Augmenting Choreography: Insights and inspiration from science

Scott DeLahunta, Phil Barnard, Wayne McGregor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter concentrates on issues of collaboration between the arts and sciences, with special reference to Choreography and Cognition, a joint research project (see initiated by arts researcher Scott deLahunta and choreographer Wayne McGregor that engaged practitioners from the field of cognitive science in seeking connections between creativity, choreography and the scientific study of movement and the mind. First, deLahunta briefly describes how initial ideas evolved into a six-month research project involving several cognitive scientists and the support of an arts and science research fund. There follows discussion about why a choreographer might be interested in cognitive science in structured collaboration. Cognitive scientist Phil Barnard explains the background and one of the resulting experiments that took place and proposes further mutually beneficial research. In the final section, Wayne McGregor details his experience of working with cognitive scientists on Choreography and Cognition, which inspired the creation of AtaXia (2004) and inspired future plans.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemporary Choreography: A Critical Reader
EditorsJo Butterworth, Liesbeth Wildschut
Place of PublicationAbingdon, UK
ISBN (Print)978-0-415-49087-0
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2009

Bibliographical note

Author's note: - This chapter was the first to be co-authored with a leading UK choreographer known for his commitment to engaging in mutually beneficial research with science. It was published in a collection of “wide-ranging articles covering choreographic enquiry, investigation into the creative process, and traditional understandings of dance making.” The collection is the first to include the collaborative dance and science research alongside traditional more humanities based dance scholarship. As part of Routledge’s Theatre and Performance Studies collection, the book is widely disseminated in dance education worldwide. All authors are separately and together invited to speak at international conferences on this work. Most recently, January 2012, for the La Caixa Science Museum in Barcelona. Public presentations aim at drawing on the collaborative results of this research to shift the public’s perceptions about the possible relationships between dance and science.


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