Personal profile



Liz Pavey, dance artist/researcher (improviser, choreographer and teacher), has lectured in performance at Northumbria University since 2004. Her practice research is often site-specific or gallery-based and focuses on the intra-being of moving bodies as part of environments and ecologies. She enjoys working with students in Theatre & Performance and related subjects from Foundation to Postgraduate levels.  Her teaching in movement, contemporary dance, performance and the body is informed by her practice research and her work as a Shiatsu (Japanese bodywork) practitioner. She is qualified in business coaching and works as part of the university's Internal Coaching Network. 

Liz is a Senior Fellow of the HEA. She is External Examiner for BA Dance Performance & Teaching at UCLan and for MA Dance Performance & Choreography at University of Bedfordshire. She was previously External Examiner for Dance at Chester University and at MMU.

Before joining Northumbria University, Liz was Senior Lecturer in Dance at Wolverhampton University. She holds an MA The Body & Representation from Reading University and a BA(Hons) Dance in Society from Surrey University. During her undergraduate studies she spent a year at Ohio State University taking courses in dance, LMA and advanced Labanotation. 

For details of Liz's current research please select 'Research Themes and Scholarly Interests' below.



Research interests

Liz Pavey is a dance artist/researcher (improviser, choreographer and teacher) whose practice investigates relationships between moving bodies and their environments. Her personal values, practice and research imperatives are concerned with fostering individual and collective wellbeing. Liz’s work is informed by phenomenology and theories of embodiment, new materialism, posthumanism, somatics, and affect together with Eastern perspectives unpinning her work as a Shiatsu (Japanese bodywork) practitioner. Arising from her expertise in practices including Qigong, Contact Improvisation and Laban Movement Analysis, key research themes encompass slowness, grounding, empathy and sensitive touch.

Liz’s practice research is often site-specific or gallery based. She is currently leading Living Stone: We are the rocks dancing a practice-research project investigating how durational improvised dance can help us make sense of the immensity and rhythms of geological time and deep future through developing an embodied sense that we carry deep time within us. Following two performances at Great North Museum (GNM) Hancock in November 2022 and June 2023, Liz faciltiated Deep Time Bodies a participatory project offered in partnership with Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums culminating in a performance in the GNM's Fossil Stories gallery, January 2024. She has recently trained as a Deep Time Walk facilitator. 

Liz values working as a co-investigator on collaborative interdisciplinary research:

When Words Fail Us, Expressing the Unspeakable: The Other Side of Me (PI creative writer Dr Laura Fish) is a practice-led research project exploring how language and movement engage with a narrative concerning experiences of indigeneity, place, freedom, and young people's experience of the criminal justice system. We have worked with leading Indigenous Australian choreographer Gary Lang to create of a physical theatre performance combing different narrative forms – writing, dance, oral storytelling. The dance production The Other Side of Me premiered at the Darwin Festival in August 2023. Then during April-June 2024, with the prestigious support of Blakdance, the production toured to Margaret River, Perth, Karratha, Carnarvon, Darwin, and Alice Springs.The project has included delivering cross art-form workshops for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people and young offenders at a Secure Children's Home in the UK and a Youth Detention Centre in Australia.

Evaluation of the impact of Dance United Yorkshire's work within women's prisons: Liz is collaborating with NU colleagues in Criminology and Human Geography on research which seeks to explore and understand from different academic perspectives if DUY's interventions with women in the criminal justice system improve the mental health and wellbeing, self-esteem and confidence of the participants.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Teaching & Learning, PGCert

30 Jun 200131 Dec 2099

Award Date: 30 Jun 2001

Arts (general), MA (Hons), The Body & Representation

30 Jun 200131 Dec 2099

Award Date: 30 Jun 2001

External positions

University of Bedfordshire

1 Sept 20201 Oct 2024

University of Central Lancashire

1 Sept 20201 Oct 2025


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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