Sabine Sorgel

Dr Sabine Sorgel

Senior Lecturer in Dance and Theatre
PhD Performance and Media Studies
Tue 2-3pm and by appointment



Dr. Sabine Sörgel received her PhD in Performance and Media Studies from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany where she taught theory and history of theatre and dance until 2008. In 2003 she was visiting scholar at the University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica and conducted field research with the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica in Kingston. Her book Dancing Postcolonialism - The National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica was published by Transcript Verlag in 2007. From 2008 unitl 2012 she was Lecturer in Drama, Theatre and Performance at the Department of Drama, Theatre and Performance, Aberystwyth University, Wales. In 2011/12 she was research fellow at the International research centre Interweaving Performance Cultures at the FU Berlin. Since 2013 she has been appointed Senior Lecturer in Dance and Theatre at the University of Surrey. Her current research interests include postcolonial theory, cross-cultural corporeality and identity construction in contemporary theatre and dance performance.

Research interests

Postcolonial theatre and performance; contemporary dance and dance theatre; theatre and ritual; identity and performance.

Completed Research Projects

2011-2012: Research Fellow at "Interweaving Peformance Cultures" International Research Centre, FU Berlin. The research project investigated performance in the context of international festivals, globalization and cosmopolitanism. During the fellowship period, the focus was placed on the dance theatre of Faustin Linyekula (DR Congo), Gregory Maqoma (South Africa) and Akram Khan (UK). Outcomes of the research were presented at Tanzkongress Düsseldorf 2013 and are documented online (

2007-2008: Alterity and Performative Knowledge: Contemporary Re-Definitions of Modernity and Modernism in the Atlantic Triangle. Details: Dance workshop “Jamaican Traditional Folk Forms & Yoruba Bata Drumming and Dance” in co-operation with invited guest lecturers Christopher Walker (National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica) and Jeleel Ojuade (Performing Arts Dept. Illorin Univ. Nigeria) ”, IPP Summer School “Traditions of Modernity” July 2007 Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz. (

2002-2005: Dancing Postcolonialism The National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica (Transcript, 2007). Details: Visiting researcher at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Kingston, Jamaica and the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, School of Dance. Participant in the Summer Dance Workshop “Caribbean Dance in the 21st Century - Caribbean Folk Based Contemporary Forms” 2003. Field research on Caribbean modern and folk dance traditions with the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica. Funding Body: German National Merit Foundation, Doctoral Fellowship and International PhD Programme (IPP) Performance and Media Studies funded by German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and German Research Foundation (DFG). (



DAN2027: The Body in Dance III: Historical Perspectives

DAN032: Dramaturgy: Devising for Dance, Theatre and Performance

DAN3033: Dissertation

DAN3032: Globalization and Performance

DAN3026: Research Methodologies


CPDM010: Physical Performance

Departmental duties

Programme Director BA Dance/ BA Dance and Culture (2013-2018)

My publications



Books & Monographs

Dance and the Body in Western Theatre: 1948 to the Present. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 2015.

Dancing Postcolonialism. The National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica (Bielefeld: Transcript, 2007).

Co-Edited Volumes

Theater seit den 1990er Jahren, eds. Friedemann Kreuder and Sabine Sörgel (Tübingen: Francke, 2008).

Essays in Edited Volumes

“The Interweaving of Movement Cultures in Gregory Maqoma's Beautiful Me.” Eds. Gabriele Brandstetter, Gerko Egert and Holger Hartung. The Movements of Interweaving. London: Routledge, 2019.

“The Global Politics of Faustin Linyekula's Dance Theatre: From Congo to Berlin and back via Brussels and Avignon.” Eds. Gabriele Brandstetter and Holger Hartung. Moving Across Borders. Performing Translation, Intervention, Participation. Bielefeld: Transcript, 2017.

“Transnationalism and Contemporary African Dance: Faustin Linyekula.” Eds. Gabriele Klein and Sandra Noeth. Emerging Bodies: The Performance of Worldmaking in Dance and Choreography. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2011. pp. 83-93.

“Like an endless stream of lava and love. Mnemonic Re-Enactment, Autobiography, and the Postcolonial Politics of Performance in Trevor D. Rhone's Bellas Gate Boy.” Ed. Alfred Hornung. Auto/Biography and Mediation. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2010. pp. 483-493

“1968: Contextualizing Contemporary Dance and Dance Theatre.” In: Politik mit dem Körper. Performative Praktiken in Theater, Medien und Alltagskultur seit 1968. Ed. Friedemann Kreuder und Michael Bachmann. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2009. pp 223-233.

“Zur Medialität des Performativen im zeitgenössischen Tanz/Theater.” Ed. Henri Schoenmakers, Stefan Bläske, Kay Kirchmann et al. Theater und Medien. Bielefeld: Transcript, 2008. pp 319-329.

“Realismus-Variationen: Themen und Tendenzen des Gegenwartstheaters zwischen Glamour, neuer Bürgerlichkeit und Dokumentarismus.” Eds. Friedemann Kreuder and Sabine Sörgel. Theater seit den 1990er Jahren. Tübingen: Francke, 2008. pp 111-124.

“Tanz-Genealogien: Tanz(Ge)schichte(n) von Kurt Jooss zu Sasha Waltz.” Eds. Friedemann Kreuder, Stefan Hulfeld, Andreas Kotte. Theaterhistoriographie. Kontinuitäten und Brüche in Diskurs und Praxis. Tübingen: Francke, 2007. pp 311-328.

“Staging the Caribbean - Derek Walcott's Theatre in Performance.” Ed. Klaus Stierstorfer. Reading the Caribbean: Approaches to Anglophone Caribbean Literature and Culture. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2007. pp 189-210.

“Recovering Folk as Art: The Social Repositioning of Grassroots Culture in Jamaican Dance Theatre.” Eds. Huggan, Graham/ Klasen, Stephan. Perspectives on Endangerment. Hildesheim: Olms Verlag, 2005. pp 179-185.

“Spirituality and Epic Memory in Christopher Walker's Fragile, NDTC 41st Dance Season 2003.” Eds. Christopher Balme and Meike Wagner. Beyond Aesthetics: Performance, Media, and Cultural Studies. Trier: WVT, 2004. pp 93-99.

“Dancing Cultural Identity - Das Beispiel der NDTC (1962-2003).” Eds. Krassimira Kruschkova and Nele Lipp. Tanz anderswo: intra- und interkulturell. Münster: LIT Verlag, 2004. pp 177-187.

Journal Articles

“Von der Manie zur Melancholie. Tanzhistoriographie im kulturhistorischen Vergleich.“ Forum Modernes Theater 23.1. (2008) 19-28.

“Tanz(Ge)schichte(n) der Moderne im Tanztheater der Gegenwart am Beispiel von Kurt Jooss, Pina Bausch, Sasha Waltz und Wanda Golonka.“ Forum Modernes Theater 21.1 (2006) 61-78.

Book Reviews

Foster, Susan Leigh. Ed. Worlding Dance, in: Theatre Research International 36:1 (2011) 83-84.

Briginshaw, Valerie and Ramsay Burt. Writing Dancing Together, in: Theatre Research International 36:1 (2011) 83-84.

Fischer-Lichte, Erika. Theaterwissenschaft eine Einfűhrung in die Grundlagen des Faches, in: Forum Modernes Theater 25:1 (2010) 107-109.

Okagbue, Osita and Christine Matzke. Eds. African Theatre: Diasporas, in: African Performance Review 2010.

Selected International Conference Papers

Nov 2014, conference paper, “Contemporary African or African Contemporary Dance”, Re-Generations Conference, South Pavilion Dance, Bournemouth.

June 2013, conference paper, “Dance, Globalization and Capitalism,” Tanzkongress, Düsseldorf, Germany.

July 2010, conference paper, “Between Dance and Theatre: Archetype and the Modernist Legacy,” Cultures of Modernity, IFTR Annual Conference, Munich, Germany.

Oct 2008, conference paper, “Mediating the Body Politic. Contemporary Dance and Transnationalism,” Orbis Pictus - Theatrum Mundi, 9th International Congress of the German Society for Theatre Studies, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Sept 2008, conference paper, “Deconstructing Diaspora. Contemporary Dance and Cosmopolitanism,” Conference on African and Afro-Caribbean Performance, University of California, Berkeley.

July 2007, conference paper, “Conjuring the Spirit in Contemporary Theatre: An Interrogation of African Aesthetics”, Theatre in Africa - Africa in the Theatre, 50th Annual Conference International Federation for Theatre Research, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

June 2007, conference paper, “Embodying Kinaesthetics: Practice/Theory of Caribbean Dance Theatre”, Re-Thinking Practice and Theory, International Symposium on Dance Research, co-sponsored by CORD and SDHS, Centre National de la Danse, Paris.

Nov. 2006, conference paper, “Mnemonic Re-enactment and Corporeality in Caribbean Theatre and Dance Performance”, ASTR Seminar “In Our Hands: Black Theatre at the Crossroads”, American Society for Theatre Research 50th anniversary conference, Chicago.

Aug 2006, conference paper, “The Global Politics of Performance Nomadism: Helena Waldmann's Letters from Tentland and Mohammad Aghebati's Kiss You and Tears at Iran's Fadjr Festival and Abroad”, International Federation for Theatre Research (FIRT), University of Helsinki, Finland.