Lisa Dowler

Lisa Dowler

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    Personal profile

    Research Interests

    Improvisation; Somatic practice; Instant composition; Arts and health; Practice as research


    Lisa is an independent dance artist, researcher and SME, inspired by Contact Improvisation, Instant Composition and Body-Mind Centering ®.  She has over 20 years experience in facilitating dance practices and performance in diverse contexts and is the Artistic Director of Small Things Dance Collective (STDC) in the UK. 

    In 2006 she was invited by at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital (AHCH), Liverpool, UK, to be their first Dance Artist in Residence. This led to a long-term collaboration with Alder Hey in practice development and research.  This includes regular one-to-one somatic dance sessions with infants, children and young people; large-scale public to intimate bespoke bedside performance; two research studies exploring the effects of somatics and improvisation for children with acute conditions and pain; the development of a Somatic Dance App as an educational tool for parents and hospital staff and recently nature-inspired dance films created and screened during the 1st Covid lockdown.  Following this STDC were commissioned to create Doorway Dances, ‘socially distanced’ dance/music performance with video projection for the hospital. Lisa has worked extensively with children undergoing neuro-rehabilitation and pre and post cardiac surgery.

    As a senior lecturer in Dance at Edge Hill University 2007-2015, her teaching centred on the relationships between nature, the body and wellbeing.  She was a consultant on an AHRC funded cross-disciplinary academic network of artists and health practitioners exploring health, dance, somatics and technology with C-DaRE and Edge Hill University.

    Lisa lives in SW France and is member of the Bipède performance Collective in Bordeaux.


    PhD Project

    I am completing a PhD by Publication with C-DaRE.  My working title is, 'The significance of improvisation in the clinical setting.'


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