Dr Pamela Woods

Research through practice

Performer/choreographer/independent dance artist:

In addition to her performance and choreography with and for small-scale dance companies, collaborations with other artists, and choreography for youth and adult community dance groups, Pam has a strong profile as a solo performer/creator. In July and August 2010, Pam spent an intensive period at the Thelma Hulbert Art gallery in Honiton, conducting movement and vocal experiments in what was Thelma’s kitchen garden. ‘Thelma’, edited footage on DVD has been given to the gallery as a tribute to artist Thelma Hulbert, and heralds the beginning of further research towards a live performance. Other recent solo performances include:

  • ‘The Runner’, (SPCP 2007: adaptation of Deborah Hay solo), performed 2008-2013
The Runner 1 - Photo by Jon Primrose The Runner 2 - Photo by Jon Primrose The Runner 3 - Photo by Jon Primrose The Runner 4 - Photo by Jon Primrose
  • ‘Ode to Tasmania’ (2006), a solo piece created in response to travels and experience whilst artist in residence at UTAS;
  • ‘Room’, (SPCP 2005) adaptation of Deborah Hay solo, performed in Britain and Australia, including Tasmania 2006-2007.
  • ‘Falling Among the Nettles’ (2003), the final PhD performance project which toured England, Turkey and Latvia 2003-2004;

Pam’s interest in movement in natural landscapes has drawn her to the work of colleagues based in the region, Sandra Reeve and Helen Poyner. Pam has participated in several intensive workshops with both movement artists and joined Sandra for Lymefest in 2010. More recently she has attended intensive somatic practice workshops with colleague Ros Maynard on Dartmoor, incuding improvised performances.

Solo Performance Commissioning Project (SPCP): In 2005, Pam was one of 16 international solo artists involved in the SPCP, organised by Independent Dance, at Findhorn, Scotland, with American choreographer Deborah Hay. Hay is renowned for her unique approach to ‘practice’, which places perception at its heart. The project was ‘Room’, a solo choreography to be performed in-the-round, which each artist developed over a period of three months of daily practice to create their own solo adaptation.

While artist-in-residence at the university of Tasmania (UTAS) Pam’s performed her personal adaptation of ‘Room’ in five different locations, thus extending Hay’s work to meet her research interests into ‘site as the source and resource for Sounding Dance Improvisation’ and providing a rich resource from which to examine the process of adaptation.

In 2007 Pam worked again with Hay (SPCP: ‘The Runner’) touring her solo adaptation 2008-2010. She hascontinued to perform the piece in different contexts, most recently at the Exeter Northcott Theatre ('Watch This Space' choreography platform 2012).

International Projects:

Artist-in-residence, University of Tasmania (UTAS), 2006

The residency was at UTAS, the Academy of the Arts at Inveresk, Launceston, Tasmania, which regularly invites international artists from different art forms to contribute to the vitality of the institution by pursuing their own practice and sharing this in some way with the community within the academy. The residency was made possible by generous support from the Lisa Ullman Travelling Scholarship Fund (LUTSF). Pam’s placement was with the School of Visual and Performing Arts. She was their first dance artist.

The residency led to many outcomes, including performances of ‘Room’ in five different locations: a disused railway yard; on top of the pump station, King’s Park; in Launceston Gorge; in Chalmers (a 19th century deconsecrated church); in the drama studio at UTAS.

Chalmers photos (photo credit: )
Chalmers 1 Chalmers 2 Chalmers 03 Chalmers 4
Chalmers 5 Chalmers 6    

Pam facilitated a project with students on a Devised Theatre module, introducing them to principles of her praxis, which culminated in an evening length piece ‘A Sense of Place: Launceston Gorge’. During this time the Design Centre, Launceston, was exhibiting work by Brigita Ozolins, a video and sound installation entitled ‘Gorge’. Permission was gained from the centre and the artist to offer a personal movement response to the installation.

Discussion with sculptor Marielle van den Bergh, resident artist from Holland at Poimera art gallery, led to an invitation to perform a personal response to her sculptures at the opening of her exhibition (11th August 2006).

Drawing on experiences of responding to a variety of Tasmanian landscapes though movement and voice (‘Sounding Dance Improvisation’), Pam created a new solo work ‘Ode to Tasmania’, performed at UTAS (and on return to the UK), and edited a DVD: ‘Diary of a Madwoman in Tasmania’, a document of site-specific experiments which she filmed on her travels during the residency.

Other projects: Details to follow.

  • Peer Retreat with Patricia Bardi, Tuscany 2009
  • Strata: Autobiographical Movement with Sandra Reeve, Dorset 2009
  • Tagore project, Exeter Bike Shed theatre 2011
  • Dance-lab Collective: research collaboration with Law department, University of Exeter, 2012
  • 'From Page to Stage': two solos; a collaboration with Danc-lab colleague Lizzie Swinford (Exeter Bike Shed theatre 2011)
  • Film performance project with Ruth Way, Plymouth Life Centre 2013