Associate Professor Carol Mary Brown

PhD, MA(Dist), BA(Hons)


Carol Brown is an internationally established creative research scholar and professional choreographer. Originally trained in Bodenwieser methods with Shona Dunlop-MacTavish in Dunedin she completed a history honours degree at the University of Otago before specialising in Dance Studies, completing an MA and one of the first practice-led doctorates in the UK at the University of Surrey. Carol was appointed Choreographer in Residence at the Place Theatre London after presenting her PhD solo The Mechanics of Fluids. There she founded Carol Brown Dances. Nourished by creative collaborations that explore diverse spaces, places and body memories, her choreographies take multiple forms, as installations, inter-media events, and site specific performances and have been presented internationally including at Roma Europa, Dance Umbrella and the Brighton Festival. Carol has been commissioned to create work on  Scottish Dance Theatre, Verve, Subcircle, Group Motion, Touch Compass and DanceXchange. She has created work for public spaces including for Perth CBD (Dancing City with STRUT), Prague Old City (FLOOD  Prague Quadrenniale) Parc Guell, Barcelona (Dies de Dansa) and the Bloomberg Building (London City). Carol is the recipient of a Jerwood Award for Choreography, the Ludwig Forum International Prize for Innovation and a Dream Time Award from NESTA. She held a three year post-doctoral fellowship through the AHRC in the UK to explore dance and architecture. Recent  research collaborations include PAH with Gillian Whitehead and Star Gossage (Auckland Arts Festival 2015), Releasing the Archive with Thomas Kampe and the New Zealand Dance Company and Singularity in collaboration with Uwe Rieger and the Open Media Lab. Carol writes regularly for peer-reviewed journals on performance, technology and space and has contributed chapters to key texts on dance, technology, feminism, collaboration, site dance and choreography. She is currently working on a book on the politics and poetics of choreographic research.

Research | Current

  • Contemporary choreographic practices

  • Dance and decolonial thinking

  • Feminist philosophy and embodiment

  • Mixing realities through digital technology and embodied interfaces

  • Dance, architecture and performing place

Teaching | Current

Dance 730 Choreographic Research and Performance;  Dance 310 Contemporary Dance; Supervision of BA(Hons), MA and PhDs with Creative Practice.

Postgraduate supervision

PhDs with Creative Practice in the fields of performance and new media, dance and the extended body, dance and architecture; MA Supervision; BA(Hons) dissertation supervision.


  • Asia New Zealand Foundation Award for Performing Arts Tour 2015
  • Selected Artist for New Zealand National Exhibition Prague Quadrenniale 2015 
  • Touchstone Award, New Zealand Listener 2010
  • Arts Council England Arts Plus Award for Radiance 2006
  • National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA) Dream Time Award 2005
  • Ludwig Forum International Prize for Innovation 2004
  • Arts and Humanities Research Board Fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts  2001
  • The Jerwood Choreography Prize 1999
  • History Prize, the University of Otago 1985


Director of Choreographic Research Aotearoa 2010 -

Curating Speaking Performance Series and Guest Choreography Workshops

Co-Convener Choreographic Coding Lab 2016

Co-Convener Undisciplining Dance Symposium 2016

Areas of expertise

My work evolves through sustained collaborative dialogues with artists and scholars from outside the field of dance. Material, sensual and virtual provocations for making work in the contemporary milieu create critical thresholds,  heightening the experience of artistic encounters as ways of engaging with the world; creatively, philosophically, environmentally and politically. I ask embodied questions that explore movement memories, corporeal archives, virtual reality and modes of transmission. My teaching practice focuses on tools for developing choreographic imagination, creative research methods and inter-disciplinary collaborations within a Pacific context of relational thinking. I am excited by critical studio practices that make us think differently about what dance can do and how we can perceive it. Moving inside and outside different contexts for dance, I attend to making possible forms of gathering through performance that offer new experiences and contribute to the world, the possibility to live better.

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Editorial Board Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices

Peer Reviewer Choreographic Practices

Editorial Board  Body, Space and Technology

Asia New Zealand Foundation Assessor

Member of Congress on Research in Dance

Member of DANZ

Member of International Federation of Theatre Research


Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Brown, C. M., Rieger, U., Soudan, J., Liu, Y., Medlin, M., & Scoones, R. Singularity :: Breathing Spaces & Drawing Spaces, 7/9/2017. [Live Performance], (50 minutes), Ars Electronica Festival 2017, Post City, Linz, Austria. Commissioning body: Creative New Zealand; Ars Electronica Related URL.
  • Brown, C. M., & Hannah, DM (2016). Mapping turbulent gestures and liquid ground. In P. Rawes, S. Loo, T. Matthews (Eds.) Poetic biopolitics: Practices of relation in architecture and the arts. London: I.B. Tauris.
  • Hannah, D., Brown, C., Scoones, R., & Erceg, L. FLOOD, 19/6/2015. [Site Responsive Performance], (50 minutes), New Zealand Exhibition Ahua o te rangi in the Prague Quadrenniale of Performance Design and Space 2015, The Old Town and Vlatava River, Prague, Czech Republic. Commissioning body: NZ@PQ15, Ahua O Te Rangi and Creative New Zealand
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Dorita Hannah
  • Brown, C. M. PAH: Pā Collective, 10/3/2015. [cross-arts performance], Auckland Arts Festival, TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre, Pah Homestead, Auckland New Zealand. Commissioning body: Developed at the TSB Wallace Arts Trust Pah Homestead Arts Centre, Mt Roskill, Auckland City with support from the University of Otago, the James Wallace TSB Arts Trust Residency, the University of Auckland and Creative New Zealand. Related URL.
  • Brown, C. M. (2015). City of Lovers. In V. Hunter (Ed.) Moving sites: Investigating site-specific dance performance (pp. 199-222). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
  • Brown, C. M. (2015). So, Remember the Liquid Ground. In S. Whatley, N. Garrett Brown, K. Alexander (Eds.) Attending to Movement: Somatic Perspectives on Living in this World (pp. 19-38). Triarchy Press. Related URL.
  • Brown, C. M. (2014). Falling Together. In J. Calow, D. Hinchcliffe, L. Mansfield (Eds.) Speculative Strategies in Interdisciplinary Arts Practice (pp. 11-16). UK: Underwing Press. Related URL.
  • Brown, C. M. (2014). Godwits, Kuaka and the Returns of Ausdruckstanz in Aotearoa. Moving Oceans: Celebrating Dance in the South Pacific (pp. 1-12). New Delhi and Abingdon, UK: Routledge. Related URL.

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 5, Room 506
New Zealand

Web links