My research project
Lighting States – LightingScapes: Transformative Encounters with Light in the Choreographic
My doctoral practice research studies the relationship between light and the dancing body. Explored from a choreographing dancer’s perspective, this research looks at how light affects the quality of performance and choreographic decisions in contemporary dance. My fascination for this project builds on twenty-five years of professional experience as a dancer, choreographer and director, where I have been an active collaborator in the aesthetics and practicalities of lighting for performance in circus rings, opera houses, small scale theatre, museums and site specific locations. Underlying my current work is a concern that we live in a world of ever-increasing luminescence, argued by French architect and philosopher Paul Virilio as “an artificial condition of paradoxical wakefulness” (2009:51), which affects our circadian rhythms and alters the ways in which we think and respond to light. Within this context my practice wishes to test, question and provoke new thinking around choreographic decisions that are made with the intensification and attenuation of theatrical lighting.
light and the choreographic, contemporary circus, Leonora Carrington, practice research
Indicators of esteem
In 2017, Michelle was nominated for the Premio Max Best Choreographer, the Spanish equivalent of the Olivier or Toni Awards, for her practice research driven choreography with the award-winning Catalonian contemporary circus company eia.
EXPLORANDO: nuevos lenguajes en el circo contemporaneo: Author and director of the project of this practice based research project that explores the development of Chilean contemporary circus in recent years. This project was awarded a £10,000 research grant from the Chilean Government Arts Funding. (FONDART).
INTERFACES:Investigación para las Artes Circenses y Su Cruce con la Arquitectura:
Author and director of the project of this interdisciplinary practice based research project that explores the development of contemporary performance through circus, dance and architecture. This project was awarded an £8,000 research grant from Beca Fundación Mustakis, Aporte País, Chile.
Michelle is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and holds RAD Student Teachers Certificate, ISTD Modern Theatre Dance Teaching Certificate, Sociedad de Baile Español Teaching Certificate. With over twenty five years of professional teaching experience in UK, Europe and South America, her approach prioritises the broadening of the students’ capacity towards ownership of skills and knowledge, and the development of a confident artistic and creative voice.
Undergraduate teaching in the institution where she is currently employed includes specialisms in: choreographic practice, improvisation and composition, dance analysis, phenomenology, performance creation and mentoring of student-led practice.
Man, M (2018) Modes of Hospitality as a Methodology for Devising Contemporary Circus Performance. In: Circus and its Others II 28.08.18. Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.
Man, M (2018) Atmos (Blue Light) Sphering. In: Atmospheres 3rd Annual Practice Research Symposium 13.01.18, Surrey Institute of Performance at GSA, University of Surrey.
Man, M. (2017) Lighting States- LightingScapes: when light performs as a Choreographic Scorer. In: Scenography: Scenography and the Body: Movement, Gesture, Sensation Theatre and Performance Research Association (TAPRA) Annual Conference, 31.08.17, University of Salford.
Man, M. and Hewison, J. (2017) Of Cabbages and Queens. In: The Leonora Carrington Centenary Symposium, 30.06.17, Edge Hill University.
Man, M. (2016) Porcelain Moves: when costume choreographs. In: Costume and Fashion in Context and Practice, 06.12.16, The Fashion and Costume Thinking Research Centre, University of Huddersfield.
Man, M. (2016) Felt Architectures: Arquitecturas Viscerales, Colegio de Arquitectos, Avila, Spain.
Man, M. (2016) Forrest Lights: collaborative glimmerings in performance making with mediated light. In: How To Do Things With Practice Research Symposium, 20.07.16, Surrey Institute of Performance at GSA, University of Surrey.
Man, M. (2016) Dancing in the Dark: Lowering the Lights for an Uncertain World. In: Dance in the 21st Century: Questioning methods of practice, pedagogy and research, DanceHE Early Career Symposium, 07.04.2016, University of Bedfordshire.
Man, M. (2014) Into Darkness…Towards l i g h t o u c h: The Challenges of Creating and Performing in the Dark. In: Theatre in the Dark International Symposium, University of Surrey.