Mrs Ruth Way
Associate Head of School - Performing Arts
School of Art, Design and Architecture (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)
Associate Professor Theatre and Performance
Portfolio Lead Music and Theatre
I am a dancer and choreographer with research interests in screendance, performance training and somatic movement practice. Following my professional dance training at the London School of Contemporary Dance I performed and taught internationally with Dublin Contemporary Dance, Earthfall Dance and Lusty Juventus Physical Theatre. From 1983–1986 I studied further in New York at the Murray Louis Alwin Nikolais School, Merce Cunningham Studio and with Simon Forti and Meredith Monk.
As a practical scholar I have presented my research through performative papers, articles, screenings and performances internationally. In collaboration with visual artist and film maker Russell Frampton, I have co-produced and directed dance/art films which have been selected for major festivals in Europe, USA, Australia and Brazil.
I am passionate about dance and movement for everyone and how being in movement can support wellbeing. As an active researcher in the field of somatic movement practice, this research informs my teaching across our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. I have supervised research projects in the areas of somatic movement practice, dance and inclusivity, screendance, digital dance and choreography .
Professional Dance Training in Choreography and Performance, London School of Contemporary Dance (1976–1979).
Continued professional development and training with Merce Cunningham Studio; Murray Louis/Alwin Nikolais School; Vocal training and performance practice with Meredith Monk; Limon technique with Ruth Currier, New York (1983–1986).
Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching & Learning in Higher Education, University of Plymouth (2000).Eastwest Somatics Institute for Yoga, Dance and Movement Studies, certified and registered Somatic Movement Educator with ISMETA, 2015.
- The Standing Conference of University Drama Departments (SCUDD)
- The International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association (ISMETA)
- Eastwest Somatics Institute
- IAPESGW – Women and Girls in Sport
- Association for Somatic Movement Dance Therapies: UK & Republic of Ireland & MovingSoma
Roles on external bodies
UK board representative for Eastwest Somatics Institute USA.
Board Member for the Association for Somatic Movement Dance Therapies: UK & Republic of Ireland & MovingSoma
Specialist teaching areas and research informed teaching include:
- Embodiment Practices: Somatic Movement Practice
- Screendance: Dance on Camera
- The Body in Performance
- Dance Theatre Practice
- Performance Training
- Dance as a cultural discourse
- Embodied knowledge: Practice as Research and new methodologies
- Digital Dance
My main research areas are:
- Somatic movement practice
- Intergenerational community dance practice
Grants & contracts
- EU-funded project entitled Heaven On Earth?, Research team Roberta Mock, Kayla Parker and Ruth Way. Also working with local partners such as Plymouth Arts Centre and Pride in Plymouth. January 2014 - July 2014.
- Performances [M(other)1]: Argo Theatre, Athens (Greece), 2-7 October 2002, as part of Transformation of Movements programme (funded by the European Commission Culture 2000 Programme).
- 2006 - 2007 Utah Sunshine collaborative dance/arts film project funded by Major Arts Council of England Award, Exeter Arts Council, and Faculty of Arts, University of Plymouth.
Key publications are highlightedJournals
Way,R & Frampton R. The International Journal of Screendance 6:12 May 2016Imagined Archaeology and Enlivening the Proximate Senses in the construction of Blind Torrent – An Interdisciplinary Screendance Project
Way, R. (2017) ‘Developing experiential openness and reciprocity in Viridian (2014), a cross - generational community dance experience and practice as research screendance project’ in Dance Research Aotearoa, Volume 4, 2016/ 2017 Journal.
Mock, R. & Way, R. (2005) 'Pedagogiesof Theatre (Arts) and Performance (Studies)', Studies in Theatre &Performance, Publisher:Studies in Theatre and Performance Volume25, Number 3, pp. 201-213.
Roberta Mock, Kayla Parker and Ruth Way ( 2017) “Heaven is a Place: The politics and poetics of LGBT location in a community dance film.” In Sarita Malik, Caroline Chapain and Roberta Comunian (eds), Community Filmmaking: Diversity, Practice and Places. London: Routledge.
Way, R. (2015) ‘Somatic Awakenings’ in Moving Consciously Somatic Transformations Through Dance, Yoga and Touch (ed) Fraleigh, S. University of Illinois Press
Utah Sunshine : Authenticity and perception in themaking of Utah Sunshine: a dance theatre/arts film in Sensualities/Textualities &Technologies: Writings of the Body in 21st Century Performance with Palgrave Macmillan to bepublished early in 2009 Susan Broadhurst and Jo Machon ( eds)
‘Collaborative Practice and the Phenomenal Dancer: YolandeSnaith’s Theatredance’ in R. Mock (ed) Performing Processes: Creating LivePerformance. Bristol: Intellect, 2000.
IAPESGW 18th World Congress - Women and Girls in Sport: Research to Action Barry University, Florida, USA 17 – 21 May 2017
Conference Paper : A Somatic Movement Approach to Moving and Resourcing Our Creativity and Connection to Life.
Heaven is a Place Dance Film ( 2014) Roberta Mock, Kayla Parker and Ruth Way co-authors/co-producers
Screenings with research papers:
Symposium: The Road to Heaven is Under Construction, Pireus, Athens, Greece (preview screening, 6 June 2014). Papers by Roberta Mock and Ruth Way.
Symposium: The Jean Genie. Why Jean Genet Matters. In Plymouth (And Other Places). Right Now, Plymouth Arts Centre Cinema, Plymouth (UK premiere, 29 June 2014). Paper by Alan Butler. Introductions by Kayla Parker and Roberta Mock.
PEP (Performance, Experience, Presence) and Moving Image Arts (MIA) research event. Papers by Roberta Mock and Ruth Way. Jill Craigie Cinema, Plymouth University (29 January 2015)
Screenings with introductions and/or discussion:
International Federation of Theatre Research World Congress (IFTR) Warwick University, UK (27 July to 1 August 2014). Introduction by Roberta Mock
Marginal Perceptions: Queer Voices In and Beyond Conventional Disciplines International Queer Studies Conference: ‘Jean Genet and the Queer History of Plymouth’. Presented by Alan Butler, Pride in Plymouth; University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Cornwall (7 March 2015)
Heaven is a pace Competition Screenings
Competition Winners 2014 Cornwall Film Festival, Falmouth (17 April 2015, Official Selection; and Runner Up, Cornwall Film Festival Audience Award)
KINO DER KUNST Selbstfindungen programme Audimaxx of Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film, München, Germany (22 to 26 April 2015, International Competition)
Kino der Kunst 2015 Highlights Neues Museum, Nürnberg, Germany (17 May 2015, Uhr Selbstfindungen programme)
Short Waves Festival 2016 Dances with Camera Competition, Słodownia, Stary Browar, Poznań, Poland (16 March 2016)
Big Screen, Armada Way, Plymouth City Centre, for Plymouth Pride (9 August 2014)
Plymouth Art Weekender, Scott Building, Plymouth University (25 to 27 September 2015)
Polish Institute for Music and Dance, The Studio Theatre, Warsaw, Poland; a programme of selected dance films from the Short Waves Festival (22 to 24 March 2016)
Trans(m)it International Film Festival, featuring films made through meaningful collaboration; daily programme presented online by Project Trans(m)it, with Heaven is a Place in the Day 5 ‘best of’ selection programme and screened live at The Iron Factory Philadelphia, PA, USA; also featured in the festival promotional film (27 May 2016)
It’s LIQUID International Arts Show, Venice, Italy (16 December 2016 to 15 January 2017)
Venice International Experimental Arts Festival: OUT OF BORDERS, international exhibition of architecture, photography, painting, video art, installation and performance art; Palazzo Ca’ Zanardi, Venice, Italy (14 December 2016 to 16 January 2017)