Screendance Network

The Screendance Network was the precursor to the current Centre for Screendance, an international network, founded in 2009 with a three-year AHRC research grant. The Network aimed to advance the interdisciplinary theoretical and practice-based discourse on the artform.

Historical context: Since the early twentieth century, artists from the fields of dance and the moving image have been developing a hybrid practice, now commonly referred to as Screendance.

For the most part of the century, Screendance has tended to exist on the margins of other art practices. However, the 1980s and 1990s saw isolated curatorial events such as the Filmdance Festival at the Public Theatre in New York City in 1983 and the first conference on Screendance at the University of Wisconsin in 1999. Since then there has been a rapid expansion of international interest in the field, with conferences, symposia and dedicated festivals all articulating the need for a more coherent interdisciplinary discourse on the artform.

The first international Screendance Network, consisted of US and UK based researchers, scholars and practitioners, and was established in recognition of this need. It provides ongoing opportunities to develop a deeper understanding of the complexity and potential of this emergent hybrid practice.

As a movement-based art form, Screendance purposefully combines movement on screen with camera movement and movement created in the editing process. The Screendance Network began to examine the interrelationships of composition, choreographic language and meanings of body, movement, space and time. This is done in the context of contemporary cultural debates surrounding mobility, spatial politics and artistic agency, as well as overarching pertinent themes that include sustainability, social and community engagement.

The aims of the Network:

  • to support and accelerate the dialogue and ongoing research of Screendance practitioners and academics based in the UK, the US and elsewhere
  • to establish a web presence that facilitates improved dissemination across the field, including online publications and the exchange and sharing of ideas
  • to establish a journal as a platform dedicated to research in screendance practices


  • Claudia Kappenberg (University of Brighton, UK)
  • Sarah Whatley (Coventry University, UK)
  • Ann Cooper Albright (Oberlin College, Ohio, USA)
  • Harmony Bench (Ohio State University, USA)
  • Douglas Rosenberg (University of Wisconsin, USA)
  • Simon Ellis (Roehampton University, UK)
  • Marisa Zanotti (Chichester University, UK)
  • Chirstinn Whyte (writer and filmmaker, UK)

Guests of the Screendance Network while funded through the AHRC:

Professor Ian Christie, Birkbeck, University of London; Professor Noel Carroll, Temple University, USA; Catherine Wood, Curator, Tate Modern; Bob Lockyer, former Executive Producer of Dance, BBC TV; and Dr Sherill Dodds, University of Surrey.


AHRC Project Schedule:

The AHRC research project ran from 1 April 2009 to 31 December 2011.

Four seminars were convened: Autumn 2009; Spring 2010; Autumn 2010; and Spring 2011.

A public symposium took place at the University of Brighton, UK in Spring 2011.

The Network's end of project meeting took place on 9 December 2011 in Brighton.



On the Screendance Network

  • 2010 Annual Report of the American Dance Festival:

On Screendance

  • Whyte, C; Hybrids, Filmwaves, November 2009
  •  O'Donovan, T; British Theatre Guide, April 2010:


For further information about the Screendance Network, please contact Claudia Kappenberg, Principal Lecturer at the University of Brighton: