Mrs Ruth Way

Mrs Ruth Way

Associate Head of School- Performing Arts Co-Director of Plymouth Conservatoire

School of Humanities and Performing Arts (Faculty of Arts and Humanities)


Associate Head of School : Performing Arts

Subject Leader, Theatre & Performance

Programme Leader  BA Dance Theatre 

Programme Leader MA/MFA Choreography


I studied at the London School of Contemporary Dance in Performance and Choreography 1976-1979 and in my final year was recommended to teach for the school by Jane Dudley, head of technical studies. I was invited to join Dublin Contemporary Dance Theatre and initially led both the company and evening school in all aspects of their work, in training , performance and choreography. I was awarded an Irish Arts Council grant to undertake further dance study in New York and studied intensively with Merce Cunningham and dancers from the Murray Louis/ Alwin Nikolais School and voice with Meredith Monk’s company, The House from 1983-86 Throughout my career I have worked extensively in the fields of community dance, dance in education, dance performance and choreography. I have toured internationally with Earthfall Dance ( Wales ) , throughout Europe and the States and teaching experience includes major residencies in Ireland , advanced contemporary dance technique at Laban, London and guest teaching for Cygnet Training Theatre, Exeter . I have been a company member of Lusty Juventus physical theatre working with Christine Roberts (playwright) and Roberta Mock (scenographer/director) since 1996 , as their choreographer and one of the main performers. Lusty Juventus have presented their practice as research through performative papers, articles and performances internationally.

Collaborating with visual artist and film  maker  Russell Frampton she isco-director of Enclave Productions developing dance/art films, which have beenscreened in France, Russia, Estonia, Australia Poland, USA and Brazil. Currentresearch is focused on exploring connections between somatic movement practiceand the sentient body in her performance and film practice. Her most recentfilm Blind Torrent  was selected by DFA and screened in New Yorkand  also shown as part of aninstallation for the Oklahoma Dance Film Festival. Since 2004 Ruth has studiedunder Sondra Fraleigh  East West Somatic Movement Practice and her nextpublication will feature a chapter in Fraleigh’s new book ‘ Moving Consciously’ focusing on her experiential learning and research into somaticmovement education.Ruth acts regularly as a mentor for emergingdance artists and choreographers and is a member of the board of Directors forPlymouth Dance.

Roles on external bodies

Member of steering board for Plymouth Dance , Devon

UK board representative for Eastwest Somatics USA

Teaching interests

Body in performance

European Dance Theatre Practice 

Dance and autobiographical practice


Practice as Research

Performance training and creativity

Dance as a cultural discourse
Somatic movement practice and transformational processes
Colloraborative practices and processes
Dance film making and interdisciplinary approaches

Staff serving as external examiners


Research interests

Dance and Physical Theatre, devising processes and choreographic practice

Digital dance , dance on camera and dance/art installation

Somatic movement practice and its understanding of the body as both natural and cultural.

Performance training and artistic development, focusing on the training and education of dancers who are becoming practical researchers able to integrate corporeal and verbal knowledge.

Other research

Performance Practice as Research:

'M(other)2: Research as Practice', a performative presentation with Christine Roberts and Roberta Mock. Performance as Research Working Party, International Federation of Theatre Research conference, St Petersburg, Russia; 2004.
M(other ) 3 PARIP (Practice as Research in Performance) International Conference, 2005.

'Enclave', a digital dance film made with artist Russell Frampton; 2003. Screenings: Newlyn Art gallery (2003), Penzance Live Art Symposium (2003), Dance on Camera Festival 2004 at Jerome Robbins Dance Division, Lincoln Centre Library (New York), Barbican Theatre Dance Platform (Plymouth 2004).

Selected for Dance South West showreel of dance films; Regional, national and international screenings, Jan 2005 - July 2006. These include: IFFR Rotterdam; University of Bath; The Guildhall, Gloucester; Dartington Arts; Cube Microplex, Bristol; Exeter Phoenix; Lighthouse Dorset; Truro College, Cornwall, Swindon Town Hall studios (2004); Antistatic

Screen Dance Film festival , Adelaide, Australia (2004); Adelaide festival Australia

Co-creator & Performer. 'M(other)1' for Lusty Juventus theatre company. Performed at the Argos Theatre in Athens, Greece, as part of Transformation of Movements Programme; funded by European Commission Culture 2000 Programme; 2002.

Choreographer. 'Beauty and the Beast', dir. Alistair Ganley; Cygnet New Theatre (Exeter); reviewed in The Stage; 16 public performances, 2000.

Choreographer & Performer. 'Us' by Karen Malpede for Lusty Juventus theatre company. European premiere. Performed at Exeter Phoenix; financially supported by Exeter Arts Council; 1999.

Choreographer & Performer. 'Shading the Crime' for Lusty Juventus theatre company. 16 performances in 4 venues, Exeter and London; 1998.

Choreographer & Performer. 'Ceremonial Kisses' for Lusty Juventus theatre company; 2 tours between September 1996 - September 1997; approximately 30 performances at 6 venues throughout UK; reviewed in The Stage.

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 inPlymouth. 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 - 07 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.

Creative practice & artistic projects

Dance on camera  collaborative  film practice with visual artist and film maker Russell Frampton

Creation of 360  dance films , supported by ICCI Plymouth University 

Research groups

  • Centre for Humanities, Music and Performing Arts Research (HuMPA)
  • Theatre, Dance and Performing Arts

Blind Torrent screened in New York , DFA Dance Film Association2013

A Dance film short exploringthe connections between landscape, imagined archaeologyand ritualized movement. Blind Torrent is a dance film shortexploring the landscape of Rural Devon from the perspective of imagined archaeologyand ritualized movement, exploring ideas of the nature and transmission ofknowledge and its centrality to the human condition and the essentialrelationship between our bodies and the land. Devon based ‘Enclave productions’third film is a unique collaboration between Russell Frampton, Film maker,Visual artist and musician and Ruth Way choreographer.

Blind Torrent selected for Oklahoma  Dance Film Festival , USA , 2013

Research paper and screening CENTERFOR CONTEMPORARY AND DIGITAL PERFORMANCE Brunel University March 7, 2012 and recorded for dance -tech : 

JillCraigie Cinema : Dance on Screen Series : March 28th, 2012 PlymouthUniversity

Screening: Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival 2012, Schull Ireland Programme 10,  Russell Frampton/Ruth Way  Blind Torrent :15m/UK/Dance/Over18

Screening and Research paper at Plymouth University : Theatre , Danceand Performance Research Seminar series ,  April  26, 2012

Blind Torrent 360 version to be screened in Weymouth ‘ Treasure Dome ‘part of the Cultural Olympiad events  ,supported by ICCI , August  2012

Conference paper Blind Torrent : An exploration ofunfolding textualities, somatic memory and imagined archaeology. Ruth Way &Russell Frampton : Somatics and Technology Conference , ChichesterUniversity  , June 2012


Conference paper Utah Sunshine - Experimental and collaborative DanceTheatre/ Arts film practice :  Mapping a body politic and its culturalrepresentation through an interrogation of the interface between filmicrepresentations of the moving body, spatial narratives and the process ofembedding multiple temporal locations. TOPOGRAPHIES: SITES,BODIES, TECHNOLOGIES , SDHS conference , Stanford University  June 2011

Chapter :  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)

Utah Sunshine selected forInternational Video Dance Festival Le Breuil, Burgundy France. March 2009

Utah Sunshine selected forSão Carlos Videodance Festival. Brazil Producer - São Carlos VideodanceFestival, URZE Companhia de Dança , November 2008
São Carlos, Brazil 


ul. Grunwaldzka 195/197, 80-266 Gdansk,

Dates, times and titles of projections:

29.08.2008, 21.15 pm - Enclave and Utah Sunshine

Screening of UtahSunshine May 2008 : EastwestSomatic Movement Conference , Utah , USA

Article: Layeringauthenticity and the feeling body in UtahSunshine , a dance theatre /arts film. Ruth Way in : Onthe silk route of dance, volume 3 of the Human Body a Universal Sign,Wydawnictwo Ignatianum, 2009, edited by Wiesna Mond-Kozłowska

Screening : UtahSunshine : On the silk route of dance Theatre andDance Festival ,  Biuro Festiwalowe III Festiwalu Anthropologi Tanca,Krakow 9-15 March 2008 Screening of Utah Sunshine

Journal Article: With Roberta Mock, 'Pedagogiesof Theatre (Arts) and Performance (Studies)', Studies in Theatre &Performance, Publisher:Studiesin Theatre and Performance Volume25, Number 3, pp. 201-213. :2005

Journal Article: ‘Enclave – a digital dance andvisual arts film’, Terpsichore, January, 2003.

Book Chapter: ‘Collaborative Practice and the Phenomenal Dancer: YolandeSnaith’s Theatredance’ in R. Mock (ed) Performing Processes: Creating LivePerformance. Bristol: Intellect, 2000.


Reports & invited lectures

‘My Body Remembers’, Paper and film screening, PARIP conference, Bristol University, 2003. Published online:

Invited Speaker, ‘Alternative Methods on Stage and Use of Multimedia’ conference, Athens, Greece, 2002.

‘Body/ Text/ Space: Developing Models for the Integration of Theory and practice’, National Dance Teachers Association conference, Birmingham, 2001; paper reviewed in Dance Matters.