Mountainsides: Composition

Mountainsides: Composition

Location: Alec Clegg, stage@leeds, University of Leeds

The vertical axis of mountain environments has inspired artists, writers and dancers to create new and rich vocabularies of expression.

In what ways do mountain environments inspire compositional strategies? How can the technical and phenomenological experience of climbing be useful to creative practice and composition? How do the natural processes of rock formation and erosion of mountainous landscapes function as a means to consider compositional practice (in relation to time, space, materials of creative process/work)? What do line, layer, tension, feeling mean in the space between climbing and art practice? What does the practice of naming or authoring tell us about the artistry of climbing and about climbing inspired art? To what extent does the vertical offer alternative perspectives on dance and physical performance?

Presenters: Kate Lawrence and Nathan Walker

The event is free but booking is required, please register to book your place

What is Mountainsides?

Mountainsides is a series of public conversations between prominent mountaineers, climbers and hikers and academics of theatre, performance and cultural studies.  Each event will be introduced by a concise ‘micro-lecture’ on the theme, followed by contributions from each speaker. The majority of the time will be given over to animated conversation, robust debate and productive interjections from the floor.

What shared languages are there between climbing and performing and what gets in the way of a good conversation? How are terms such as, risk, composition, light, narrative, movement and training understood in the two domains? How far is it true to say that climbing is a form of performance and can learn from the languages of theatre and performance studies? And what are the key ideas in hiking and climbing that resonate with the live art of performance?

Full details of the series and future events can be found at

The series is curated by David Shearing and Jonathan Pitches with the help and support of the project’s advisory board and its formal partner, Kendal Mountain Festival.