Dr Robert Vesty

Supervised by

Personal profile

Robert Vesty's part-time PhD project in the Department of Drama and Theatre at Royal Holloway, University of London, was supported with a Crossland Scholarship.

His practice-led research project, Material Words for Voicing Dancers, engaged, predominantly, the improvisational training (workshops/courses/classes) conducted by three contemporary independent performance practitioners - Ruth Zaporah (US) who has developed a form of improvisational performance known as Action Theater; dancer/musician/poet Julyen Hamilton (UK/ES); and dancer/poet Billie Hanne (BE). These practices variously fuse improvised dance and improvised voice (including speech) in performance. Together with Robert's own improvisational performance works and experiments, he considers: 1) how a dancer might ‘access’ feeling for voicing, taking a somatically-oriented approach that also utilises the author's experience as a practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method; 2) how voicing can be ‘arranged’ in a compositional environment with objects; 3) how voicing is amplified for performance in an enlivened acoustic space drawing on theatre aurality. Working through these stages (‘accessing’, ‘arranging’ and ‘amplifying’) aims to discern and differentiate the way voicing and dancing can be considered a potentially unified but situated act, as well as offer an analytical model for researching similar practices.

Robert is a Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts at Middlesex University. He is a London-based performer, with a background in theatre and a continued practice in dance. He performs regularly in dance contexts using improvisation as a tool for making, often including voice and spoken-word as part of the immediately choreographed material. He is a member of the five-strong performance collective anthologyofamess and performs regularly in London. He graduated as a practitioner of the Feldenkrais method in August 2015.

Publications: “A Piece for Two (Lovers)”, for RiDE Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, published 2017; guest-editor on a special "Words and Dance" issue of the journal Choreographic Practices, published 2017; “Ten Days in Tarbena”, for Handbook of Improvisation (OUP), published 2019.

ID: 6354047