Flow Project

James Hewison, Elsa Bradley

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther (conference)


    The FLOW project (2010-2013) investigates the application of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s theory of optimal performance (Flow) to dance practices, examining its potential to promote risk-taking in improvisatory contexts, specifically in the post-modern dance form, Contact Improvisation. Co-investigators: Hewison; Elsa Urmston (freelance Dance Science researcher). FLOW centred on a series of dance improvisation laboratory/workshops, which generated forms of evidence, including participant narratives; participant feedback; video-recordings of practice; interviews. This data grounded investigation of FLOW processes as experienced both by participants’ and workshop-leaders’ (Hewison; Urmston). Primary research questions: • What specific techniques and approaches might optimise access to flow for participants in dance improvisation? • Can specific dance improvisation facilitation strategies be transposed into a flow model transferable across other creative learning contexts? Findings to date indicate that certain approaches to facilitating improvisation experiences are indeed more effective in enabling access to flow-states than others. Specifically, there is of the efficacy of using a mix of closed and open-ended tasks and scaffolded development of exercises, as key structuring features of the process. Initial findings of a pilot project were presented to the Bridging the Gaps Conference (University of Bedfordshire, 2010) and FLOW has been disseminated since then via the following national and international platforms: • Risk and Flow: How does the experience of flow facilitate and optimise risk-taking in the practice of improvisation in the context of dance? Workshop/Presentation, International Association of Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) (Annual Conference, Singapore, October 2012) • Flow: Narratives of creativity and spontaneity in the learning experience. Workshop/Presentation at Storyville: Exploring narratives of learning and teaching (2nd annual HEA Arts and Humanities conference, Brighton, 2013) Evidence Portfolio contains: • DVD of Storyville Workshop (HEA: Brighton, 2013) • Conference Abstract (Brighton, 2013) • Conference Abstract (IADMS conference, Singapore 2012) • Unpublished complementary writing on Contact Improvisation/flow/risk-taking
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010
    EventHigher Education Academy (HEA) Arts & Humanities Conference - Singapore/Brighton
    Duration: 25 Oct 201230 May 2013


    WorkshopHigher Education Academy (HEA) Arts & Humanities Conference


    Dive into the research topics of 'Flow Project'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this