Dancing Bodies in Coventry

(R) Researcher

Rosa Cisneros

Lead researcher
Artist-researcher, Centre for Dance Research, Coventry University

(R) Researcher

Marie-Louise Crawley

Centre for Dance Research, Coventry University
Assistant Professor in Dance and Cultural Engagement C-DaRE

Read the research

How does the body of the city co-exist with the dancing body?

Dancing Bodies in Coventry (DBiC) is a multimedia project telling the story of dance the city. Led by Coventry University’s Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE) the project is based around the production of films, podcasts and more, recording and celebrating the amazing variety of performance taking place in Coventry.

They also provide dance artists, schools, festival organisers and local groups with a platform to share their stories, with the aim of this evolving into a kind of dance archive for the city.

Coventry Creates was the first time that the DBiC team had been able to include hip-hop dance within the project: it seemed important to be able to highlight the history, present ecology and future of this dance form in the city of Coventry.

The collaboration has been significant for broadening the project’s remit and reach into the hip-hop dance community.

The project explores Mates’ relationship to Coventry: what the city means to him as an artist and also as a citizen. We ask Mates to offer his perspective on his dancing history, present and future in the city, as well as to explore his own dancing body in relation to various sites and locations across the city, and how the city’s architectural and spatial body co-exists with his own dancing body.

To find out more and to see all outputs from the project, go to dancingbodiesincoventry.com.

Download the peer reviewed article

Holding the space: Choreography, Architecture and Urban Heritage

(pdf 198.13 KB)

Download the Dancing Bodies study

Dancing Bodies in Coventry Residency with Breakdots Company

(pdf 2.15 MB)

(A) Artist

Marius Mates

Creative Dancer

The opportunity to work with academic researchers came during a period where I found myself stuck in my style of dance, and wanted to progress into a new field.

I didn’t know what to expect from the call out, but I knew I wanted to make my art form widely known, whatever that would take. Breakdancing is not an academic-taught dance, but it is a style that can adapt and can bring dynamicity.

This was my opportunity to help make breakdancing a more recognised art form, to give it the chance to shine together with other styles.

After engaging with the researchers I felt really motivated to tell my story and my experiences. It blended in very well with my art form and gave me the freedom to experiment ideas and build on my storytelling.

This opportunity opened my mind and confirmed that breakdancing can be experienced in so many ways. This type of project is something that I look forward to doing more – a balance between my academic and professional experiences.

Take a look at the full project scrapbook here and listen to the podcast below.

RosaSenCis · DBiC Podcast Episode 13 – Marius Mates and Marso Riviere in conversation with Rosa Cisneros

A digital exhibition of artworks created during lockdown and inspired by university research. Amongst these 18 artistic responses to research, you’ll discover poetry about Coventry, Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matters movement. Find stories about what Coventry means to refugees, and learn about Coventry’s twinning history, women’s suffrage and how interactive games can help break down the complexities of homelessness. Hear the words of healthcare workers during the first peak of Coronavirus, and explore creative connections forged by ‘The Artist and the Prof’.

Coventry Creates is part of the ongoing work by Coventry and Warwick universities in the lead up to the City of Culture. The University Partnership has funded over 30 creative research projects, involving over 50 Coventry organisations and local communities.


More information about Coventry Creates