LeanerFasterStronger: collaboration between science and the arts

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Dr Dave James welcoming the company to the Centre.

It’s the first week of rehearsals for LeanerFasterStronger at Sheffield Theatres, and director Andrew has organised a company outing to The Centre for Sports Engineering Research at Sheffield Hallam University.

The project is a fascinating collaboration between scientists and theatre practitioners, part of imove, the Cultural Olympiad for Yorkshire.

In posts last year I wrote about the research residency Chol and Sheffield theatres had at the Centre for Sports Engineering Research, getting access to the motion capture lab’ and other sports science technologies, exploring movement and our attitudes to our disabled and non-disabled bodies.  https://kaiteoreilly.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1034&action=edit

Now, we’re back – the actors who will be portraying the characters I created informed by my research here and elsewhere, supported by the ever-enthusiastic Dr Dave James.

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Entering the lab’

The meeting is a crash course in Sports Science and human enhancement for the actors. It’s a context I’ve become familiar with over the past twelve months and Dr Dave James fields questions on blood doping, enhancement, and other issues the script touches on.

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Morven 

It’s fascinating seeing lines which I wrote informed by bioethics becoming dialogue between diverse but credible characters. When Chol first approached me with the commission, I never thought saying yes would lead me to a biomechanics and sport engineering laboratory.

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It has been a rich experience, collaborating with so many partners, and I’ve particularly enjoyed the challenge of taking academic material regarding human enhancement, placing it within a sports context, and endeavouring to make theatre from it.

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Kathryn in the gym

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