Performing Arts Community Engagement (PACE)

As a research group, PACE supports practice-research with a social impact focus. It develops performance related projects in collaboration with communities, focused on marginalised or socially disadvantaged groups and individuals. PACE provides platforms for the visibility, self-expression and empowerment of such groups through participation and engagement in self-determined performance activity, knowledge exchange and research.

Researchers within the group investigate questions around embodiment and materiality; affective, somatic and sensory practices; participative and community practices, intersectionality, resistance and the process of performance-making.

PACE's key aims are to:

  1. Strengthen the relationship between practice research and civic engagement activity
  2. Be socially responsive
  3. Develop collaborative practice-research that directly benefits the communities involved
  4. Add value to the student experience and offer development opportunities for current students to gain professional experience
  5. Offer engagement opportunities for alumni

 

The PACE Team

Committee representatives from performing arts subjects:

  • Drama: Dr Caoimhe Mader McGuinness
  • Dance: Dr Daniela Perazzo Domm
  • Music: Prof Isabella van Elferen

PACE affiliated researchers

PACE's work draws from the expertise within the Performing Arts Team and is now looking further into cross-disciplinary collaborations within KSA. We warmly welcome new project ideas from staff, students, alumni, community leaders and performance practitioners. If you have an idea for a project that you would like to develop with PACE or for more details and updates about projects please email us at pace@kingston.ac.uk or c.l.monteiro@kingston.ac.uk

Current projects

This year PACE is developing a series of projects which aim to reach local community groups at risk of social isolation and loneliness during the current pandemic. These projects will involve discursive events focused on performance and social issues, as well as live and virtual performance and outreach work. These projects aim to empower communities and ignite meaningful relationships amongst community groups and between these groups and the University.

Research Event: Circling Caribbean Dance: A Global Community Discussion

Research Event: Circling Caribbean Dance: A Global Community Discussion

Research Event: Circling Caribbean Dance: A Global Community Discussion

This event will take the form of a live discussion between invited popular Caribbean dance practitioners, researchers, producers and educators. Guests will share insights from their experience in the field and discuss pressing topics affecting Caribbean dance communities today. The event will be focused around a series of questions concerning the real-life impacts of the pandemic on the sector and Caribbean dance's relationship to decolonial and anti-racist agendas.

The discussion will be open to the public to participate as listeners/viewers and take part in break-out room discussions around specific themes. In creating this space for exchange, the event aims to support network connectivity between the participants and the development of future relationships and collaborations.

This is a collaborative event with Performing Arts and Community Engagement at Kingston University, London and Pop Moves, an international research group for popular dance and performance.

Creative Kingston Connects

Creative Kingston Connects

Creative Kingston Connects

This project involved Kingston University's Performing Arts students working with local care homes and Sparko TV, an online channel for elderly people living independently, to provide activities in dance, drama and music via remote online sessions. Three groups of Music, Dance and Drama students organised a total of nine online, interactive performances for elderly people. The sessions were live-streamed and each was tailored to the abilities, memories, and achievements of the people it addressed. The sessions were each highly interactive, inviting the audiences to participate in dance movement, music appreciation, reminiscing, singing, celebration, and meditation:

Musical Stories

Involved rhythm stories, singing stories, and memory stories. Participants sang along to well-known songs such as "Edelweiss" and "Tipperary" and reminisced with music from all over the world.

A Journey of Dance

Involved chair ballet with classical piano music, a dreamy waltz, an up-tempo funk and a gentle meditation to cool-down.

Yesterday Years

Drama students drew on residents' memories of life events, including going to school in the 1940s, the moon landing, and Charles and Diana's royal wedding. It was an opportunity to reminisce, re-live and celebrate personal life events in dramatic form.

The Roseland carehome, Sherwood Grange carehome, and Sparko TV have all asked PACE to come back and run another series of interactive performances.

Research event: beyond language

Research Event: Beyond language: The communicative potential of movement and sound in post-war contexts

Research event: beyond language

In this curated conversation Dr Beatrice Jarvis (Kingston University London) and Grace Schwindt (Goldsmiths College) will come together to explore approaches to healing and resettlement processes. Referring to their professional experience and artistic research, they will investigate the potential of creative and embodied approaches using sound and movement in post-conflict recovery and refugee responses. The conversation will be moderated by Professor Meg Jensen (Kingston University London).

Dr Beatrice Jarvis is Lecturer in Dance at Kingston University London and is a creative facilitator, choreographer and researcher. Drawing from Somatic practices and working extensively with improvisation, Beatrice works across a diverse range of community settings, nationally and internationally, to explore through site-based and studio practices the social power and potential of embodied movement practices. Her socio-choreographic research has been profiled within Pina Bausch Symposium, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, dOCUMENTA (13), National School of Art Bucharest, Galway Dance Festival. 

Grace Schwindt is an artist working with film, performance, sculpture and drawing. Her process often originates from conversations with different communities with whom she analyses the role that bodies and language play in the construction of history and memory. Her work is currently on view as part of the exhibition "Refugees: Forced to Flee" at the Imperial War Museum in London. She has previously been presented at The Showroom, Tate Britain, Whitechapel Gallery in London, Museum of Contemporary Arts in Vigo, Volksbühne in Berlin, Kaaitheater in Brussels and the Istanbul Biennale. She works as Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Professor Meg Jensen is Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing at Kingston University London. Her research centres on representations of trauma in various forms of autobiographically-based art, from novels to poetry to painting. She has published on the work of writers including Katherine Mansfield, Virginia Woolf, Vladimir Nabokov, Jack Kerouac and Louisa May Alcott. Her most recent publication is The Art and Science of Trauma and the Autobiographical: Negotiated Truths.

Bodies of Knowledge Volume 1: Dancehall

Bodies of Knowledge Volume 1: Dancehall

Bodies of Knowledge Volume 1: Dancehall

Organised in collaboration with Open Book, this course offers women the opportunity of a critical engagement with popular dance styles through practical dance workshops and contextual discussion sessions.

Dancehall is a popular dance style from Jamaica, initially developed in the late 1970s, which continues to thrive across the globe. This dance style has often been a site of struggle, resistance and empowerment for women who seek out visibility, pleasure and community through the dance practice.

This programme will involve feminine dancehall movement workshops with leading dance teacher Jess Baddie. It also involves participation in adjacent discussions focused on specific topics and readings related to the practical dancehall workshops. Topics will include areas such as gender and sexuality politics, race, empire, postcolonialism, appropriation and power.

  • When do you meet? Wednesdays 12–1pm (dance workshop) and 2–3pm (seminar)
  • How do I register? Email: pace@kingston.ac.uk to register and get your online link.
  • How much is it? FREE
The Kingston Singers at a carol service

The Kingston Community Choir

The Kingston Singers at a carol service

The Kingston Community Choir is a local inclusive community choir run in partnership with the charity Voices of Hope and led by choir leader Sarah Clay. Sarah is also the Founder and CEO of the charity.

To join the choir, there is no need to read music and no auditions, just a friendly welcoming environment for those who love to sing. 

The choir launches on 4 October with a free taster session and will meet meet once a week in the Courtyard at Town House, Kingston University's new landmark building at Penrhyn Road, Kingston. The choir will work towards an end of season performance on 4 December in Kingston. 

  • When do you meet? Mondays 7–8:30pm from 4 October 
  • Where do you meet? Courtyard, Town House, Penrhyn Road, Kingston KT1 2EE
  • How do I register? Email: pace@kingston.ac.uk for further information and to register.
  • How much is it? £6/£3 concessions per session. Bursaries available.
Acid Grass Records, Kingston's in-house record label

Acid Grass Records

Acid Grass Records, Kingston's in-house record label

Acid Grass Records is the Visconti Studio's in-house record label and is a student led collective of music producers. The group record, mix and perform original contemporary popular music, with a focus on creative uses of music technology. The name derives from the acid grasslands found close to the Visconti Studio. The students designed their own logo for their record label.

  • When do you meet? Wednesday 4–7pm from 6 October
  • Where do you meet? The Visconti Studio, Kingston Hill, Kingston KT2 7LB
  • How do I register? Email: m.gatt@kingston.ac.uk for further information.
  • How much is it? Free
Kingston University Stylophone Orchestra

Kingston University Stylophone Orchestra (KUSO)

Kingston University Stylophone Orchestra

Kingston University Stylophone Orchestra (KUSO) is sponsored by analogue synth manufacturer Dubreq. Formed in January 2019, to date it is the first and only Stylophone orchestra in the world. They have performed at the International Youth Arts Festival (IYAF) for a Royal audience, the Stanley Picker Gallery and recorded an arrangement of Space Oddity by David Bowie, produced by legend Tony Visconti.

  • When do you meet? While COVID-19 measures are in place, we are meeting and collaborating virtually online on an album project which will release in Spring 2021.
  • How do I register? Email l.kardos@kingston.ac.uk for further information on how to take part.
  • How much is it? Free
Kingston Chamber Orchestra

Kingston Chamber Orchestra

Kingston Chamber Orchestra

The Kingston Chamber Orchestra (KCO) is the University's associate amateur orchestra which meets in the Visconti Studio at Kingston Hill and partners with PACE. It is conducted by Andy Myers. The Orchestra performs locally in Kingston but as an antidote to Covid isolation the Virtual KCA members have recorded their parts on a mobile phone or laptop individually, which was then edited by Andy to produce a short video. The Orchestra's next live concert is on 9 November at Kingston Parish Church.

Past events

In 2019/20 PACE worked with students, staff, alumni, community members and local community groups to deliver an inclusive and wide-ranging programme of activities through collaborative performing arts projects.

Phoenix Rising Akeino James

Phoenix Rising – filmed at Townhouse August 2020

Phoenix Rising Akeino James

This film highlights the skills of Kingston School of Art (KSA) Performing Arts students, performing in the University's new Town House building. Phoenix Rising demonstrates the creativity and diversity of student work being produced in this new building and invites the viewer to follow the story of the performing artists as each move through the Town House. Featuring opera, physical theatre and dance, and working with Film and Fashion students, this film is a genuine collaboration that highlights the great strength of diversity and embodies the spirit of acceptance.

Participants at the National Dance Competition. Photo by Jason Piper.

National Dance Competition – Town House – March 2020

Participants at the National Dance Competition. Photo by Jason Piper.

PACE partnered with the Kingston University Dance Society (KUDS) which is managed and run by students, for the inaugural Town House event in the Courtyard. 270 participants representing nine universities competed in this National Dance competition, hosted by KUDS. Competitors performed a wide range of styles throughout the day in this iconic space. PACE alumni technicians provided technical support for the event.

Rehearsing for Holocaust Memorial Day hosted at Town House

Holocaust Memorial Day – Guildhall, Kingston – February 2020

Rehearsing for Holocaust Memorial Day hosted at Town House

On 2 February Kingston joined the nation in honouring the victims and survivors of genocides. PACE supported this event, working alongside the Kingston Interfaith Forum, the Royal Borough of Kingston and the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. Dance, drama and music students closed the programme with a specially selected repertoire, including a beautiful, choreographed dance performance to the Theme from Schindler's List by John Williams, with music provided by students on piano and violin.

Town House Dance shoot – February 2020

Town House Dance shoot – February 2020

Town House Dance shoot – February 2020

Dance students brought the dance studio space alive at Town House in support of the University's Town House submission for the Royal Institute of British Architects(RIBA) annual awards for the London region, which celebrates the best new architecture across the capital.

 

KSA Open House – Opening of the KSA Knights Park extension - February 2020

KSA Open House – Opening of the KSA Knights Park extension - February 2020

KSA Open House – Opening of the KSA Knights Park extension - February 2020

KSA welcomed visitors from the local community to its Knights Park campus to celebrate the opening of the new Knights Park extension. PACE showcased a performance by dance and music students in the new space throughout the day while visitors toured the facility. Alumni and student technicians provided technical support for the event.

Kingston Can Hip Hop Workshop

Kingston Can – Bentall Centre – November 2019

Kingston Can Hip Hop Workshop

PACE worked with Studio KT1 to deliver a range of events for Kingston Can, a project to transform empty space in the Bentall Centre with dance and singing workshops (Bollywood, Hip Hop and One Hour Choir) and a flash mob finale. The project drew on a wide range of groups in the local community, including Sherwood Grange care home, St John's C of E Primary School, and KingsGate, Voices of Hope choirs, who performed alongside students. All groups were visited and rehearsed at their own venues by students who then supported on the day, with the event filmed by KSA film students.

Pilhouse playing at Kingston University Civic Showcase

Kingston University Civic Showcase – October 2019

Pilhouse playing at Kingston University Civic Showcase

Kingston University invited the local community to its annual public showcase at the Guildhall, Kingston. The PACE stand included a showreel outlining its activities. Dance and music students performed a student-choreographed piece to a full audience and provided additional music performances throughout the event to visitors. Pilhouse, an indie rock band formed by four Music Technology students, closed the event with a rousing set. PACE alumni and student technicians provided technical support for the event.

Terence Collie at the Rose Theatre for Jazz First Tuesday

Jazz First Tuesday – The Rose Theatre Cafe

Terence Collie at the Rose Theatre for Jazz First Tuesday

For 10 years, Jazz First Tuesday has delivered its renowned lunchtime cafe concert series in partnership with the Rose Theatre, Kingston. Renowned jazz artists have provided an uplifting musical experience to an audience of dedicated jazz followers, Kingston visitors, and community groups. Andy Panayi, Meredith White, Vasilis Xenopoulos, Dave Jones, Terence Collie and supporting artists contributed to the 2019/20 series.

Hip hop and Latin dance workshops

Hip hop and Latin dance workshops

Hip hop and Latin dance workshops

Hip hop and Latin dance workshops, led by students, were opened to the local community through a partnership between PACE and the Kingston University Dance Society (KUSO).

Related programmes

Other programmes from Kingston University that you may be interested in:

Kingston Language Scheme

Kingston Language Scheme

Kingston Language Scheme

At Kingston, you will have the opportunity to study a foreign language free of charge. You will get a fully authentic language experience and be taught by highly experienced language teachers, many of whom are native speakers. Modules are taught using a combination of face-to-face and virtual interactive online classes and are available to everyone in the Kingston community.

Kingston Language Scheme (KLS) offers language courses to everybody – Kingston University students, staff and the wider community.

Currently it offers language courses in: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.