How does the city move you? On Bodies, Identity and Urban Design — Part of London Festival of Architecture ← Talks ← Siobhan Davies Dance

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Mon 27 Sep 2021

Studios open 10am–8pm

How does the city move you? On Bodies, Identity and Urban Design: Part of London Festival of Architecture
Sat 30 Jun 2018, 12.30–7.30pm

Siobhan Davies Studios
£10 / 6 Book tickets Book here

Siobhan Davies Studios is fully accessible and this event will be BSL interpreted.

Our cities are built based on generalised ideas about human bodies and how we move. What if choreography could challenge these assumptions and help urban design imagine more diverse identities?

Theatrum Mundi and Siobhan Davies Dance present an afternoon bringing researchers and practitioners from urbanism and dance into dialogue. The event explores how choreographic thinking could inform urban design and planning, broadening our understanding of the relationships between bodies, movement and the city.

Join two discussions about how architecture imagines the body, and how different cultures of movement can resist this. Participate in workshops on urban rhythms and relationships, queer gesturing in public, and Latin shaping of public spaces near Siobhan Davies Studio in Elephant & Castle. Witness performance interventions by disabled and non-disabled dance artists from Candoco Dance Company in and around the building. And meet researchers, designers, performers, and choreographers over drinks.

Candoco Dance Company will be in residence at Siobhan Davies Studios June 25-29. Company dance artists will be researching their own embodied relationship to identity and urban design, in and around the Studios. Individuals will share their performance practice throughout the building.

Dance artist Tanja Erhardt, formerly of Candoco Dance Company, is creating a specially-commissioned zine documenting her experiences of navigating the city with different physical versions of herself.


12.30 - Arrival: Coffee and welcome

12.45 - Richard Sennett: The politics of gesture

13.15 - Imagined Bodies: What kind of urban body is assumed? What physical identities is the city designed around? And how can choreographic thinking help imagine and articulate other kinds of physicality?

Sara Adhitya, Urban Designer / Research Associate, UCL- squared
Ellie Cosgrave, Director, UCL City Leadership Lab
Joel Brown, Dance Artist
Chair: John Bingham-Hall, Director, Theatrum Mundi

14.15-14.30 Break

14.30 - Cultures of Movement
How are shapes and rhythms formed in the social life of cities? How do queer or migrant cultures of movement, for example, inhabit the city?

Sam Causer, Architect, Director, Studio Sam Causer
Rosemary Lee, Choreographer and filmmaker
Akil Scafe-Smith,  Public Practice Associate / RESOLVE Co-Founder
Chair: Lauren Wright, Programme Director, Siobhan Davies Dance

15.30-16.00 - Break with light refreshments provided

16.00-17.30 - Parallel workshops (sign up for one on arrival): 

Adesola Akinleye: Choreographing the City: at the city limits
Exploring where choreographic and architectural problems meet, collide and inform each other. The workshop will play with seeing the moving-body as the canvas for how the city shapes and is shaped.  

Joselyne Contreras and Dr Jorge Saavedra Utman: Walking Latin Elephant
What does it mean to inhabit a space? How do our senses embrace cities? Let's walk through Elephant and Castle to approach the relationship between bodies, representation, memory and identity.

Carlos Maria Romero aka Atabey: Vogue-Chi
No previous experience is required. Vogue-Chi is OPEN FOR ALL ages and backgrounds. Vogue-Chi is a multigenerational queer and allies safe space for self-expression and coming together.

17.45 - Siobhan Davies: closing remarks

18.00 - Candoco Dance Company performed interventions based on results of research residency:                        

19.30 - Ends

Presented in partnership between Siobhan Davies Dance and Theatrum Mundi, as part of the ongoing research project Choreographing the City, carried out in collaboration with UCL’s City Leadership Laboratory. With the participation of Candoco Dance Company.

Siobhan Davies Studios is fully accessible and this event will be BSL interpreted.

Please contact Judith Ward,, if you have any specific access requirements.

Click here to book you place

For more information contact or call 0207 0919 650. 

Concessions are available for full–time students (with valid NUS or ISIC cards), assistants or professional carers of people with disabilities and those who are receiving Universal Credit, Pension Credit or Disability Living allowance. 

Venue info

Siobhan Davies Studios
85 St George's Road
London SE1 6ER
T +44 (0)20 7091 9650