Dr Ellie Nixon

Dr Ellie Nixon

Dr Ellie Nixon is Director of Film and Performing Arts at Norwich University of the Arts. She is a theatre director, actor and teacher with over thirty years extensive international experience in the performing arts. Her role is to support and enhance a vibrant community of learning, research and knowledge exchange within the disciplines of Film and Performing Arts.

I graduated from Middlesex University and trained at the Jacques Lecoq International Theatre School in Paris (1987-89). In 1989 I co-founded the La Mancha International Theatre Company and continue to be its UK Artistic Director. The company has produced over thirty theatre projects in English, Spanish, French and Norwegian, performing throughout the UK, Europe, Scandinavia, Central and South America. Each production has used the devising process to create highly visual new work and theatrical adaptations. La Mancha has received funding from The British Arts Council, Norsk Kassettavgiftsfond, Norwegian Embassy in Chile, La Corporación Nacional de Cobre de Chile (CODELCO), Centro Nacional de las Artes – CENART, Mexico, The Chilean Arts Foundation, The Pre-Colombian Museum – Chile.

In 1995 I co-founded La Mancha International School of Image and Gesture in Santiago, Chile with the theatre director Rodrigo Malbrán. The school offers professional training in contemporary theatre making and postgraduate courses in acting, directing, teaching and theatre in Human Development. Underpinned by the Lecoq tradition, the La Mancha School is unique in South America. Students come from all over the world to study there and graduates have gone on to form many innovative national and international theatre and dance companies. They are also successfully acting and directing in theatre, film and television.

My research explores embodied approaches to contemporary performance practice and performer training. Drawing on a range of interdisciplinary perspectives, material engagement theory and environmental humanities, I seek to articulate the projective interplay between the sensate imagining body and the material world as a dynamic force for creative practice.

Publications

  • 2023 — Nixon, E. Imagining Bodies and Performer Training is a practical and theoretical exploration of the embodied imagining processes of devised performance. Forming part of the Routledge series, Perspectives on Performer Training, this book brings together the work of French theatre pedagogue Jacques Lecoq and the writings of French Philosopher Gaston Bachelard to offer twenty-first century perspectives on performer training in which the human and more-than-human are co-implicated in the devising process.
  • 2022 — Judo as a devising practice: Yves Klein, La Mancha and Chile. Theatre, Dance and Performance Training journal published by Routledge Journals, Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • 2018 — Nixon, E. Moving Rock, Embodied Correspondences with the Material World as a Force for Creative Practice, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training journal published by Routledge Journals, Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • 2016 — Nixon, E (2016) La Mancha Theatre Company and School – Chile, in: Evans, M., Kemp, R. (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Jacques Lecoq, Abingdon: Routledge. 372-379

Practice and papers

  • 2022 — Nixon, E. Imagining Bodies and Creative Practice, Keynote presentation at the Sensory Storytelling, Imagination, and Wellbeing Project Symposium, University of Leeds
  • 2021 — Nixon, E; Taylor, N; Russell, A. Possibility, Plurality, Planetarity, for Unrehearsed Futures (Drama School Mumbai, Embodied Poetics, CTDPS Centre for Theatre, Dance & Performance Studies)
  • 2021 — Nixon, E. The Neutral Mask: International presentation, for Unrehearsed Futures (Drama School Mumbai, Embodied Poetics, CTDPS Centre for Theatre, Dance & Performance Studies)
  • 2018 — Nixon, E. Moving Rock, Embodied Correspondences with the Material World as a Force for Performance-Making, presentation at Performing Mountains Symposium, Leeds
  • 2018 — Nixon, E. Moving Rock, Embodied Correspondences with the Material World as a Force for Creative Action, presentation at the Holborne Museum, to the Performing Environments Forum, Research Centre for Environmental Humanities, Bath Spa University
  • 2018 — Nixon, E. Moving Rock, Embodied Correspondences with the Material World as a Force for Creative Action, presentation to the Intercultural Communication through Practice research group, Bath Spa University
  • 2017 — Moving Rock, interdisciplinary collaborative research project funded by HEQR Seed Funding, Bath Spa University and Kingston University
  • 2017 — Embodied Poetics: The Poetics of the Imagination in Devising Practices, paper presented at the International Federation of Theatre Research (IFTR) Conference, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Funded by Bath Spa University and BSU Research Centre for Environmental Humanities (RCEH)
  • 2017 — Sourcing from Within, practice-led presentation for Knowing From the Inside: Anthropology, Art, Architecture and Design (KFI), a 5-year project funded by a European Research Council – principal investigator: Professor Tim Ingold, University of Aberdeen. Funded by University of Aberdeen and Bath Spa University
  • 2014 — The Threepenny Opera: Experiencing Intersections Bertolt Brecht and Jacques Lecoq, paper presented at Intersections: Colloquium of Performance Research, Central School of Speech and Drama (CSSD)
  • 2013 — Processes of Transmission: A Laboratory of the Self, paper presented at The Performer Training Working Group, Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA) Conference, University of Glasgow
  • 2011 — Practice as Research: Models and Problems, paper presented at the Pre-Sessional Research Seminar, University of Exeter
  • 2009 — Vivien Leigh: The Actress, presented at the Vivien Leigh Symposium hosted by University of Exeter and Topsham Museum
  • 2007 — Risk-Taking and its Implications for an Acting Course: A Pedagogical Approach, paper presented at the Learning and Teaching Conference, Arts Institute at Bournemouth
  • 2002 — Shakespeare a Dos Tiempos. Six-week residency: Centro Nacional de las Artes – CENART, Mexico

Theatre Directing in the UK

  • 2013 — The Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht, Music by Kurt Weil. Collaboration with KOKORO, the Contemporary Music ensemble of The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Lighthouse, Poole. Funded by AUB, BSO and Arts Council
  • 2011 — Ship of Fools – directed and co-devised. 25 Clowns. Ocean Theatre, Pavilion Dance Southwest. Funded by the AUCB.
  • 2010 — Dracula by Bram Stoker – directed and co-devised. The Lighthouse, Poole. Funded by AUB and OXFAM.
  • 2009 — They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? By Horace McCoy. The Pavilion Ballroom, The Pavilion, Bournemouth.

Artistic Director, Writer and Performer in the following La Mancha Theatre and Film Productions

  • 2005/6 — Yves Klein – Architectura del Aire. National Tour of Chile. Funded by La Mancha and The Chilean National School of Architecture.
  • 2004 — Alturas de Macchu Picchu. National tour of Chile. Supported by The Pablo Neruda Foundation. Funded by La Corporación Nacional de Chile (CODELCO) and The Pre- Columbian Museum, Chile.
  • 2002 — Shakespeare a Dos Tiempos. National Tour of Chile and Mexico City. Funded by The Chilean Government and The British Council.
  • 2000 — Cara de Hereje. National Tour of Chile and International Festival of Theatre Cuba. Funded by The Chilean Government.
  • 1998 — Le Puede Pasar a Cualquiera. National tour of Chile, funded by Chilean Government.
  • 1997 — La Memoria Obstinada by Patricio Guzmán. La Mancha featured in this documentary
  • 1997 — Big Bang. National tour of Chile. Funded by Chilean Government.
  • 1996 — Punto Rojo, a film by Alberto Daiber – actor
  • 1994 — Parranda. National tour of Chile and Costa Rica. Funded by the Norwegian Embassy and The Chilean Government.
  • 1993 — Matando el Tiempo. National Tour of Chile. Funded by The Norwegian Government.
  • 1991 — Doing Time. The Black Box Theatre, Oslo, Norway. Funded by Norsk Kassettavgiftsfond.
  • 1990 — I Manesjen. Circus performance touring Oslo and national venues. Funded by Norsk Kassettavgiftsfond.
  • 1989 — Five Alive. Black Box Theatre. Oslo.

International festivals

  • International Theatre Festival of Cuba, Havana, Cuba
  • International Theatre Festival of Chile Teatro a Mil
  • The World Festival of Theatre in Costa Rica
  • Festival de Teatro Internacional – Puerto Montt. Chile
  • The World Festival of Theatre, Santiago, Chile

Academic activities

  • Current — Editorial Assistant, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training Journal, Routledge Journals, Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • 2017-2018 — International Federation of Theatre Research (IFTR)
  • 2017 — Embodied Research Working Group (ERWG – IFTR)
  • 2007 — Fellow of The Higher Education Academy
  • 2011-2014 — Academic representative on Board of Governors, Arts University Bournemouth
  • 2008 — Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA)

Dr Ellie Nixon's work

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