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Nigel Stewart supervises 3 postgraduate research students. Some of the students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Nigel Stewart

Senior Lecturer

Nigel Stewart


Nigel Stewart is a dance artist and scholar.  He is Senior Lecturer in the Institute for Contemporary Arts at Lancaster University; the Artistic Director of Sap Dance (www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/projects/jackscout); Principal Investigator of the AHRC funded project Re-enchantment and Reclamation: New Perceptions of Morecambe Bay Through Dance, Film and Sound (2006-08); author of many articles and chapters on contemporary dance, dance phenomenology and environmental dance; and co-editor of Performing Nature: Explorations in Ecology and the Arts (Peter Lang 2005).  He has danced for various UK and European choreographers, including Thomas Lehmen, and as a solo artist.  Apart from Sap Dance, he has worked as a choreographer and director for Artevents, Louise Ann Wilson Company, National Theatre Wales, Theatre Nova, Theatreworks and many other UK companies, and worked for Odin Teatret in Denmark.

Research Interests

Nigel Stewart is committed to exploring contemporary dance and the environment through phenomenological philosophy and Laban Movement Analysis.  This has led in equal measure to professional performance works and to scholarly publications.  As a choreographer he has created touring theatre works, films, and rural site-specific and walking performance works which emerge from systematic field work with scientists and local conservationists; which involve close collaborations with creative writers, scenographers and sound artists; which seek to distil and disclose human experience of the other-than-human world; and which have a positive impact for local stakeholders and communities. 

Nigel’s written publications follow two lines of enquiry, each of which has generated a book-length series of essays.  The first theorises environmental dance, including his own dance works, in terms of environmental aesthetics and values.  The second uses the phenomenology and hermeneutic ontology of Derrida, Gadamer, Heidegger, Husserl, Levinas, Marion, Merleau-Ponty and others to explore the relationship between choreography and the visual arts in dance works by Lea Anderson, Eugenio Barba, Herman Diephuis, John Jasperse, Thomas Lehmen and Russell Maliphant.

Current Teaching

MA Contemporary Arts Practice (2010-Present)

BA Theatre Studies:

  • LICA 200 Critical Reflections
  • LICA 286 Modern Dance (2012-Present)
  • LICA 300 Dissertation (2009-Present)

External Roles

2011-Present  External Examiner in Dance at University of Surrey

2004-2008      External Examiner in Dance at Liverpool Hope University

2001-2004      External Examiner in Dance at Bath Spa University

2005-Present  Artistic Director of Sap Dance

Career Details

1992-Present.  Senior Lecturer in Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts, Lancaster  University.  Specialist in contemporary dance and physical theatre

1986-92.  Visiting Lecturer in Higher Education in Dance, Drama and Theatre Studies:

  • for Bedford College Of Higher Education.  Module Tutor (1988) on BA in Humanities (Drama)
  • for University Of Birmingham.  Visiting Lecturer in Theatre on BA in Drama and Theatre Arts
  • for University Of Central England.  Visiting Lecturer in Dance for Diploma in Dance in Education
  • for Wolverhampton University.  Regular part-time Lecturer (1986-88) for BA in Humanities (Theatre Studies).  Convenor & Tutor: Modern Theatrical Innovators; Popular Theatre

1986-92.  Visiting Dance and Theatre Teacher in Further/Adult Education for Birmingham City Council, Sutton College, etc.

1985-88.  Company Director/Artistic Director/Founder Theatreworks Ltd.  Professional creative, educational, and administrative consultancy (incl. second largest venue at Edinburgh Fringe 1988, annual series of summer schools from foundation to professional levels, etc.)

1984-91.  Joint Artistic Director/Founder of Theatre Nova.  Professional project-based small- and middle-scale national touring company

1981-84.  Director/Administrator/Production Manager of Cornerstone Theatre Company.  Professional full-time small-scale national touring company

1981-Present  Freelance Choreographer/Dancer/Director/Teacher

Web Links


(2000) Master of Letters (M.Litt.).  The University Of Birmingham.  Department of Drama and Theatre Arts.  Thesis: Power of/over Body: Dramaturgy as a Model of Self

(1981) Bachelor of Arts with Honours (Upper Second) in Drama, Dance, Music.  Department of Drama, Dance, Music, Film & Television.  College of Ripon & York St John (University of Leeds). 

PhDs Examined

Milburn, Gayle R L (2012) Empathy and Presence in the Performance of ‘Open’ Improvisational Dance, PhD, University of Chichester.

Sarco-Thomas, Malaika (2009) Twig Dances: Improvisation Performance as Ecological Practice, PhD, Dartington College of Arts.  External Examiner.

Ravn, Susanne (2008) Sensing Movement, Living Spaces: An Investigation of Movement Based on the Lived Experience of 13 Professional Dancers, PhD, University of Southern Denmark.  External Examiner.

Malcolm, Richard (2004) Prosthetic Stages: Bodies and Cameras in Contemporary Experimental Performance, PaR Ph.D., Lancaster University [two productions by imitating the dog and 40,000 word thesis].  Internal Examiner.

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