Rachel’s most recent research has been focused in two areas. Her dance performance work with Siobhan Davies Dance on the critically acclaimed Table of Contents (2014-16) examined notions of archive and how the dancer’s body can be considered as a living archive. This in turn informed subsequent research projects: Body Of Knowledge (2016/17) and Please Do Touch (2018) with colleagues Lisa Kendall (Leeds Beckett University) and Sally Doughty (De Montfort University) in collaboration with Dance4.
Her doctoral research explored dance as an activity of thinking in movement proposing the concept of kinetic thinking: that bodily movement is not illustrating thinking taking place in a separate mind, but is in itself an activity of thinking. Her research engaged with the experience made available within practice and live performance, explored critically within the disciplines of dance, phenomenology and embodied cognition.
Her interest lies in knowledge that is of the body and movement and she would like to develop her research into exploring the ‘socially constructed body’ through investigating embodied notions of entitlement, self-determination, agency and empowerment, that is in turn to be considered as informing class identity.
Rachel joined Leeds Beckett University in 2010 as Course Leader/Senior Lecturer in Dance where she designed, wrote and launched the original BA(Hons) Dance provision within the university. She was course leader for six years and awarded a HEA Senior Fellowship in 2016. She is Senior Lecturer for BA Dance, MA Choreography and MA Performance. She has acted as external examiner for BA(Hons) Contemporary Dance and Choreography at the London Contemporary Dance School (2014 - 2018).
As an independent dance artist with a professional career spanning 25 years she has choreographed her own work, been rehearsal director for several British dance companies and performed extensively both nationally and internationally, collaborating with over 30 artists such as La Ribot, Akram Khan, Wendy Houstoun, Deborah Hay, Matthias Sperling and Siobhan Davies. In 2002 she won the Jerwood Choreography Award with Ben Wright. She has taught workshops around the globe and continues to mentor emerging artists and teachers. In 2002 she won the Jerwood Choreography Award with Ben Wright. Alongside her pedagogic and academic research practice, Rachel maintains her profile as a practicing artist. Most recently as a solo artist, she was invited to perform in composer Anton Lukoszevieze’s new work Opéret OPERA Operec (2018).