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Personal profile


Sarah Pini is a PhD candidate at Macquarie University working interdisciplinary on embodied cognition in dance under the supervision of Prof John Sutton (Cognitive Science), Prof Greg Downey and Prof Kalpana Ram (Anthropology) and Dr Julie-Anne Long (Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies).

Her ethnographic project presents a phenomenological exploration of the sense of presence across distinct dance forms: Contemporary Ballet, Contact Improvisation and Body Weather. By adopting a cognitive ecological framework, Sarah's research investigates the dimensions of variation in the enactment of ‘stage presence’ across different dance practices and performers.

Sarah graduated M.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology at the University of Bologna, Italy (2012) with a thesis in Medical Anthropology awarded with the highest distinction. During her Master studies she completed one-year Erasmus Programme in Sociology at the University of Ghent (Belgium), funded by the European Union Lifelong Learning Programme.

She graduated B.A. in Visual Arts at the University Paris 1 – Pantheon-Sorbonne, France (2009), after she trained professionally in ballet and contemporary dance across Europe for several years, working and studying with international choreographers such as William Forsythe, Wayne McGregor, Frédéric Flamand, Carolyn Carlson; among many others.

Alongside her academic research, Sarah is developing INFINITO, an experimental film series that explores the relationship to illness and its transformational aspects from a phenomenological and auto-ethnographic perspective.

Her short film ABISSO, the first episode of the series, won the 2018 Visual and Creative Ethnography Competition organised by the Australian Network of Student Anthropologists (ANSA) and was premiered at the Cairns Institute at James Cook University during the Australian Anthropology Society (AAS) annual conference in December 2018. ABISSO has been selected to be featured on Dance Cinema www.dancecinema.org/abisso.html

Sarah's artistic practice investigates the interconnections of movement, emotion and environment and how their dynamical relationships shape embodied narratives and sense making.


Education/Academic qualification

Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Master of Arts, Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna

Oct 2010Nov 2012

Visual Arts, Bachelor of Arts, Université de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne

Sep 2008Nov 2009

External positions

Research Assistant, University of Western Sydney

1 Sep 20171 Oct 2017

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Sarah Pini is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

dance Social Sciences
Dancing Medicine & Life Sciences
spontaneity Social Sciences
charisma Social Sciences
experience Social Sciences
candidacy Social Sciences
divergence Social Sciences
ethnography Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2019 2019

Audio-Video Observation, Recording, Analysis and Conferencing Infrastructure

Richardson, M., Wuthrich, V., Kallen, R., Norberg, M., Reichle, E., Wiggins, M., Sutton, J., Nalepka, P., Rigoli, L., Douglas, H., Pini, S., Mingon, M., Falkland, E., Wolters, N., Kwok, C. & Auletta, F.


Project: Other

Research Outputs 2012 2019

"ABISSO": artist interview

Ramos, M. & Pini, S., 1 Jun 2019

Research output: Non-traditional research outputDigital or Visual productsResearch

Open Access
Stem Cells

Moving perspectives: biology is technology

Pini, S. & George, J., 16 Jun 2019, Anthroposphere: The Oxford Climate Review, IV.

Research output: Contribution to Newspaper/Magazine/WebsiteArticleResearch

Open Access

Resisting the ‘patient’ body: a phenomenological account

Pini, S. & Pini, R., 29 May 2019, In : Journal of Embodied Research. 2, 1, 13 p., 2.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
Wounds and Injuries

Synthetic organisms: performing promise and doubt

Pini, S. & George, J., 31 May 2019, In : Critical Dialogues. 11, p. 48-59 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

Open Access


Pini, S. & Pini, R., 2018

Research output: Non-traditional research outputDigital or Visual productsResearch

Experimental Film
Stem Cells


post-graduate studies
field of study
research project

Activities 2014 2019


Sarah Pini (Speaker)
20 Jan 201927 Jan 2019

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Making Space I: Bodies, Space and the Anthropocene

Sarah Pini (Speaker)
6 Mar 2019

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


Sarah Pini (Participant)
22 Mar 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipating in a conference, workshop, ...

Dance cognitive ecologies and the interkinaesthetic social presence in Contact Improvisation

Sarah Pini (Speaker)
13 Nov 2018

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Symposium 'Movement, Expertise and Creativity' presented at Australasian Society for Philosophy and Psychology (ASPP) 2018 meeting

Sarah Pini (Organiser), Kathryn Bicknell (Organiser)
7 Dec 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganising a conference, workshop, ...

Press / Media

Making Space I: Bodies, Space and the Anthropocene

Sarah Pini


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities