About Dr Sophy Smith
As well as being a research fellow and lecturer at De Montfort, Dr Sophy Smith is also a professional composer. Sophy has composed music for the productions ‘Broken’ and ‘Scattered’ by the dance theatre company ‘Motionhouse’ (www.motionhouse.co.uk). It is a company that blends digital imagery with professional dance practice. Sophy is also a founder member and Artistic Director of the collaborative live art company Assault Events.
About Dr Smith’s Research
One aspect that is most important to Sophy regarding her research is in ‘finding out ways that different types of people can gain access to professional arts practice and for it to be meaningful in their everyday lives’. Her research are also about finding ways to break down barriers that stop people accessing arts practice, such as distance from theatres. One example that shows this most clearly is the production put on for the workers at Elsoms seeds ‘ Transported phase 2: Elsoms seeds and assault events’ where the production is actually about them, in turn increasing the engagement. Sophy got a real sense of achievement from this project because of how it engaged people. One of Sophy’s proudest moments involved getting someone who hadn’t played the violin for 20 years playing again and having someone almost moved to tears by the performance.
According to Sophy’s research people already have a broad experience of arts through the radio and TV shows and films. Films are a form of theatre, contemporary music practice is heard every day on the radio, if you go out clubbing regularly you are taking part in dance practice. Its about saying ‘look your already doing this’ so have a look at this as well’.
Trying to find ways to bring people together in collaboration. Finding ways for different people to access high quality arts practice.
Alongside Dr Smith’s Research
Sophy has being involved in a large scale outdoors live performance called The Voyage, which attempted to get members of the public more engaged through audience participation. Another work called Traction is an example of transdisiplinary performance art because it uses traction vehicles in way they were not intended, using their moving parts to transform them into performers.