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Liz Pavey

Assistant Professor

Department: Arts


Liz Pavey, dance artist/researcher (improviser, choreographer and teacher), has lectured in performance at Northumbria University since 2004. Her practice research focuses on the relationship of the moving body to its environment interconnected with questions concerning somatic awareness and wellbeing. She enjoys working with Theatre & Performance and Fine Art students from Foundation to Postgraduate levels.  Her teaching in movement, contemporary dance, performance and the body is informed by her practice research and her work as a Shiatsu (Japanese bodywork) practitioner. She is qualified in business coaching and works as part of the university's Internal Coaching Network. 

Liz is a Senior Fellow of the HEA. She is External Examiner for BA Dance Performance & Teaching at UCLan and for MA Dance Performance & Choreography at University of Bedfordshire. She was previously External Examiner for Dance at Chester University and at MMU. 

Liz is a founding member and coordinator of d.i.n.e. (dance improvisation north east) a collective of professional artists whose innovative creative dance practice is informed by somatic practices and philosophy.  

Before joining Northumbria University, Liz was Senior Lecturer in Dance at Wolverhampton University. She holds an MA The Body & Representation from Reading University and a BA(Hons) Dance in Society from Surrey University. During her undergraduate studies she spent a year at Ohio State University taking courses in dance, LMA and advanced Labanotation. 

For details of Liz's current research please select 'Research Themes and Scholarly Interests' below.



Liz Pavey

Liz Pavey is a dance artist/researcher (improviser, choreographer and teacher) whose practice investigates relationships between moving bodies and their environments. Her personal values, practice and research imperatives are concerned with fostering individual and collective wellbeing. Liz’s work is informed by phenomenology and theories of embodiment, somatics, perception and affect together with Eastern perspectives unpinning her work as a Shiatsu (Japanese bodywork) practitioner. Arising from her expertise in practices including Qigong, Contact Improvisation and Laban Movement Analysis, key research themes encompass slowness, grounding, empathy and sensitive touch.

Liz’z practice research is often site-specific or gallery based. She is currently leading Living Stone: We are the rocks dancing a practice-research project investigating our relationship to the living earth through durational improvisation dance. The first performance took place at the GNM Hancock as part of the Being Human festival 2022. 

Previous projects Take Your Seats (at locations including the Shipley Art Gallery and Hexham Abbey) and Green Grass (for the Great Exhibition of the North FRINGE) have investigated basic actions of sitting, rolling, reclining and resting.

Liz values working as a co-investigator on collaborative interdisciplinary research:

The Other Side of Me (with writer Laura Fish) is a practice-led research project exploring how language and movement engage with a narrative concerning experiences of indigeneity, place, freedom, and young people's experience of the criminal justice system. The project has included intensive cross art-form experiences for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people and young offenders at a Secure Children's Home. The current stage, funded by ACE, involves work with leading Indigenous Australian choreographer Gary Lang to create of a physical theatre performance combing different narrative forms – writing, dance, oral storytelling.  

Eyemouth People & The Sea (with theatre director Fiona MacPherson) is process-led practice research (funded by Creative Scotland) embedded within contemporary coastal environments and leading to cooperatively created participatory performances through the development of innovative methodologies that actively engage embodied listening. This work builds on the previous project in collaboration with this community, Get Up and Tie Your Fingers Eyemouth. 

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Get Up and Tie Your Fingers Eyemouth: Listening for dialogic resonance within a co-produced community performance, Pavey, L., MacPherson, F. 1 Jun 2022, In: Journal of Arts & Communities
  • The Stolen Generations: Offering creative writing, visual art and dance to young people in secure centres , Fish, L., Pavey, L. 1 Nov 2022
  • The Other Side of Me: Moving words into motion, Fish, L., Pavey, L. 1 Mar 2021, In: Journal of Adaptation in Film & Performance
  • The Other Side of Me video, Fish, L., Pavey, L. Jun 2021
  • Green Grass: A Rolling Project, Pavey, L., Pencak, C., Rann, K. 7 Sep 2018
  • Rotation Process: Expanded screening event taking place within Feel After the New See at Hatton Gallery, Liston, K., Larkin, F., Pavey, L., Denman-Cleaver, T. 21 Apr 2018
  • Get Up and Tie Your Fingers Eyemouth: Tradfest, Scottish Storytelling Centre , MacPherson, F., Pavey, L., Coburn, A., Wimhurst, K., Logan, E. 30 Apr 2017
  • Take a Pew: Durational improvised movement-based performance exploring sitting affordances located within Hexham Abbey, Pavey, L. 12 Feb 2017

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Hosting an academic visitor: Gary Lang 2020
  • Participating in a conference, workshop, ...: Art in the Anthropocene 2019
  • Oral presentation: The Other Side of Me 2019
  • Oral presentation: Active Listening as Environment: empowering a coastal community to listen anew to their shared stories 2019
  • Oral presentation: Get Up and Tie Your Fingers: Choreography, Touch and Affect 2018
  • Hosting an academic visitor: Tim Supple 2017

  • Teaching & Learning PGCert June 30 2001
  • Arts (general) MA (Hons) June 30 2001
  • ILM Level 5 Coaching and Mentoring 2015
  • Senior Fellow (SFHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2015

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