- Dr Alessandra Lopez y Royo
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Alessandra is a SOAS graduate. She was Reader in Visual Culture at the University of Roehampton from 2007 to 2013. She has a PhD from SOAS in Art and Archaeology, with a thesis on dance iconography, temple art and Indian artistic influence in ancient Southeast Asia, following which she worked on an embodied reconstruction of dance movements from sculptural representation with a number of Indian and Indonesian choreographers. This initial interest in archaeological approaches to dance performance (archaeochoreology) led her to explore dance and performance heritage and its construction, mediatization and representation, as also dance and performance documentation, the interface of visual arts and dance making and photography of performance, especially dance.
She participated in and co-led the research projects of the erstwhile AHRC Research Centre for Music and Dance Performance (Roehampton, SOAS and University of Surrey) from 2002 to 2007, with several outcomes, including two films on Indonesian performance practices which she conceived and directed. In 2009 she curated a photographic exhibition, accompanied by a colloquium, at the Brunei Gallery SOAS, Asian Dance Theatre: performance through the lens. For a while she became involved in researching cross-cultural healing dance and movement practices and dance psychotherapy but after encountering writings on psychoanalysis and fashion she moved into fashion research, exploring body image in fashion and advertising.
Alessandra has had a long research relationship with SOAS, having been Research Associate of the Centre for Media Studies since 2004. She was also involved, for several years, in the screening of Indonesian films at SOAS through Indofilm, a project by Wadah, the Indonesian Community Association of the UK, dedicated to the promotion of Indonesian cinema in the UK, with the support of the Indonesian Embassy.
In 2015 Alessandra was awarded an ASEASUK/British Academy Fellowship tenable at Ecole française d’Extreme Orient, Jakarta branch, for one academic term, to research Indonesian contemporary fashion and its impact on Indonesian women. She continues her exploration of fashion in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, through her writings and talks.
- Former reader in Dance and Visual Culture, University of Roehampton, London; member of the Humanities Lab, a Stanford University based research collaboratory