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Dr. Jenny Roche



Dr Jenny Roche is Senior Lecturer and Course Director of the MA in Contemporary Dance Performance at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick. From 2013 to 2017 she was a Senior Lecturer in Dance at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane. She has published widely on the creative practice of dancers, dance and somatics and arts practice research and has worked extensively as a dancer, with a range of choreographers including Rosemary Butcher, Jodi Melnick, John Jasperse, Michael-Keegan Dolan and Liz Roche. She continues to work as a collaborator and performer in various creative arts research contexts. From 2007 to 2011 she was dance advisor to the Arts Council of Ireland. Her book Multiplicity, Embodiment and the Contemporary Dancer: Moving Identities was published in 2015.

Research Interests

At the core of my research are questions emerging from the phenomenological perspective of dancers who are both live self-aware participants in the choreographic process and the material through which the choreography is realised and the dance formed. Through practical enquiry and experimentation based on my own experience as a dancer and the experiences of other dancers working within this genre, I continue to explore how contemporary dancers' embodied knowledge unfolds through the choreographic process. My research extends into the fields of dance and somatic practices, particularly in relation to the influence of somatic approaches on dance training. I have had an international career as a dancer, choreographer and artistic director for over twenty years and continue to work on projects within arts practice research contexts.

I have a broad range of skills as a researcher, moving between academic scholarship, arts policy and creative practice contexts. I have published extensively on a range of subjects including creative practice and dance training. Aside from publishing, I have also worked as a collaborator on interdisciplinary creative practice outputs with international artists in recent years. Most recently, Time Over Distance Over Time, which received highly competitive Australia Council funding, was performed in Australia and Ireland and brought together artists and researchers from Ireland, the UK and Australia to develop a new creative work, which was also funded by the Arts Council of Ireland and Culture Ireland. It involved an international collaboration across a range of venues, festivals, production companies and funders in a highly complex project. In January 2017, I worked with digital artists Ruth Gibson and Bruno Martelli and choreographer Carol Brown (Associate Professor from the University of Auckland), to develop a film installation, We Are Here And We Are Everywhere At Once, filmed in Central Otago, New Zealand and presented in galleries in Auckland and London.

Teaching Interests

My key research area is the dancer’s creative engagement with choreographic processes. This feeds my creative practice research outputs and publications, as I explore this viewpoint from somatic, narrative, and philosophical perspectives. This experiential focus informs my dance teaching through the use of somatic approaches in technique and creative learning to draw out the individuality and autonomy of students as reflective learners. Another key focus area is creative practice research methodologies, with a particular interest in research training for postgraduate students undertaking creative practice research.



Book Chapter


Dancing, Identity and Place: Balancing Subjectivity and Technique in Contemporary Dance Training
Jenny Roche
Dance Matters in Ireland: Contemporary Dance Performance and Practice DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-66739-3


What would it be if it didn't have to be like that?: Undisciplining the travel of dance ideas in the Neo-liberal university
Jenny Roche and Alys Longley
Undisciplining Dance in Nine Movements and Eight Stumbles


Moving between first-person and third-person bodies in dance teaching
Jenny Roche
Practicing Dance:A Somatic Orientation


Disorganising principles: Corporeal fragmentation and the possibilities for repair
Jenny Roche
Attending to Movement: Somatic Perspectives on Living in This World


Dancing as knowledge production/dancer as researcher in practice-led research
Roche, Jenny
Research in Arts: The Oscillation of the Methods

Conference Contribution

Conference Publication

Other Journal


Perceiving the interactive body in dance: Enhancing kinesthetic empathy through art objects
Smith, Michael and Roche, Jennifer
Body, Space and Technology

Peer Reviewed Journal


Shifting embodied perspectives in dance teaching
Roche, J
Journal Of Dance & Somatic Practices DOI: 10.1386/jdsp.8.2.143_1

Published Report