points all the groups raised.

  • The interaction (I am very interested in the idea of Interaction and Transaction these are ideas that Dewey, James and Pierce talk about all of whom I am studying at the moment). The Interaction that web 2.0 encourages.
  • The reliability of information and /or the reliability of the person who is posting information.
  • The appearance of a level playing field but in fact some information on the web is more hidden than other information.
  • The importance of maintaining and actively managing your own identity and your own thinking.

All the presentations were really good. Some people started using citations and quotes these link to the 'experiences and ideas of others' I mentioned above.

Most important at this stage is just to get going using the technologies, starting your blog and visiting other peoples.

It is also important for me to share that learning (for me) is a process of being confused, feeling like I have no idea and then getting a clue!!!! It is not being really sure all the time. I am not saying try to be confused, just that is a part of the process so don't be afraid of not knowing. Before you can learn something new or grow you have to realise you don't know or you have room to grow first. This does entail a certain amount of trust in the guides you have (in this case the advisors). Luckily we are all a bit different so you can get a number of ways to look at something. The big idea is getting you thinking and doing.


Sunday, 26 September 2010

Getting Ready

Welcome new students and old! I am just sorting myself out, making files and organising ready for the year head. I am looking forward to a great year of study. This summer I read a lot about Pragmatism. I found that philosophy really interesting particularly with my embodied (dance) background. The show I choreographed before the summer is on tour and I am just finishing shipping some stuff to USA so I will have a lot more space in the house!! Look forward to all our conversations

Monday, 6 September 2010


I lost my password and it has taken me a long time to work out how to get back in again!!!!!! Now I do have an equation for remembering it as suggested, that really works.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Opportunity for conversation

This Monday (April 26th) there is an opportunity for BAPP students to meet some artists working in Education. We are meeting at Cat Hill. If any of you want to come and ask questions or comment about arts-in-education, etc... you are well to come along for 45 mins starting at 3pm. This will be room G.097 which is in the Peter Green building just on the downward ramp from the coffee shop. 

All so I will be having rehearsals for a show I am choreographing through May. If people are interested in this kind of process, I am thinking of having and open rehearsal... would anyone be interested??

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Conference second day

Second day: Alan, Peter and I began with our presentation. We shared about the curriculum at BAPP and got some good feedback. A lot of people were really excited about the programme. The other paper that was presented with ours was a case study of a programme for Design students to work with companies to help create real products. It was very interesting.

After this I went to a seminar that looked at the role of ‘threshold concepts’. Ideas that completely change your point of view and mean you never go back to think the way you did before you absorbed the concept. During the talk about the paper we also talked about the ‘pedagogy of Ambiguity’ (the importance of confusion and NOT understanding to the process of constructing (understanding)). In the Arts particularly it is important for some peoples practise not to know what they will create but to set up a process by which creation will happen. For many learning is the same if you know what you are going to learn from the start how will you ever learn something new? If your way to recognising learning is to need it to be ‘clear’ ‘true’ &/or ‘right’ how do you ever understand about things you did not understand to begin with. It goes back to the words in the seminar the day before about ‘meaning, experience, and behaviour’  (see blog before this one).  I want to find out more about the literature on both these ‘threshold concepts’ and ‘pedagogy of ambiguity’. I plan to do a literature search when I get back to London.

The other paper in this session was about a programme that used digital visual diaries. Some of the students work was shown and it was really lovely. The paper talked about using Story as a means to generate focus. Students had been asked to focus on a character (not necessarily human) and an environment. The Character becomes a vehicle for exploring identity and the environment augments this by developing a sense of place and interaction.

This was followed by the last Keynote who had been doing neuroscience and cognitive science with Wayne McGregor and his dancers. This was followed by lunch and the last session of the conference.

I went to a session with a paper about how people in different practises invariably think their practise is the most enlightened, or wonderful or has unique powers to change the world and that this goes hand in hand with thinking other practises are slightly inferior. This paper was saying that in fact there are more commonalities between practises than we think and it is the small differences with a field of practise that can be bigger.  This was likened to post colonial theory that talks about the ‘other’ and how the ‘other’ shaped by ‘us’. The second paper talked about the changing status of the Arts in University settings.  Both papers were talking about looking beyond your practise to understand the context you work in. During the second paper the presenter said
You may think you are on the verge of something revolutionary, but it is only within your own group”.

The conference ended.
What do you think of all of this? 

Conference continues (first day)

Carrying on about the conference. The Keynote on ethics in the fashion industry was interesting particularly because it illustrated an aspect of the underlining discussion across the conference about information and knowledge, (and their shifting relationship in education). In this case the charity that worked for ethical methods in the fashion industry realised it had information that could be given to teachers that would inform the practise and could change the way people approached teaching some areas of the curriculum. You could argue that when they just had the information themselves it was just information but the act of sharing it and using it for something made it be come knowledge. At BAPP we are sort of saying this that knowledge is how you validate, use, authentise and apply information. Particularly, with my own research I am starting to from an argument that knowledge has something to do with action. This Keynote also spoke about Empathy, and showed a web-site / blog called Social Alterations by a student in Canada.

I then went to another session this was only one paper and it was about the importance of look for problems rather than solving them. It was the presenters first time presenting a paper and he was quite nervous but he did ok. Because this session was short I went into another one to catch the second half. I caught a paper about the artists Studio (fine art). It was talking about the importance of the Studio space. These are white boxes like the spaces near the canteen at Cat Hill. I wondered if our blogs were like Studio spaces – places to explore, listen, reflect and see each others work. This speaker also talked about the importance to her of play, chance and ignorance in the artists creative process.

Finally the last session for that day I went a session where the first paper was about where there was a quote by J. Gill “Knowledge is not a thing to be processed but an activity to be engaged in” . This really reminded me of a number of quotes by J. Dewey who I am following to form the theoretical framework of the research I am doing. I realised in this part of the session how theory in design could be drawn on to explore the experience of creating work in dance. It seems obvious if you look at my work because a lot of the dances I create like site specific ones are created using the same questions about space, function and aesthetic that a designer would use. But whereas dance could be called knowledge in action, a lot of people cannot see it because dance is too hard for them to analyse through watching, (they just think it is amazing or awful) but the crafting of design seems easier for people to be able to analyse where the person making the artwork is making decisions of aesthetic &/or function etc…in the artwork and therefore the written theory in design seemed to bridge just was well for dance to philosophy as it does for design. The second paper presented in this session was about the shared language that could be created between designers and sociologists and how this could inform design / art works and social understanding. This paper talked about design as being – ‘how could we do this?’ and sociology being ‘how do we do this?’. I wondered if it was more ‘how do we do this?’ for design and ‘why do we do this’ for sociology. But there were three words that joined across the two practises ‘meaning, experience and behaviour’ which was thought provoking for me. Again I find this really interesting because of my interest in experience as knowledge. The discussion about these two papers went over time and I had just enough time to quickly meet with Peter and Alan before we had to go to a conference dinner, which was very nice.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Going to talk about BAPP and hear what other people are doing

Alan, Peter and I went to a conference in Berlin to talk about the BAPP course. We were talking about how we use the blogs as part of the course. Other university faculties were also talking about how the inter-net could be used to support the learning and teaching of subjects. It was really interesting. Some people had built their own spaces in the inter-net but we are pretty much the only group of people using existing sites like blog-spot and Google-reader. We tried to encourage people at the conference to join in and follow everyone’s blogs.

Apart from presenting we got to go to a number of other presentations.

Here are some things I learnt from the ones I went to:

There were three Keynote speakers who spoke throughout the two days of the Conference. The first one had done a lot of work with conceptual art and outside installation. I love this kind of work and he showed some great pictures of work he had created or help support. He used to work with an organisation called Artangle in the late 80’s and early 90’s

Then I went to a seminar on a software programme for students, which is being created in New Zealand. It would allow design students to register in a web-site and state their interests, also registered would be companies with problems or a design briefs. The programme would match students, companies and briefs that all had similar interests. A bit like a dating agency. Also at that seminar there was a paper presented asking who is creating the content for university courses, especially arts course. Should it be industry/ businesses saying what they want students to know to work for them or should it be the artists and teacher saying this is what art has to offer. I may have phrased this to read along the lines of what I think !!! but what do you think of this? This presenter asked questions like is education a way of ‘being’ or a way of ‘doing’?

Next, I went to a seminar that was about a group of students that had felt out of the system of a university and had formed a group with a tutor to talk about their feelings. These talks ended up being the source material for a lot of work they created about their identity. The question here for me was that the work was extra-curricular but will the context and relationships change if the same experience was offered as part of the curriculum. People went to the group to talk because they wanted to but not everyone went. To make it part of the curriculum would mean everyone benefited and those working would have their work recognised as credits but it would also mean there would be new pressures of covering particular work that before when it was extra were not there. What do you think? Also presented was a paper on techniques for inspiring yourself to work / start a design project. I found this really interesting and I am going to try the same things out but as choreographic tasks.

The second Keynote speaker talked about ethics in the fashion and design industry. I will stop here and write more later.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Positioning of Self

These last few weeks I have been involved with organising an audition. I have received over 150 C.V.’s and it had been really clear how important they are in the initial contact with a producer. In a sense this is to do with the first module – positioning of self but as ever I think the practical experience of working is a great teacher and wanted to share some observations. These are about applying to applications via e-mail.

1) Don’t name your CV file (the one you send attached to an e-mail ) C.V. doc, or “proffesionalCV.doc” because if everyone does that there are a few problems. Firstly, as I save them on my computer the computer thinks they are the same file and can easily replace yours with the next one that is named the same thing. Secondly, I cannot tell who it is I am looking at or looking for in files unless I open the whole file each time I want to check something. This adds hours on the job of sorting through them and does not leave you feeling very good. So name the file you send “yournamecv.doc”

2) If it is a professional appointment you want. Start the c.v. with your professional experience in the specific area the job is involved with(ie site-specific dance), then your experience in general (ie dance work). Don’t start with your training.

3) If its e-mail don’t send a picture separately the two get lost from each other as soon as they are saved unless you match the names (ie yournamepicture.doc, yournameCV.doc)

4) Lastly, a short introductory e-mail with the CV is useful and can set up great expectations for opening the CV doc. But make sure you have researched who the people are involved in the job and what their interests are. Don’t send something that is obviously what you sent to everyone about being interested in their work. Check who has what roles in the production so you don’t tell the producer or the project manager you love their choreography!

What have your experiences been on this? What do you think? Are there links to ideas about research methods and the insider researcher here?


Sunday, 28 February 2010

Campus Session (March 3rd)

At 4pm, after the Campus Session on Wednesday I am going to be asking for feedback. If you are attending the session can you stay for another 20 mins to an hour whatever can work for you. feedback is really important and helps us monitor how things are going for you.

Hope to see you

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Lessons from Oprah!

Kolb's learning cycle popping up in unexpected places: I was reading my Christmas Oprah, Diet advice by Martha Beck titled 'It takes all Kinds'. Its fun to read the whole concept in terms of going on a diet!!! She has:
'"quick start" swings quickly into action, making creative discoveries and mistakes - through trial and error'
'"fact Finders" need information; they're the friends who'll research every relevant factoid about any task they're preparing to undertake'
'"Follow through" people naturally use methodical systems: they set up files for every receipt and alphabetise their refrigerator contents.'
"Implementers" focus on physical object and environments; they figure out things by building models or grabbing the appropriate tools. They respond better to bricks and mortar than castles in the air.'

The advise is that you need a group of friends that range across these types so that the strengths and weaknesses of the group can support each other on the diet. Groups - learning sets - are a great way to work. Martha says its like 'Fellowship of the Rings' a fellowship of people going on the journey together but all very different from each other. Funny to find it all in Oprah Magazine.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

The "Future of work"

There have been a number of interesting programmes on T.V. and radio about the internet and networks. There was the one on BBC 2; and then on Radio 4 today about 'open source'. Companies that have there programmes open and anyone can add to them. Wikipidia being an example. The programme cited the book 'Future of Work' I looked it up and found a web-site!!...

"Future of Work is an active global community of organizations and individuals who believe in the power and importance of collective intelligence in creating the future of work. Our focus is on the changing nature of work, the workforce, the workplace, technology, and management practice.

The Work Design Collaborative, LLC (WDC), founded in 2001 by Charlie Grantham and Jim Ware, manages Future of Work. We are a research and advisory firm with a single mission: helping create the future of work.

That mission translates into four primary capabilities:

Developing Knowledge
Improving bottom-line performance
Creating new workplaces
Building communities'

I feel as if we on the edge of something (this time with its ways to connect people) but it is so big I can't tell what exactly it is.

I really believe in the sharing of knowledge and ideas. But I feel held back, I guess the internet is such a dyslexic unfriendly environment. I think I get HOW we can connect through trying to understand the technology BUT I am not sure I understand the root of why or what it means beyond the concept of sharing a piece of knowledge.
What do you think?


Thursday, 14 January 2010

Thinking about Dance Literature

Paula asked me to think about literature to do with dance. It is such a wide subject and there are so many perspectives. I am currently writing a chapter for my research - the Literature Review. I start by locating my position (perspective) with in the mind / body paradigm through looking at the different thoughts on and values for the body. I think finding a location within the mind/body paradigm is a good starting point for exploring dance through reading texts. Anna Pakes wrote a paper 'Dances mind/body problem' in Dance Research Journal. Volume 24.2 winter 2006. This article started me off on an interesting journey of asking myself what dualism means to me as a dancer.

Next, I think it is important to acknowledge that some dancers would say you understand dance by dancing - practise based knowledge. This is an epistemological question and it is interesting to look at dance through general epistemological standpoints. Graham McFee wrote 'Understanding Dance' which is a philosophical look at what 'dance' means. And many well known choreographers and dancers have written about their creative process this also leads to analysis of dance - Larry Lavender - 'Dancers Talking Dance - Critical Evaluation in the choreography class' and Doris Humphrey -'The Art of Making Dances'

I have read some of Ann Cooper Albright - 'Choreographing Difference'. I liked the way she writes theoretically and as a practising dancer also. Peter Brinson - 'Dance As Education' is a great history of recent dance in UK. Miranda Tufnell (UK) has written a number of books that look at and support the creative process (in dance). Theresa J. Buckland has edited 'Dance in the field - theory, Method and Issues in Dance Ethnography'.

Surrey, Rohampton, Laban and De Montford have extensive libraries and Cecil Sharp House, English Folk Dance and Song Society has a wonderful library.

For my research chapter - having located the research approach in the mind/body paradigm. I go on to look at literature that is not specific to dance. This because I feel that text and movement are not alternatives to each other so something understood in dance cannot be verbalised in text but strategies for 'understanding' and 'communication' in subjects that are text based can express the feeling and thoughts of movement 'understanding' and 'communication'. Therefore I tend to build bridges between 'subject areas' to create the theoretical framework I am working within. With one all important understanding I need to dance to understand what I think!!! So it is just as important for me to make sure I take two or three classes a week as it is that I go to the library to read. This is not to be elitist, anyone can use this process to understand dance by finding their own relationship with dancing - Bollywood classes, salsa classes, not just professional classes.

So I in my literature review I go on to look at:
Image, language, and presentation of self (Barthes, Saussure, Goffman).

The place of experience in learning (Dewey)

How movement and space are linked (Rasmussen)

Excuse spellings, I think I got most of them

Sunday, 10 January 2010


I love Amazon! The strength of the dollar / pound means they can find me any book I look for!!! and tell me what other people read (!) making some really interesting links I would not have thought of.

I am keeping a personal citation library with Endnote. This is also so helpful. It means you can retrieve quotes, ideas and authors very quickly while you are writing.

Saturday, 9 January 2010


I am watching 'The Ghost and the Darkness' it is the only scary movie I can watch because I am sort of on the bad guys (lions) side. I was thinking how I would describe the story and how it is advertised are so different. Understanding is a perception.

Friday, 8 January 2010


I am just reading a Saussure for beginners (!). (Because of my interest in Roland Barthes). Saussure lectured on language. One interesting idea is the how communication through language involves two part, a concept (the 'thing') and an acoustic image ("the mental image of a name that allows a language-user to say the name" Gordon, T). These are called the Signified (concept) and Signifier (acoustic image). I won't go into why this is really exciting for my research! But two other things:
1) My Dyslexic self does not always seem to have a link between these two. I can have a thing/concept in my head and not be able to find the word (acoustic image) to say the write word and/or I can read a word and know its meaning by its shape but not how to say it, or know how to say a word but not know what it would look like to write. Do any of you other dyslexics have this??
2) It raises some cool questions about the same process in movement. One of my ballet teachers always said decide how many turns you are going to do, then do them. Is that a concept followed by a physical 'image'? So if I feel dance is a language then can linguistics provide ways to explain the action of dancing to non-dancers or is it just different?

Lastly, getting back to my last blog about trying to better understand the network, "Its about sharing of knowledge not call and response". Part of this is a very vulnerable process because you have to share with no idea of the VALUE that will be placed on what you write. I watched "Julie and Julia" on the plane. (only the first half hour or so when it got to the lobster bit I had to turn it off) I think it has changed my attitude to blogs though. (That and all the research into networks I did over the winter break.)

Can you wordle text and put the image straight onto the blog? I wish I had a picture of what I just wrote here, right under it.

Thursday, 7 January 2010


Hand-in From Alan's blog:
"The bad weather is causing severe difficulties with travel, and is likely to continue for the next few days. This may mean work posted to the University will arrive later than expected. Campuses are closed today (Wednesday 6th January) and may remain closed further into this week.

If you have already posted your work, you need take no further action. Work arriving late due to difficulties with postal deliveries will not be penalised.

If you intended handing in your work to Cat hill campus today (Wednesday 6th January), please keep your work with you and check the University web page after 9.30am (www.mdx.ac.uk) each morning to see if the to see if Cat Hill is open. If the Campus is open, please deliver your work to the Student Office if you are able to do so. Please do not take risks travelling if the conditions are dangerous. When conditions permit, please deliver your work to Cat Hill campus. Do not post work after today (Wednesday 6th January) as deliveries are likely to be delayed.

Please note that you will not be penalised for late delivery of work for assessment. We ask that you make reasonable effort to deliver work if the campus is open. Realistically this may be towards the end of this week when the forecast suggests a slackening of snowfall."

Me (Adesola): I have been in the Snow in NYC and just got back! One of my new year re-thinks is to write more on my blog regardless of whether I see comments. It is about a network of travelling info not a call and response.

Hope everyone is keeping warm.