Lisa Osborne Kendall, Course Director

Lisa Osborne Kendall

Course Director

After 25 years working as an Independent Dance Artist, working nationally and internationally, Lisa was appointed as Senior Lecturer Dance at Leeds Beckett University, in 2015. Lisa's multi-stranded practice and research, are embedded within, and in dialogue with, her teaching practice at the university.

Lisa's practice, although responsive and eclectic, is concerned throughout with the shifting ways of being and becoming of the communicative moving body, constantly informed and questioned, by the transience of embodied knowing in research and performance. As a dance artist she has been fortunate to have developed and maintained a diverse portfolio of performative work, collaborating with and contributing to, a diverse range of works and practices. She has had the opportunity to develop lengthy and fulfilling dialogues with several choreographer/directors, including Leen Dewilde and Mole Wetherell (UK/Belgium), Siri Dybwik (Norway), Yael Flexer (UK), Jamie Watton (UK), Kerry Nicholls (UK). With these and other choreographer/directors, for example, Filip van Huffel (Belgium), Istok Kovac (Slovenia), Angels Margarit (Catalonia), Lisa has collaborated in devising multiple touring and site-specific works for conventional and non-conventional theatre spaces nationally and internationally.

From 2009 – 2011 Lisa pursued MA Contemporary Arts Practice as Research, during which time she researched extensively the proposal that the moving/dancing body itself be identified as a site for infinite exploration and endless outcomes, specifically whilst in dialogue with experiential site, that is, site(s) outside of the moving/dancing body itself. Lisa is concerned with raising the consciousness of the dialogues of the moving body as site, through motion and through reflection, throughout creative process. She is fascinated with how the moving body alone can be the maker, receiver, and repository of performative and theatrical experiences, and how as performative beings we archive, re-visit and re-present transitory embodied experiences: Lisa explores these concepts in dialogue with her pedagogical and performative practices. Lisa's multi-stranded practice embraces praxical approaches to working, blending together theory and practice, performance & teaching, underpinned by research.

In response, and as a proposition to the diverse and explorative career opportunities presented, Lisa has established a keen interest in pursuing the phenomenon of experimental, improvisational site-based artwork, crossing thresholds from the domestic/task-based to the performative, blurring the boundaries between performance space and observational space, challenging notions of performer and spectator. HouseProject (2011) a collaborative cross-disciplinary live and documented project enabled the moving body as site to pursue live spontaneous danced encounters by invitation in private houses. Documenting this project was a collaborative process facilitated by Lisa in dialogue with a writer, a videographer and a photographer. Subsequently Lisa was invited to curate and install a documented re-presentation of this project at the Open Space: Axis Arts Centre, Crewe, 2011, as part of the exhibition Somatic Practice and Lines of Flight. In response to HouseProject, House Stories (2012), a collaboration with Norwegian choreographer Siri Dybwik, developed a series of spontaneous live encounters again by invitation in private houses, into an improvisational duet: the duet was devised, sited, and encountered within the living spaces of a Norwegian family and presented as a salon encounter. Conversation between artistic collaborators and the visiting audience attending these experiential encounters, was integral to and influential within, each performative encounter. This experimental approach to presenting work blended together live and documented processes, blurring the boundaries between documentation and artwork, performer and audience, domestic space and theatre presentation space.

Current Teaching

  • BA Dance
    • Making Dance Work
    • Collaboration
    • Site Screen Project
    • Critical Contexts 2
  • BA Performance
    • Performance Project 2
  • MA Performance
    • Performance Matters 1

Research Interests

In January 2013, Lisa was invited by performance company Reckless Sleepers to be a performer contributing to the devising process of A String Section, a touring, site-responsive work for theatre spaces, both conventional and non-conventional. As a performer in this tightly scored, improvisational work, Lisa is constantly challenged by the shifting and embodied ways of being and becoming in performance, in response to a practical task, that is, sawing the legs off chairs. Re-discovering and re-defining creative processes both prospectively, contemporaneously and retrospectively, whilst being in a place of un-knowing are implicit within the research and performance of this work. As a core member of the creative team Lisa has toured this work extensively at venues and festivals throughout Europe, including for example: The British Council Showcase Edinburgh Fringe; Stockholm International Culture Festival; Polverigi Theatre Festival; Serralves em Festa; In Between Time Festival. Lisa is invited by the company to explore and devise new work during 2016.

Embedded within Lisa's professional practice and performative research, and inherent within her research profile, is a constant curiosity regarding multi-layered, implicit practitioner knowledges archived by the moving body as site, and the potential for the re-articulation of these through multi-stranded independent and collaborative archival and documentary practices, including writing, conversation and scoring.

Lisa Osborne Kendall, Course Director