Keep Listening, Keep Talking

Keep Listening, Keep Talking #2 
Wednesday 21 April
3pm – 5pm 
Online event on Zoom

Keep Listening, Keep Talking is a new partnership initiative by Dance HE, Independent Dance (ID), Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE) at Coventry University and Centre for Performance Philosophy at the University of Surrey, for artists/teachers working in the academic sector.

Stemming from an HE Round Table led by ID and Dr Adesola Akinleye in 2020, Keep Listening, Keep Talking will take the form of three peer conversations, held online in January, July and March 2021. Each conversation will start with a short provocation by a guest speaker with lived experience of racism in HE contexts and each provocation will relate to specific teaching, learning and research issues.

This second talk in the series will be hosted by Sarah Whatley (C-DaRE) and Sara Reed (independent dance researcher, writer and academic) with guest speaker Matthew Gough (dance artist, dramaturg, and senior lecturer at University of South Wales).

Matthew will start this discursive session with a provocation around ‘equitable negotiations for cultural change’, asking:

What does it mean to ‘live your values’ in Higher Education?
How can we develop a culture of intersectional thinking, and actions?
Who are we engaging in conversations of ‘change’, why ‘them’?

Cultural conversations seek to renegotiate our interactions as individuals, organisations, and communities. When negotiations are mediated and dominated by those in power, marginalised voices are assimilated into new exclusions. How do we ‘live our values’ to ensure equity within those conversations, relinquishing or using our privilege/power to enable transformative change. Matthew Gough


Matthew Gough is a dance artist, dramaturg, and senior lecturer based in Cardiff (University of South Wales). Recent credits include: Rewild (Krystal Lowe: Green Man Festival 2020 / The Place Spring Festival 2021), Llyfr Glas Nebo (Frân Wen), Chwarae (Theatr Iolo). They are a trustee of National Dance Company Wales and contribute to local/national conversations on cultural equity.

Sarah Whatley is Professor of Dance and Director of the Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE) at Coventry University. Her research, funded variously by the AHRC, European Commission and Trusts, focuses on the discourses that emerge through the body as a site of knowledge and expressive communication. Her projects and publications focus on creative reuse of digital cultural content, intangible cultural heritage, somatic dance practice and pedagogy, and inclusive dance practice. She is founding Editor of the Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices and serves on the board of several other Journals.  A member of the AHRC peer review college and REF panel member (2014, 2021), she has a wide experience of peer review across funding proposals and publications. 

Sara Reed is an independent academic, practitioner, researcher, writer & project manager. She is an Associate Editor for Theatre, Dance and Performance Training Journal – Training Grounds and on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Dance & Somatic Practices and Dance, Movement and Spiritualities. Sara is co-chair of Independent Dance and a trustee for Wriggle Dance Theatre for children and families. She is a qualified Feldenkrais Practitioner and trained with Scott Clark and Elizabeth Beringer in London. Sara supervises PhD students in the areas of dance, embodied (somatic) practices, pedagogy and arts and health and has published widely on embodied practice and dance. 

Booking: This event is intended for artists and academics working in higher education. 
If you would like to attend, please email Claudia:

Contribution: £5
Keep Listening, Keep Talking is an un-funded initiative. We are requesting a contribution in order to support fees for guest speakers.

Details of the March and July conversation events will be announced in due course.

Previous conversations:

The first conversation was introduced by Carla Trim-Vamben (University of East London) and facilitated by ID and Dance HE.

Provocation by Carla Trim-Vamben: ‘The fear of being free’ 
“I deliver an undergraduate degree programme that focuses on popular and social dance forms. I often ask why students are afraid of freestyling and feel safer staying in the boundaries of technique exercises?  Is the transmission of popular and social dances within academic institutions creating a culture of fear? How do we ensure that the freedom that is inherent in these styles is accessible?”

Click here for notes from this conversation.

Carla Trim-Vamben is a senior lecturer and the programme leader for the BA (Hons) Dance: Urban Practice degree at the University of East London. She is a practice led researcher with interests centred around club culture, specifically house dance. She completed her Master of Arts in Dance Anthropology at Roehampton, writing her thesis on freestyle practice in UK house dance. Carla is also a community dance practitioner and has danced for choreographers such as ADiaspora Collective in Frusted (2010) at the Breakin’ Convention Festival. She has published and presented her work, ‘From Club to Stage: The Integration of House Dance within Performance Practice’ (2013) and at conferences such as ADAD’s Re: Generations. She is currently developing her research project for a PhD application and is leading the evaluation for an ACE-funded Transforming Leadership project, ‘We Move’.