Cognition, Kinesthetics and Performance


CKP has a very active research profile. To find out more about our research click on one of the following.


Practice Based Research

Imagining Autism: AHRC Funded Project


Imagining Autism is a collaboration between drama and psychology that seeks to remediate the difficulties autistic children have with communication, social interaction and imagination. Using multidisciplinary drama interventions and play, we create an opening into the autistic child’s world through performance. The expert team will facilitate physical interactions between performer and child using puppetry, objects, light, sound and digital media – we create magical sensory environments in which autistic children are free to dream and wonder, free to lose themselves and to explore, while potentially finding new ways of connecting with the world around them.

We hope this project will not only unlock the imaginations of the children with whom we work, but will also demonstrate credible and rigorous research into the positive effects that drama interventions can have for autistic children. Interventions with the children will be recorded and evaluated, developing a transferable ‘proven methodology’ for activities that affect positive change in the behavior of autistic children. Our aim is for this research to have future benefits for a wide range of related conditions in the areas of Health, Education and Social Services.

Imagining Autism is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.  The Project Directors are Prof. Nicola Shaughnessy and Dr Melissa Trimingham.

Beat by Virginia Pitts

Witnessing the disparities and conflicts among a group of young adults, a clear-sighted 10-year-old boy triggers a series of musical, choreographic and culinary conversations. Drawing on the languages of music, narrative, dance and cinema, Beat explores the challenges of bringing together a diverse group of individuals without quashing their differences.

Official Festival Selections:
- In competition: 13th VideoDanzaBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina
- In competition: 6th Cyprus International Film Festival
- In competition: 3rd Chicago International Movies and Music Festival,
- In competition: Cinesonika International Film Festival, Canada
- New Zealand International Film Festival
- Raglan Film Festival, NZ Winner: Best Actor (Reiki Ruawai)

Written, directed and produced by Virginia Pitts (2010).

In Time with Shakespeare

In Time with Shakespeare uses the embodied experience of actors and audiences of the rhythms of Shakespeare in performance to investigate its unique status and enduring appeal. It will investigate the production, performance and reception of Shakespeare’s works in relation to the phenomenon of entrainment.  Describing the systematic co-occurrence of movements or internal states over time, and hence the process whereby independent rhythmic systems interact and synchronize, entrainment is a fundamental concept in behavioral science, underpinning movement and communication in social settings, and acting as a key mechanism for fostering rapport, group identification, and affiliation.




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Last Updated: 03/10/2014