Jennifer Nikolai

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Senior Lecturer, Stream Leader (Pedagogy)

Phone: + 64 9 921 9999 ext. 7858

Email: jnikolai@aut.ac.nz

Qualifications

BA(Hons), MFA, PhD

Memberships and Affiliations

Jennifer Nikolai (PhD) is a Senior lecturer, contemporary dance practitioner and researcher engaging withdramaturgical approaches towards the video camera as a method of improvisational inquiry and as a performance tool. Her studio-based, emergent methodology informs live and digital interactivity in performance making and staging. 

Jennifer lectures undergraduate students in the School of Sport and Recreation and lectures on The AUT MPMA (Masters in Performance and Media Arts) and supervises postgraduate students in The Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies, AUT University, Auckland, NZ.

Teaching Areas

  • Communication and group instruction
  • Sport sociology
  • Leadership
  • Supervision in dance, technology, sound, screen and theatre studies, digital and live interactive performance, choreography and dramaturgy

Research Areas

  • Motion capture
  • Improvisation and camera
  • Choreography with camera
  • Live and digital performance
  • Emergent approaches to art practice

Research Summary

My research is based on a practice-led model, linked to a teaching-research nexus.  I investigate creative processes integrating live and digital tools to enhance pedagogical opportunities towards making/developing/composing, critique and reflection.

More specifically my creative practice in dance, theatre and the use of the hand-held video camera, inform my teaching and research approaches with an emphasis on emergent processes.  Motion capture as a tool towards investigating perspectives towards making, alongside the use of the accessible video camera, shape research and practice in live and digital interaction as approaches to unraveling the ‘new.’  The ‘new’ is about breaking away from habitual or previous approaches to making as much as it is – a search, a quest.
The notion of the ‘new’ is in the Deleuzian context, a response to Bergson’s duration.

Theoretical underpinnings turn to Henri Bergson and Gilles Deleuze as well as historical innovations in moving image as informing contemporary art practice.  Dramaturgical methodologies I employ, are influenced by qualitative approaches, dance dramaturgy and emergent studio processes.

Upon the completion of my PhD my research collaborations have expanded with colleagues and projects spanning between teaching and learning, pedagogy, motion capture and live and digital performance platforms.


Current Research Projects

2014
Completion of practice-based PhD: The Camera-Dancer
Dyad: A critical, practical dialogue of virtual and live studio
Methodologies

2014 – 2015
Nikolai, J., Silva, P. & Walters, S. Structuring an appropriate academic support strategy to assist Bachelor of Sport and Recreation (BSR) students to meet the BSR graduate profile.

Nikolai, J. & Greg Bennett Choreographing work between live and digital
platforms. Motion Capture collaborations.

Publications ongoing

Publications

Nikolai, J. (2014). Camera Dramaturgy: A critical, practical dialogue
between dance and camera studio methodologies. Paper presented
at the International Conference on Dance Education. University of
Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 13 – 17 August 2014.

Nikolai, J. (2014). Camera Dramaturgy: A critical, practical dialogue
between dance and camera studio methodologies. Paper presented
at Exchange 2014 School of Art & Design Postgraduate Conference.
Auckland, New Zealand, 11 August 2014.

Nikolai, J. & Silva, P. (2014). Structuring an appropriate academic
support strategy to assist Bachelor of Sport and Recreation (BSR)
students to meet the BSR graduate profile. Paper presented at The
Association of Tertiary Learning Advisors of Aotearoa New Zealand
Conference, 2014. Auckland, New Zealand.

Nikolai, J. (2014). Choreographing work between live and digital
platforms. Panel and paper presented at Motion Capture Symposium.
Auckland, New Zealand, 27 November 2014.

Collaboration: Bennett, Castle, Connors, Denton, Nikolai, Randerson.
(2014) Meditating Performance Systems: an invited workshop and
round-table presentation. Action Delay Symposium. Auckland, New
Zealand, 30 – 31 May 2014.

Nikolai, J. (2012) How might the inclusion of the camera positively
augment the choreographic process by opening it out to the camera’s
subversive, productive properties? Paper presented at Intuition and
Expression a one-day symposium and workshop on Gilles Deleuze.
Auckland, New Zealand, 31 March 2012.

Nikolai, J. (2010) Virtual and Live Studio Methodologies: a Critical,
Practical Dialogue in What the body knows conference working group
at CORD, Seattle, Washington, 18 November 2010.

Nikolai, J. (2010) Devising dance/theatre choreography with the video
camera as a dramaturg Art and Design Festival 2010, Emerging
Researchers Emerging Research Symposium. Auckland, New
Zealand, 12 November 2010.

Nikolai, J. (2010) Writing digital dance film Intersections, AUT Dance
Research Symposium. Auckland, New Zealand, 15 October, 2010.

Nikolai, J. (2010) The camera as dramaturg in the choreographic
process AUT Postgraduate Symposium. Auckland, New Zealand, 24
September 2010.

Awards

AUT Vice Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching Award (Teaching-Research Nexus) 2009