+44 (0) 131 651 5850
University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art, Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, EH3 9DF, UK
Sophia is an academic researcher with interest in interdisciplinary research methodologies and an artist with background in dance and choreography. She was originally trained as a dancer and dance teacher in her native country Greece. During the 1980s, she danced with Greek Choreodrama and Dance Theatre Nafsika, before moving to Britain to study for an MA in Dance Studies and a practice-based PhD in dance improvisation (University of Surrey, 1996). Between 1996 and 2001, she directed dance company kunstwerk-blend, which was funded by the Arts Council England and performed in Britain, USA and Europe, alongside working as Senior Lecturer in Dance at Nottingham Trent University.
Between 2000 and 2003, she was an AHRB Fellow in the Creative and Performing Arts at Nottingham Trent University and in 2003, she became Reader in Interdisciplinary Choreography. Between 2007 and 2011, and prior to the merger between Edinburgh College of Art (eca) and the University of Edinburgh in Agust 2011, she was Director of the Graduate Research School at the Edinburgh College of Art, focusing on the integration between theoretical and studio-based approaches to research, as part of the ongoing development of eca's doctoral provision.
In her current role as Associate Director of the eca Graduate School, she continues to focus on the development of innovative models of doctoral provision, informed by both academic and professional research practices in the Arts (including Music and the Performing Arts), Design and Architecture/Landscape Architecture. For details see Development and Assessment Issues for Practice-based Doctorates in the Arts, UKCGE (http://www.ukcge.ac.uk/events/pastevents/1011area/pd10), as well as Practice-Led Doctorates in the Arts, Design and Architecture in UKCGE's 2011 Report on Professional Doctorates in the UK (http://www.ukcge.ac.uk/publications)
Between 2000 and 2003, Sophia researched interdisciplinary applications of choreographic practices as part of her AHRB Fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts. During this period, she started experimenting with her choreographic background in a variery of new media and formats, often in response to interdisciplinary and collaborative contexts (see list of Artistic Projects since 2001), and introduced the terms 'choreographic environments' and 'interdisciplinary choreography' (see relevant chapter in Contemporary Choreography: A Critical Reader in her publications list).
Sophia's most recent research interests expand across two areas: the use of new technologies in interdisciplinary choreographic projects (see projects Haptic Experiments and Emergent Objects - Snake) and the role of choreographic approaches in interdisciplinary projects which address movement in the social and public space in relation to issues of architecture, urban planning and social exclusion (see project Choreography of Social Movement).
Awards and Grants:
• Haptic Experiments: Kinaesthetic Empathy and Non-Sighted Dance Audiences (February – July 2012) Principal Investigator in a scoping study on how haptic technologies can enhance the performance experience of non-sighted dance audiences, funded by a Digital Transformations research development grant (AHRC), £29,100 (http://hapticexperiments.wordpress.com/about/)
• Emergent Objects (Jan 2007 - March 2008) Co-investigator in a portfolio of three projects which examined design through the lens of performance/choreography with the support of interactive technologies, funded by EPSRC/AHRC Designing for the 21st Century Initiative with £300,000 in total, co-ordinator of the sub-project Snake, £60,000 (visual documentation)
• Choreography of Social Movement (April 2006 – June 2008) Co-investigator in a pilot interdisciplinary project which explored how older people use (and perceive) the built environment in deprived areas of Nottingham, UK, in collaboration with Government Office for the East Midlands (GOEM), funded by the Nottingham Trent University with a Stimulating Innovation for Success (SIS) grant, £10,000
• IntelligentCITY, project director and choreographer, interactive performance/installation, Future Physical Commission (2003) £7,000, London Arts Research & Development Grant (2002), £3,000
• Bodysight, project director and choreographer, video installation, Capture Award (2001), Arts Council England, £5,000, Nottingham Trent University, £2,000 (visual documentation)
• Homezone, project director and choreographer, performance/installation, London Arts Research & Development Grant (2001), £3,000
• AHRB (Arts and Humanities Research Board) Fellow in Creative and Performing Arts (2000-2003) Nottingham Trent University £47,500
• Re-Visioning Utopia, a Charrette for artists, architects and academic, Artgene Gallery, Barrow-in Furness, UK (July 2009)
• Associate Artist – Digital Art Project Residency, Atlantic Center for the Arts (Aug 2008)
• Polypolis: residency at Princeton University (USA) to explore the use of interactive technologies for live performance with Perry Cook and Elli Papakonstantinou (2005-2006)
Using Computers to Sustain Independent Living: consultancy in a pilot study with elderly people as part of New Deal for Communities (NDC) Nottingham City Council (2006-2007)
Artistic Projects (since 2001):
• In the North, after Titos Patrikios: video installation, group exhibition Opou Gis kai Patris, Old Ambulance Depot, Edinburgh, UK, 17-21 September 2010
• Urban Echoes to Image: video installation, group exhibition Sound City action field Kodra, 10th festival of visual arts, Thessaloniki, Greece, 3-12 September 2010
• The Moment of Dance: video installation, group exhibition Descriptions, Experiential Knowledge Conference 2007, University of Hertfordshire, UK (visual documentation)
• Faith: video environment for theatrical production, Theatre Eborikon, Athens, Greece
• Threads: audio-visual installation, disused lace factory, Draycott, Derbyshire, UK (visual documentation)
• Entropic: performer in multi-media performance company BET4, funded by ACE
• Coming Closer: webcast performance, Moonradio WebTV, Nottingham/London, UK
• Rite of Spring: visual paper, Lancaster, UK (visual documentation)
• BridgeWAVES: photographic installation, Wandering Rocks project, Dublin, Ireland (visual documentation)
• Eyetoy: direction of performative interactive environment, Nottingham, UK
• E-motion in Urban Networks: co-direction R &D project in motion capture, Chelmsford, UK, funded by Essexdance dance agency (visual documentation)
• Muscle Machine: choreographic advisor, performance project with robotics, Nottingham, UK, funded by the AHRC and the Wellcome Trust
• IntelligentCITY: direction of R & D project in performative interactive environments, funded by London Arts Board and Future Physical, London, UK
• ODC after Homer: video for theatrical production, Edinburgh Festival and Egypt
• Building: choreographer/performer/video environment, dance performance, London, UK
• Plants: site-specific video installation, London, UK (visual documentation)
• Rooms: site-specific video installation, London, UK
• Body Provisional: collaborative live performance residency with Petra Kupers, Bryant College, Rhode Island, USA
• Salve Regina: choreographer of dance performance, London, UK
• Bodysight: audio-visual installation project (funded by Arts Council England)(visual documentation)
• homezone: performance/installation project (funded by London Arts)
Together with Prof. Richard Coyne and Dr Karen Ludke, Sophia contributes to the coordination of the Postgraduate Research Methods course, which is eca's generic Research Training provision across all five subject areas (Art, Design, Histrory of Art, Music and Architecture/Landscape Architecture).
She runs the weekly seminar Research in Progress and coordinates a series of Research Methods Intensives, which are open to all research students at eca, as well as streamed live and archived for any students who are unable to physically attend the sessions (see http://bambuser.com/channel/sophia+lycouris).
She also contributes as appropriate to relevant Postgraduate Courses, such as the MSc by Research in Interdisciplinary Creative Practices (eca) and the MSc in Dance Science (Moray House School of Education).
This article was published on Oct 21, 2011