Chris Jannides

Dear members of the Steering Committee,

I wish to wholeheartedly thank you for the financial support of £500 I received last year from the Rebecca Skelton Fund and to provide you with a report on how the grant has assisted me.

My request to the Rebecca Skelton Fund was for financial assistance towards my PhD studies at the University of Chichester, and its investigation and research into everyday public movement. More specifically it was to help me to ensure the involvement of key dancers who have become central to my process, and to acquire computer software for the analysis and manipulation of the movement I have been filming of pedestrians, and the subsequent translation of this into dance choreography.

I have now reached the end of my second year of full-time study, and am aiming to complete my PhD at the end of this upcoming year. The research I am doing is practice-based and, as such, includes a practical component, which in my case, is the completion of a choreographic work. For this I have become dependent on two dancers who have become vital to my research project due to the fact that they have been involved with it from the start. These dancers were MA dance students at the University of Chichester when I began my studies so their availability on campus made participation easy. However, since graduating, both are now freelancing in the professional and independent dance communities, one in Brighton and the other in London. In order for me to continue to develop my ideas without having to start completely from scratch with new dancers, over the past year a proportion of the Rebecca Skelton grant has made it possible for me to bring these two dancers down to Chichester on a regular basis to work with me, which has provided the choreographic progress of my research with substantial growth, maturity, and momentum. So I am grateful to the Fund for enabling these dancers to be able to continue to make a vital contribution to my project, their intelligence, experience, and maturity supply considerable data to my choreographic research that is unique and insightful, and I greatly value their input.

The remainder of the grant was put towards the purchase of compositing software called Shake that allows me to manipulate the film footage I am taking of the dancers, and of pedestrians in the streets of Chichester, for the purposes of more detailed movement analysis, as well as in making video for presentations and artistic use. The central part of my investigation and its practical outcomes has been devising a choreographic toolkit/model based on a range of movement principles observed and extracted from everyday pedestrian activity. This model and its components are then explored in the dance studio with a goal to producing distinctive choreographic outcomes that are sourced in the ‘natural’ movement principles of social interaction. The use of video and computer manipulation, via the software I have been able to purchase, has allowed a depth of visual analysis and investigation that has been crucial to my project and to a PhD level of research.

Once more, I am extremely thankful to the Rebecca Skelton Fund for providing me with financial assistance towards the needs I have outlined above. The end of 2009 culminated in me passing my PhD upgrade, which is a milestone that was greatly assisted by the help that you have given me. As previously mentioned, my goal is to complete my studies by the end of 2010, I will continue to inform you of my progress and to acknowledge the Rebecca Skelton Fund at every opportunity.

Many thanks

Chris Jannides
PhD candidate
University of Chichester