Nightfalling : A choreological approach to twilight through a time-specific movement practice

Jeffrey, Ellen and Stewart, Nigel and Dunn, Nick (2021) Nightfalling : A choreological approach to twilight through a time-specific movement practice. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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This artistic research project is concerned with the development of a noctographic movement practice using choreological principles. This practice aims to investigate the perception of rural nightscapes through movement. The practice is designed to take place at nightfall in all seasons of the year and is therefore (i) a time-specific practice, concerned with engaging with the durational and temporal qualities of a nightscape, and (ii) a site-specific practice, concerned with co-forming place through the experience of night’s darkness. The research uses choreological analysis, phenomenology and new materialism to reflect upon the experiences that individuals and communities have of a site at night. In doing so, this thesis considers how engaging with a night-time, durational movement practice – a practice in which the real and imagined, self and other, become entangled − has the capacity to transform human and more-than-human relatedness. By engaging with night as a world in which what is visually perceived no longer equates to clarity and accuracy − a world where the imagination anticipates form rather than recognises it − this artistic research endeavours to comprehend the movement of the dancer in the dark as a patterning of potentialities that compose and de-compose within the temporalities of that nightscape. Central to this practice is the inquiry as to whether, at night, movement holds within itself the potentiality to be beyond-form, as much as the dark is beyond-vision. This written thesis is accompanied by the submission of two time-specific performances: On the Patterns We Gaze, which took place 28th - 31st March 2019 in Grubbins Wood, Cumbria ( and On the Traces We Carry, which took place April 2021, in Lancaster ( These performances were supported by a series of night-time movement workshops which took place from March 2018 to February 2019 in Grubbins Wood.

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Thesis (PhD)
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06 Oct 2021 09:10
Last Modified:
07 Mar 2024 00:02