Lunchtime Talk | Lisa May Thomas | Figuring: The Somatic Body in Virtual Reality


I have been doing some research which brings together my background in dance and somatics with the technologies of virtual reality. I have been exploring ‘ways of seeing’ and ‘the felt sense’ – and the perceptual gap which lies between them – through my own investigations and through designing and leading workshops for different groups of participants. i plan to take the knowledges I gain through these experiences into a performance context, in particular to deal with ways in which VR might be shared between performer and audience bodies, and between those in VR and those not in VR.

Lisa is a contemporary dance artist & film-maker. Trained at Laban, she delivers lectures & professional classes to universities, community & professional groups. Her dance-screen work has won international awards, presented at film festivals globally, on digital TV channels (BBC, Channel 4, ABC) & within community/education sectors (“There is a Shipwreck in My Bones”, presented in Taiwan and Shanghai as part of On Site Impromtus programme; “The Touch Diaries” presented at Arts and Health South West International Health and Wellbeing Conference). Lisa has worked extensively with digital technologies in performance & currently researching a dance-led somatic approach to multi person interactive VR framework. Lisa is Pervasive Media Studio resident and PhD candidate at the University of Bristol (UoB) in departments of theatre & computer science, part of Dr. David Glowacki’s (DRG) cross-disciplinary research group. In 2017 she explored the VR framework that will be used through this project activity through residencies at Arnolfini, The Science Museum, Bath Spa University, Edge Arts & Modern Art Oxford. In 2016 she ran Dances with Avatars with UoB, Interactive Scientific & Arnolfini; and took part in Motion Capture lab with Japanese company YCAM and Pervasive Media Studio (PMStudio). In 2015 The Touch Diaries performance and film premiered at Edge Arts at the University of Bath & won awards at Lightmoves International Festival of Screendance; she served as choreographer-performer for multiaward winning sci-art-tech digital performance Hidden Fields presented at Arnolfini, ZKM Germany; Barbican;
Dance Digital; Brighton Digital Festival, Z-Space, and Stanford University in San Francisco.

Join Lisa Friday March 23rd at 1pm