First Foot: an afternoon of shared practice with traditional dance artist and ethnochoreologist Nic Gareiss

Arts Practice | Event: 28.04.2019—28.04.2019

Tramway Studio, Tramway Glasgow

Join The Work Room and Nic Gareiss in dance, research and discussions. You are invited to attend one or both sessions. Please book in advance by emailing

Southern Kinespheric Rhythm: North Atlantic Percussive Dance Workshop - 90 minutes (1 - 2.30pm)

Rudolf Laban defined kinesphere as “the sphere around the body whose periphery can be reached by easily extended limbs without stepping away from the point of support when standing on one foot.” (1966, p.10) Many traditional dance forms originating in the North Atlantic, including Irish sean-nós, American flatfooting, and Canadian step dance direct energy through the southern kinesphere to cultivate a rhythmic, percussive musical relationship with the floor. Practitioners of these folk forms enact synesthetic potentiality as dance becomes audible and music is made visible. In this introductory workshop, we’ll examine percussive dance intersections and interstices, trying out footwork and rhythms from North Atlantic percussive dance traditions. (We recommend wearing supportive smooth soled shoes for this class)

Dance Research Laboratory - 90 minutes (3 - 4.30pm)

The “phenomenological turn” in the humanities sees researchers (finally!) valuing corporeality as a rich source of knowledge. However, dancers have been pioneering this methodology long before its recent rise in popularity among academics. In this laboratory-style session, we’ll discuss archival, ethnographic, and phenomenological dance research methodologies, briefly exploring each through movement and text. Together we’ll begin to draw embodied knowledge from the historical record, from the experiences of other movers, and from our own knees, hips, wrists, and ankles.

(Please bring tools with which to write, electronic or analog)


About Nic

Nic Gareiss is currently artist in residence with the Traditional Dance Forum and University of Edinburgh. He is a dancer, musician and dance researcher, whose work re-imagines movement as a musical practice, recasting dance as a medium that appears to both eyes and ears. He draws from many percussive dance traditions to wave together a dance technique facilitating his love of improvisation, traditional footwork vocabulary and musical collaboration.  Michigan-born, Nic holds degrees in anthropology and music from Central Michigan University and an MA in Ethnochoreology at the University of Limerick. His MA thesis, based upon ethnographic work with LGTBQ competitive step dancers, was the first piece of scholarship to query the experience of sexual minorities within Irish dance.  Nic will share from his own practice examining and creating performances of queerness in traditional dance.