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Research by faculty members in the School of Creative and Performing Arts is distinguished by its diversity, in both the modes of investigation and the means of dissemination, and by its pursuit of the highest standards of scholarship, artistic creation and performance. Using contemporary methodologies, these faculty members investigate or give artistic expression to the central themes of the human condition. By critically interrogating, reinterpreting or recontextualizing the work of the past or by imagining new modes of expression for the future, scholars and creators and performers in the School seek to bring a deeper understanding of humanity's role in a dynamic global environment.

The tools are reason and imagination informed by both traditional craft and technological sophistication. The products of this exploration are books, articles, conference papers, compositions, dramatic scripts, choreography, dramatic performances, dances, instrumental and vocal performances, interactive electroacoustic diffusion, improvisation, digital media, theatrical design, videos, sonic arts installations, internet and telemedia diffusion, recordings, broadcasts –indeed, the mode of dissemination is always an essential means of integrating form and content.

The range of interest within the School is large, exploring such themes as: the intellectual themes inherent in artistic expression through books such as Penny Farfan's Women, Modernism, and Performance, Friedemann Sallis' A Handbook to Twentieth-Century Musical Sketches, or Anna Mouat's Dancing Images; character and relationship in the plays of Clem Martini or through the directing skills of Brian Smith and Patrick Finn; the frontiers of expression through movement in time and space by Valerie Campbell in a dramatic context or Melissa Monteros and Melanie Kloetzel in dance; the expressive range of the human voice by Dawn McCaugherty in theatre and Donald Bell and Patricia Hrynkiw in musical performance; the subtle relationship between text and music in the vocal and choral compositions of William Jordan; the role of creativity in performance through contact improvisation by Wojciech Mochniej and jazz improvisation in dance by Michèle Moss and in music by Jeremy Brown; the expressive possibilities of new media in the theatre found in the designs of April Viczko  and Patrick du Wors  and in sonic arts through the compositions of David Eagle and Laurie Radford; the development of the educated artist though performance and pedagogy in the work of Edmond Agopian, Marilyn Engle and Joelle Welling; modes of educating the general public through performance, reviews and public events in the work of Kenneth DeLong and Barry Yzereef; and, the relationship between dance and healthcare in the work of Anne Flynn, a member of a major research team of SSRCH funded scholars. This small list by no means captures the complete range of interests in the School or for any individual faculty member.

The School of Creative and Performing Arts is an integral component of the University of Calgary's Eyes High Strategic Vision. The Strategic Research Plan has as one of its research platforms "Human Dynamics in a Changing World" and identifies clearly that the University of Calgary's "writers, musicians, playwrights and choreographers provide creative expressions of important social issues and contribute significantly to Calgary's reputation as a cultural hub."

Research Highlights

Penny Farfan (Drama) is the editor of Theatre Journal. In November, she will be participating in a panel entitled “Publish, Don’t Perish: Articles” at the American Society for Theatre Research Conference in Dallas. She will also be chairing a panel at the conference, and is a member of the 2013 ASTR Conference Program Committee. Her book, Contemporary Women Playwrights: Into the Twenty-First Century, co-edited with Lesley Ferris, is forthcoming from Palgrave Macmillan in December 2013

Melanie Kloetzel (Dance) set an excerpt of her choreographic work The Alice Odyssey on the Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre for performances at Dusk Dances in Toronto in July, 2013. She created a duet with Deanne Walsh for performance at the inaugural concert in Calgary of the new movement collective ReLocate of which she is a founder.

Vladimir Levtov (Music) will be presenting a paper entitled Alexander Scriabin – his music and his philosophy at the annual International Conference on Humanities & Arts in a Global World to be held in Athens in January of 2014.

Christopher Haworth (post-doctoral fellow, Music) has had his “Xenakis Sound Synthesis: Its Aesthetics and Influence on ‘Extreme Computer Music’” published in Resonances: Noise and Contemporary Music (Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2013). His Vertizontal Hearing (Up & Down, I then II) was performed at the Toronto Electroacoustic Symposium, New Adventures in Sound Art in Toronto in August 2013. He gave a presentation entitled “Curatorial Sound Synthesis: A ‘Minor’ Sound Praxis in Recent Computer Music” at Music, Digitisation, Mediation: Towards Interdisciplinary Music Studies at Oxford University in July 2013.

Laurie Radford’s (Music) new work _fuse_!, for eight instruments and 8-channel audio signal processing, commissioned by Victoria’s Aventa Ensemble and funded by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, was premiered at La Roulette in Brooklyn, NY in February 2013 with subsequent performances in Calgary, Ottawa and Toronto. As part of a research project at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT) at McGill University, Laurie Radford produced a thirty-minute work for two voices, six percussion, 8-channel audio signal processing and live video. The Body Loop, funded in part by the Canada Council for the Arts, was premiered in May 2013 by the Sixtrum Percussion Ensemble at the Multimedia Room of the Schulich School of Music, McGill University.

Clem Martini (Drama) will be attending a workshop performance of one of his plays at the Waterloo East Theatre Company in London England, leading to a large-scale production in 2014.

Lorene Shyba's (Drama) short video made on iPad camera and microphone "Archaic Women's Menses Site: An Ancient Spa" screened at the Archaeology Film Festival in Portland, Oregon. She will be travelling to Instanbul, Turkey to present a workshop "Interactive Story Creation with Smartphone Video" at the International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS 2013).