Dr Sheron Wray: Associate Professor of Dance at the University of California, Irvine
Dr Sheron Wray was a dancer and member for both London Contemporary Dance Theatre and Rambert Dance Company between 1988 – 2001. Sheron is widely known for her role as the leading performer and legal custodian of Harmonica Breakdown (1938), choreographed by Jane Dudley. As its custodian she continues to restage the work globally and has just completed a motion capture research project funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council. As Artistic Director, she directed her own company – JazzXchange Music and Dance between 1992 – 2004, creating work with Julian Joseph, Zoe Rahman, Gary Crosby MBE and Wynton Marsalis.
Choreographed DNA (Destiny’s Natural Ally) for a project called Griotgraphies produced by Tony Graves and performed by dancer Louise Katerega in 1999 as part of Black History Month celebrations.
In 2013 she re-launched JazzXchange in the USA and was appointed guest curator of contemporary performance for the Monuments and Museums of Ghana from whom she received a commission to choreograph The Brown Bomber, for the Olympic Arts Festival at the Southbank Centre.
She was a National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts Fellow between 2001 – 2002 developing the technology driven project Texterritory which won the European ADE prize for innovation in 2004. Texterritory is an interactive performance platform created in collaboration with Fleeta Siegel. As a result of her NESTA fellowship intersect in her concept of digitally enabled improvisation which manifests in the award-winning Texterritory.
In 2009 she was invited to the University of California, Irvine to join the dance faculty at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts. In 2015, UK’s National Resource Center for Dance invited her to place her archive within their permanent collection. Concurrently she studied at University of Surrey receiving her PhD in dance studies in 2016. In 2016 Serendipity recognised her contributions to dance stemming from her roots and education in Leicester.
Dr. Sheron Wray, describes herself as a ‘Neo-African Performance Architect’. Her interdisciplinary scholarship engages with dance, music, spiritual and community held knowledge. Developed into her praxis of Embodiology® which has application across the fields of dance and music, wellness, community engagement and leadership.
In 2018, she will be the Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and also later that year a Master Artist in Residence – at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida. In 2016 an essay introducing Embodiology’s concepts was published by Routledge in, “Black Routes in British Dance”, edited by Ramsay Burt and Christy Adair. Further dissemination of this method of how movement inspires the mind can be found in her TEDx talk entitled “Bodily Steps to Innovation”. In 2017 a new essay on Embodiology is forthcoming in an Oxford University Press publication on dance improvisation.
“Bodily Steps to Innovation”