Lesley Main

Head of Department of Performing Arts


Middesex University

Dance, Directing, Doris Humphrey, Dance Technique, Reprtoire/Legacy, Dance Pedagogy

Lesley Main PhD is Head of Performing Arts and formerly Principal Lecturer in Dance at Middlesex University, teaching Humphrey-based Technique, Repertoire and Performance. Amongst other roles within the university, she was Chair of the Dance Department from 1999 – 2004 and Acting Head of Performing Arts in 2008. A leading European exponent of Doris Humphrey's dance tradition, she worked with Ernestine Stodelle in the USA from 1985, performing in and directing a number of Humphrey's major works, including The Call/Breath of Fire, Water Study, Two Ecstatic Themes, The Shakers, New Dance, With My Red Fires and Passacaglia. Lesley is director of the Doris Humphrey Foundation, a charitable foundation that produced the Humphrey Centenary events in 1995 and continues to promote her work throumore...


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  1. Main, Lesley ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4521-3769 (2017) The transmission-translation-transformation of Doris Humphrey's 'Two ecstatic themes' (1931). In: Transmissions in Dance: Contemporary staging practices. Main, Lesley ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4521-3769, ed. Palgrave MacMillan, Cham, London, pp. 85-107. ISBN 9783319648729, e-ISBN 9783319648736, pbk-ISBN 9783319878911. [Book Section] (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-64873-6_5)
  2. Main, Lesley ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4521-3769, ed. (2018) Transmissions in dance: contemporary staging practices. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9783319648729, pbk-ISBN 9783319878911, e-ISBN 9783319648736. [Book] (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-64873-6)
  3. Main, Lesley ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4521-3769 (2017) Soft is fast: Simone Forti in the 1960s and after by Meredith Morse [Book review]. Studies in Theatre & Performance, 37 (2) . pp. 289-290. ISSN 1468-2761 [Article] (doi:10.1080/14682761.2016.1215821)
  4. Main, Lesley ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4521-3769 (2018) Humphrey, Doris (1895-1958). In: The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. Ross, Stephen, ed. Routledge. . [Book Section] (doi:10.4324/0123456789-REM1778-1)
  5. Main, Lesley ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4521-3769 (2013) Creative choice – on whose authority. Choreographic Practices, 4 (1) . pp. 60-74. ISSN 2040-5669 [Article] (doi:10.1386/chor.4.1.59_1)
  6. Main, Lesley ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4521-3769 (2009) The pedagogic significance of 20th Century modern dance training on the 21st Century dancing body, with reference to Doris Humphrey’s dance technique and movement philosophy. In: Global perspectives on dance pedagogy: research and practice : special conference, 25-27 June 2009, The Centre for Excellence in Performance Arts, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. Randall, Tresa, ed. Congress on Research in Dance, pp. 47-53. . [Book Section]
  7. Main, Lesley ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4521-3769 (2009) Nature moving naturally in succession: an exploration of Doris Humphrey’s Water Study with live performance. In: Moving Naturally, Rethinking Dance 1900s – 1930s, An International Symposium, 31 Oct 2009, Guildford, UK. . [Conference or Workshop Item]
  8. Main, Lesley ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4521-3769 (2010) The spectacle of silence and stillness. In: Dance & Spectacle”, The 2010 SDHS conference July 9–11, 2010, University of Surrey, U.K. Pierce, Ken, ed. Dance and Spectacle . Society of Dance History Scholars, pp. 169-176. . [Book Section]
  9. Main, Lesley ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4521-3769 (2012) Directing the dance legacy of Doris Humphrey: the creative impulse of reconstruction. Studies in Dance History . University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, WI, USA. ISBN 9780299285845. [Book]
  10. Main, Lesley ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4521-3769 and Humphrey, Doris (2007) Passacaglia [1938]. [Performance]