Jennifer Nikolai

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Senior Lecturer

Email: jennifer.nikolai@aut.ac.nz

ORCID: ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2921-5833

Links to relevant web pages:

Academic appointments:

  • Stream Leader, AUT (2014 - 2017)
  • Senior Lecturer, AUT (2012 - 2019)
  • Head of Postgraduate Studies, AUT (2018 - 2019)
  • Program Leader Bachelor of Dance, AUT (2004 - 2012)

Qualifications:

  • PhD, AUT
  • MFA, SFU
  • BA (Hons), University of Alberta
  • Certificate in Tertiary Teaching, AUT

Overview:

I’ve been a Senior Lecturer at AUT for sixteen years, initially as Program Leader for the Bachelor of Dance. Between 2012-2019, my current lecturing appointment sits in the School of Sport and Recreation. My performance studies research discipline is grounded in over two decades’ experience as a dancer, choreographer and tertiary lecturer in dance and sport and recreation. Recently, I’ve developed a research profile guided by youth development. I supervise PhD students in varied topics in the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, in Design and Creative Technologies and in Te Ara Poutama.

Research interests:

My research platform questions and investigates how 21st century digital technologies can support the creation and presentation of dance performance, framed in my research as ‘the camera-dancer dyad’. These practice-led methods are grounded in over two decades of experience as a dancer, choreographer and teacher.

My collaborative research on dance as a conduit to support risky play in the early childhood setting informs recent symposium/panel presentations and publication, exhibiting my future aim in dance research towards youth development. “Participatory approaches to dance research with early childhood teachers,” in the Australasian Journal of Early Childhood Education explores experiences of researching dance with an early childhood teaching team as part of a wider project examining physical activity, dance, risky play and wellbeing. The research questions are driven by a central concern regarding the ways in which children’s experiences of their bodies and learning through, with and about their movement may be prescribed by attention to a particular developmental and technical paradigm in early childhood dance research and practice.

Developed over the duration of my PhD, the "camera-dancer dyad" (dancer and hand-held camera dramaturgically investigating improvisation in tandem) opens possibilities for augmentation and adaptiveness in social science as well as education research platforms. Research-driven by the camera-dancer dyad variations guide research questions and ongoing dance, memory and ageing projects conducted with colleagues at the University of Alberta.

My dance research in its multiple variations has produced journal articles, chapters and films, including key articles in prominent journals such as Screendance International, Performance Enhancement and Health, International Journal of Art and Design in Education, Australian Journal of Early Childhood Education and DANZ Aotearoa. The films have been screened in Canada, USA, Germany, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

Teaching summary:

Auckland University of Technology:
Senior Lecturer, Paper Leader in the Bachelor of Dance (Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences) 2003 - 2012
Senior Lecturer, Paper Leader in the School of Sport and Recreation (Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences) 2012 - 2109

Fields of research:

  • Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies

Research outputs:

Journal articles

  • Nikolai, J., Bennett, G., Marks, S., & Maynard, G. (2019). Active learning and teaching through digital technology and live performance; ‘choreographic thinking’ as art practice in the tertiary sector. International Journal of Art and Design Education, 38(1), 137-152. doi:10.1111/jade.12181

  • Sharma, G., Nikolai, J., Duncan, S., & Carter, J. (2019). Observing the delivery of a curriculum-integrated dance programme across four New Zealand primary schools. New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies. doi:10.1007/s40841-019-00151-2

  • Gibbons, A., & Nikolai, J. (2019). Participatory approaches to physical activity and dance research with early childhood teachers. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 44(3), 298-308. doi:10.1177/1836939119855217

  • Nikolai, J. (2017). Dancing with Dolly: Linda Ashley’s enduring legacy. Dance Research Aotearoa, 5. doi:10.15663/dra.v5i1.73

  • Nikolai, J., Silva, P., & Walters, S. (2017). Student and lecturer perspectives informing an academic support strategy to assist students in a medium-sized tertiary institution. ATLAANZ Journal of the Association of Tertiary Learning Advisors Aotearoa New Zealand, 2(1). doi:10.26473/ATLAANZ.2017.2.1/001

  • Walters, S. R., Silva, P., & Nikolai, J. (2017). Teaching, learning, and assessment: Insights into students’ motivation to learn. The Qualitative Report, 22(4).

  • Walters, S. R., Silva, P., & Nikolai, J. (2017). Teaching, learning, and assessment: Insights into students’ motivation to learn. The Qualitative Report, 22(4). Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol22/iss4/13/

  • Nikolai, J. (2016). The camera-dancer: A dyadic approach to improvisation. The International Journal of Screendance, 6(Spring). doi:10.18061/ijsd.v6i0.4910

  • Nikolai, J., & Bennett, G. (2015). Stillness, breath and the spine - Dance performance enhancement catalysed by the interplay between 3D motion capture technology in a collaborative improvisational choreographic process. Performance Enhancement and Health, 4(1-2). doi:10.1016/j.peh.2015.11.003

  • Nikolai, J. (2013). Through the Lens
    New Zealand dance film and video, in clips.. DANZ Quarterly, Special 20th Anniversary edition.

  • Nikolai, J., & Nakamura, A. (2011). Girl with a Movie Camera. Danz Quarterly, Winter 2011(24). Retrieved from http://www.danz.org.nz/danzq.php

Creative works

Book chapters

  • Nikolai, J. (2017). A critical, studio dialogue between the dance and camera dyad. In M. A. M. Nor (Ed.), Perspectives on Dance Education (pp. 167-177). Malaysia: Nusantara Performing Arts Research Centre.

Conference contributions

  • Nikolai, J., & Gibbons, A. N. (2019). Participatory approaches to dance research with early childhood teachers. In Australasian Journal of Early Childhood 2019 Research Symposium (pp. 38-40). Melbourne.

  • Bennett, G., Denton, A., Marks, S., & Nikolai, J. (2017). "Choreographic thinking” through collaboration, hope and curiosity: A methodology for opening up the potential for discovery. In NODE 2017. Frankfurt. Retrieved from https://17.nodeforum.org/events/choreographic-coding-reloaded/

  • walters, S., Nikolai, J., Silva, P., & Broederlow, L. (2015). Evaluating the effectiveness of student-centred assessment in an undergraduate
    programme. In TERNZ. Auckland. Retrieved from https://openconf.s3.amazonaws.com/

  • Nikolai, J., Nikolai, J., & Bennett, G. (2015). MoCap and Choreographic Thinking - a Collaboration. In Motion Capture Symposium 2015. Aut City campus.

  • Walters, S., Nikolai, J., Silva, P., & Broederlow, L. (2015). Creating a student-centred learning environment in a sport and recreation degree. In ITP Sports Research Symposium. Napier.

  • Nikolai, J., Silva, P., & Walters, S. (2015). Structuring an appropriate academic support strategy to assist Bachelor of Sport and Recreation (BSR) students to meet the BSR graduate profile. In LTDF 2014. Auckland: Centre for Learning and Teaching (CFLAT), Auckland University of Technology. Retrieved from https://autonline.aut.ac.nz/

  • Nikolai, J., Silva, P., & Walters, S. (2015). Structuring an appropriate academic support strategy to assist Bachelor of Sport and Recreation (BSR) students to meet the BSR graduate profile. In Learning and Teaching Development Fund: Poster Showcase. Auckland.

  • 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. In ATLAANZ 2014 Conference. Auckland.

  • Nikolai, J. (2014). Emergent practice: camera dramaturgy as a way of looking, reflecting and making. In 8th Anual AUT Postgraduate Conference. Auckland.

  • Nikolai, J. (2014). Camera Dramaturgy: A critical, practical dialogue between dance and camera studio methodologies. In Exchange 2014. Auckland.

  • Nikolai, J. (2014). Choreographing work between live and digital platforms. In Motion Capture Symposium. Auckland.

  • Nikolai, J., Silva, P., & Walters, S. (2014). Structuring an appropriate academic support strategy to assist Bachelor of Sport and Recreation (BSR) students to meet the BSR graduate profile. In The Association of Tertiary Learning Advisors of Aotearoa New Zealand Conference. Auckland. Retrieved from http://www.atlaanz.net/index.php/conference-programme

  • Nikolai, J. (2014). Camera Dramaturgy: A critical, practical dialogue between dance and camera studio methodologies. In International Conference on Dance Education (ICONDE). Kuala Lumpur.

  • Nikolai, J. (2012). Deleuze on Vertov’s montage theory: live and digital dance capture. In Intuition and Epression; a one-day symposium and workshop on Gilles Deleuze. Auckland.

  • Nikolai, J. (2012). Dance and the camera with Jennifer Nikolai. In Feats Festival of Dance. Alberta.

  • Nikolai, J. (2010). Writing digital dance film. In Intersection5: The writing dance highway- AUT Dance programme. Auckland.

  • Nikolai, J. (2010). The camera as dramaturg in the choreographic process: Research lead teaching and practice. In 2010 Postgraduate Symposium. Auckland.

  • Nikolai, J. (2010). Studio-based dance research: a seamless task within the teaching/research nexus. In The 6th Annual Education Conference: Conversations on Research. North Shore Campus.

  • Nikolai, J. (2010). Devising dance/theatre choreography with the video camera as a dramaturg. In DCT: New and Emerging Researcher Symposium. Auckland.

  • Barbour, K., Nikolai, J., Murphy, J., & Ashley, L. (2009). Interdisciplinary writing. In Running Order Dance Symposium. .

  • Nikolai, J. (2008). Writing Dance Panel Chair. In Junction 3: Alternate Routes Theme: Interdisciplinary Practice AUT, Waikato University Research Series. Hamilton.

  • Nikolai, J. (2008). The camera as a catalyst in the process of developing dance/theatre choreography. In Junction 3: Alternate Routes Theme: Interdisciplinary Practice AUT, Waikato University Research Series. Hamilton.

  • Nikolai, J. (2008). The camera as a catalyst in the process of developing dance/theatre choreography. In Dance under Construction" 10th annual Dance Studies Conference. California.

  • Nikolai, J. (2008). Dance composition. In 'Intersections 3' Tertiary Crossroads: AUT Dance Research Seminar Series. Hamilton.

  • Ashley, L., Nikolai, J., Molloy, F., & Kramer, K. (2008). Exploring the dance research nexus in tertiary dance studies. In World Dance Alliance Global Summit Conference Programme (pp. 74). : Ausdance Queensland and the World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific in partnership with QUT Creative Industries, QPAC and Ausdance National.

  • Nikolai, J. (2007). Youth panel and open floor discussion. Auckland.

  • Nikolai, J. (2006). Dance dialogue and camera in the creation of choreography. In 6th Global Assembly of World Dance Alliance. Toronto.

Theses

  • Godber, K. (2018). Sport attainment and education sustainment of talented female secondary school athletes in New Zealand. (AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10292/11524

  • O'Hara, E. (2018). Mourning sites ________ performing ineffable spaces of ruin. (Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand). Retrieved from https://openrepository.aut.ac.nz/handle/10292/11742

  • Nikolai, J. (2014). The camera-dancer dyad: A critical, practical dialogue of virtual and live studio methodologies. (AUT University, Auckland, NZ).

Oral presentations

  • Nikolai, J., Philippa, P., & Malee-Smith, K. (2007). Three By Three; AUT BDance staff choreography for TEMPO DANCE FESTIVAL 2007. 100 Motions Road, Auckland.

  • Nikolai, J., Ashley, L., Buck, R., Chaplin, T., Horsley, F., & Nepia, M. (2007). Writing dance. Auckland, New Zealand.

Other outputs

  • Nikolai, J. (2019). Canadian icon and timeless influence. (pp. 1). Mile Zero Dance. Retrieved from http://milezerodance.com/2017/mzd-blog/

  • Nikolai, J. (2019). Pushing the form: Hollywood to Indie cinema: Maya Deren. (pp. 1). Mile Zero Dance blog. Retrieved from http://milezerodance.com/

  • Nikolai, J. (2019). Early pioneers (in dance and camera). Mile Zero Dance blog. Retrieved from http://milezerodance.com/2017/2019/11/29/early-pioneers-jennifer-nikolai-post-2/

  • Nikolai, J. (2019). How can dance and camera(s) contribute to widening the lens of our form in the scope of the Anthropocene?. (pp. 1). Mile Zero Dance blog. Retrieved from http://milezerodance.com/

  • Nikolai, J., & Gibbons, A. (2018). Provocations for creative physical activity: Risky play through dance in early childhood education centres. Childhood Studies Aotearoa New Zealand.

  • Nikolai, J. (2015). The Heart of it is Light
    Review of 'OneOne' Daniel Belton (Good Company Arts), Tempo Dance Festival 2015. In http://www.theatreview.org.nz (Iss. reviewz/reviews/review.php?id=8592).

  • Nikolai, J. (2013). Review of Virtuosi documentary for the Auckland Arts Festival 2013. Theatreview.

  • Nikolai, J. (2012). Review of Timedance and Soma Songs
    Daniel Belton and Good Company Arts. Theatreview.

  • Nikolai, J. (2010). Rhythm Is It. Online review on Theatre view for Tempo Dance Festival.

  • Nikolai, J. (2010). Pina Bausch. Online review on Theatre view for Tempo Dance Festival.