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Personal profile

Academic Biography

Lorraine is a British dance artist based in the North East, where she currently works as senior lecturer in Dance at Teesside University. Her roles have included course leader for BA Dance and BA Performing Arts and MA Programme Leader for the MA Professional Dance Practice (delivered by Dance City in Partnership with Teesside University). 

Lorraine graduated from the University of Chichester with a 1st Class Degree in Dance Studies and holds a MA in Choreography from Trinity Laban. She also has a PGCHE (HEA Fellowship) from Teesside University.

Lorraine has worked as a dance artist in a wide range of professional, educational and community settings and has extensive experience in Inclusive Dance Practice. She was artistic director/choreographer of Silversmith Dance Theatre (2006-2014) showcasing work in the UK, Slovakia and Portugal. She has worked as Choreographer in Residence for several organisations and collaborated on numerous projects as creator and performer. Past projects include choreographer for The Making Space (Siobhan Davies Dance) and commissions for the FUSE Festival 2013 and Playgrounds Dance Company (Northampton University). 

Between 2007-2014 Lorraine was a member of Arab dance troupe Al Zaytouna, touring large scale contemporary productions in the UK and internationally. She also co-founded the Feminist Women's Institute with artist Kimberley Harvey: a collective that aimed to explore current issues related to Feminist discourse through interdisciplinary experimental performance. Lorraine has performed in numerous live dance, film, interactive performance,installations and other experimental work and has extensive training in Butoh, Skinner Releasing Technique and Dance Theatre.

View Lorraine's website.

Summary of Research Interests

Between 2009-2014 Lorraine  worked as a choreographer and performer with the MA Costume for Performance at London College of Fashion, and took on the role of choreographer for the University of Huddersfield Costume with Textiles Degree Show 2015. This has sparked her research interest in the impact of costume on live dance performance, costume as somatic tool, risky costume, performance pedagogy, identity and ‘otherness’.

Other research interests include the effects of directorial presence on the devising process, the embodiment of character in dance, interactive performance (i.e. audience – performer relationships) and the balance between movement, music, costume and lighting when creating immersive experiences for both performer and audience.

Research Projects & External Funding

Lorraine is currently engaged in the costume project PING Trilogy, a costume performance project with international costume designer Daphne Karstens (funded by Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie). This project uses innovations in costume design and performance to develop original costume performance PING into the trilogy PING-PANG-PONG. This has also included an experimental intensive 'SESSIONS #1-4' with upcycled man-made amterails to explore the concept 'Material Directs', which will be presented as part of Critical Costume 2020.

Lorraine is also exploring funding opportunities to research the use of costume as a tool to improve health and wellbeing -  a potential cross school collaboration, including Occupational Therapy, Performing Arts, Psychology and Computing.

Enterprise Interest and Activities

Lorraine, Jennifer Essex and costume designer Daphne Karstens were awarded a Festival of Thrift commission to create a community based costume performance project for 2020. Due to COVID-19 this will be postponed for the 2021 festival.

Lorraine was awarded a Stellar Projects commission (2016) to create family friendly outdoor performance Elizabeth and The Three Sisters. She is now engaged in developing the project into new areas of technology, performance and participation in other sites and venues around the Tees Valley, via external funding, such as Arts Council grants. This project also feeds into Lorraine’s research into costume performance and wearable sculpture.

Learning and Teaching Interests and Activities

As a feminist educator, Lorraine aims to cultivate students' understanding of the subject and empower them to become thinking dancers and actors who can impact their field and the wider society. Lorraine also strives to develop innovative teaching approaches, with a particular focus on improving student transition into higher education. This includes the sharing of best practice and collaborating across subjects and schools at Teesside.

Lorraine has engaged students in her research, and has presented/co-presented with students and staff as part of numerous Teesside Festival of Learning conferences.

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Projects

EATTS: Elizabeth & The Three Sisters

Smith, L., O’Donnell, A. & Heselton, P.

1/08/1631/10/16

Project: Other

Research Output

Costume as Somatic Tool in Dance Education: A Provocation

Smith, L., 6 May 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • PING Trilogy

    Smith, L. & Karstens, D., 29 Feb 2020

    Research output: Other contribution

  • SESSIONS #1, #3, #4

    Smith, L. & Karstens, D., 5 Mar 2020, (Accepted/In press).

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

  • The Material Directs: a reflection on the visual costume research project ‘SESSIONS’

    Smith, L. & Karstens, D., 5 Mar 2020, (Accepted/In press).

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther