Maria Kapsali

Maria Kapsali


In the last two years I have been involved in the design, development and commercialisation of a movement sonification technology, supported by a Catalyst Award and a Michael Beverley Innovation Fellowship. echome is an intuitive, accessible and affordable movement sonification technology that works with Arduino sensors and mobile phones through an intuitive custom made software. The product includes an in-built sound library as well as the option to input and compose pre-recorded sounds. The system was developed with Kingsley Ash and Dr Nikos Stavropoulos in collaboration with dance artist Sophie Alder, theatre director Maria Oshodi and a range of different end users. 

My monograph Performer Training and Technology: Preparing Our Selves (Routledge, 2021) explores the interesections between performer training and technology from the eighteenth century onwards and asks whether performer training practice may offer a productive space in which alternative relations to technology can be tested. The book is part of the Routledge Series Perspectives on Performer Training, which I  co-edit with Rebecca Loukes, and was shortlisted for the David Bradby Mongraph Award.

My latest article explores the use of movement sonification  as a tool for aesthetic engagement and it is published in the special issue ‘On Hybridity’ of the Performance Research Journal, I co-edited with Frank Camilleri. 

Between 2014 and 2019 I developed with technologist Simon East  Sonolope, a movement sonification utilising mobile phones and smart watches. Sonolope was used in the event Sonic Bodies (Being Human Festival, Leeds Art Gallery, November 2018), which aimed to offer opportunities to sighted and non-sighted audiences to engage in a multisensory engagement with sculpture. Sonolope is discussed in a recent publication in International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media.

In 2017–2018 , I shared a LITE Fellowship with Dr Scott Palmer on Mobile Phones and Digital Creativity. The project produced a number of outputs that can be viewed on SignalSpaceAn article discussing the use of mobile phones in performer training was published in the Digital Training special issue of the Theatre Dance and Performance Training Journal.

Alongside Dr Freya Bailes and Pr Anna Madill, I currently convene the Sadler Seminar Series ‘Sensory Storytelling, Imagination and Wellbeing’. In 2016, I also convened, alongside Dr Scott McLaughlin and Dr Joslin McKinney, a series of research events on New Materialism and Artistic Practice, as part of the Sadler Series Seminars.

As part of my ongoing interest in yoga and somatic practices, I explored yoga as the basis for interdisciplinary forms of creative expression in a project witth dancer and Ashtanga Yoga teacher Marie Hallager Andersen, entilted 'Two Trainers Prepare'.  The project consisted of task-based explorations that Andersen and I set for each other on alternate weeks. The whole project was hosted on the Theatre Dance and Performance Training Blog.


  • Digital Lead

Research interests

  • Philosophy of technology, the use and making of tools in performer training and somatic practice.
  • 20th and 21st c performer training regimes, processes and practitioners, in particular the use of psychophysical disciplines.
  • Yoga and somatics.
  • Movement Sonification. 
  • Aesthetic Education. 
  • The historical, ideological and economic contexts of psychophysical practices, such as discourses of health, fitness and self-development .
  • Cultural Industries and performing as a form of labour.
  • Knowledge production in practice-based research and the use of digital technologies as a means of documentation and dissemination.
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Professional memberships

  • TaPRA
  • IFTR
  • Society of Philosophy of Technology

Student education

I am the Digital Lead.

Research groups and institutes

  • Bodies & Performance
  • Performance, Training, Preparation & Pedagogy

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>