Professor Jerri Daboo

Professor in Performance


Extension: 4534

Telephone: 01392 724534

Jerri Daboo is  Professor of Performance at the University of Exeter.

She worked professionally as a performer and director for fifteen years, before taking up the position of Lecturer in Exeter in 2004. She has a BA Hons in Drama and Music from the University of Bristol; an MA in Phyiscal Theatre from Royal Holloway, and a PhD  from the University of Exeter. Her work moves across a number of different cultures, practices and performance forms, inlcuding acting, music and dance.

Her research and teaching focus on a range of diverse areas, which explore issues of the body, culture and identity in training and performance. She has trained and taught for many years in martial arts, yoga, Buddhism, Indian dance, movement, physical theatre, body awareness and improvisation, and utilises principles from these in her work with actors and dancers.

Her practical and theoretical research areas take an intercultural and interdisciplinary approach to examining actor and dancer training and performance, particularly through Buddhist philsoophy and practice; the work of Michael Chekhov; ritual performance, with a focus on the Southern Italian ritual of tarantism; and the connection between culture, place and identity, with particular reference to the British South  Asian communities.

Jerri's monograph, 'Ritual, Rapture and Remorse: a study of tarantism and pizzica in Salento' (Peter Lang, 2010) has received two awards: a special citation for the de la Torre Bueno prize awarded by the Society of Dance History Scholars in America; and runner-up for the Katherine Briggs Award, 2010.

Jerri was awarded a major grant from the AHRC to be the Principal Investigator on a large research project entitled 'The Southall Story', to research and document the cultural history of the diasporic town of Southall, focusing on the development of arts and performance, as well as the relationship to socio-cultural events and political organisations.Project website:   

She was also awarded AHRC Follow-on Funding to tour the exhibition from the Southall project to Delhi in November, and curate a festival of British Asian culture including a film festival, concert and workshops, with the three artistic consultants from the project. This will be followed by a series of community engagement workshops with the Indian communities in Bangkok.

Jerri was invited to give a public lecture on British Asian performance, culture and identity at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand in August 2012; and invited by the AHRC to join their delegation to promote their work in the British High Commission in Delhi, in September 2012. She co-organised an international conference on transnational performace and culture in Chulalongkorn University in February 2016, resulting in a co-edited book.

Jerri has been working on an AHRC/REACT project with renowned tabla player, composer and producer Kuljit Bhamra to develop an electronic version of the tabla, along with new teaching materials and notation system for the instrument. Further information can be found on The project has been nominated for a Times Higher Education Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts.