University of Hertfordshire psychologist ‘dancing’ at Edinburgh 2010

A PSYCHOLOGIST, known as Dr Dance at the University of Hertfordshire, is appearing at the Edinburgh International Festival this month.

Dr Peter Lovatt will continue his research into why people dance as he hosts Dance Doctor, Dance! The Psychology of Dance Show following his findings earlier this year which got the country talking about dancing, hormones and why we love (or hate) to dance and made dad dancing a specialised dance sensation.

The show brings to life Dr Lovatt’s scientific dance lab experiments on: Dance and Thinking, Dance and Emotions, Dance & Hormones and Dance ‘Why it feels great to gyrate!’

In preparation for the performance, Dr Lovatt made lists of four sets of feelings and invited people to opt to create a dance based on a particular feeling and he then selected dancers to take part in the show.

The list included 194 feelings ranging from “love” and “adore” to “horrified” and “infuriated”.


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“The response I received was, literally, overwhelming in terms of the number of submissions and in the diversity of dance styles,” said Dr Lovatt, pictured.

“Some of the pieces were obvious. Some were shocking and unsettling; others were beautiful, surprising and complex.

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“The collection of pieces made me question what was and wasn’t ‘dance’ and having spoken to some of the choreographers I found it interesting that people have such different ways of conceptualising and representing emotion.”

His show includes live and screened dance performances, and the opportunity for the audience to join in.

Dr Lovatt will also conduct the world’s largest hand jive as part of Edinburgh 2010.

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