joanna young

I am an independent choreographer currently practicing in Scotland, Wales and Bristol. Described by Dancing Times as ‘an adventurous choreographic voice’ my work often involves a meditative and sensorial tone, intricate crafting and time to tune into the movements between people, places, and things.

Interdisciplinary collaboration is at the core of my work. Projects and practices emerge by listening and responding, which facilitates an inclusive, co-authored and participatory process. I work in both rural and urban contexts, which have resulted in outdoor, gallery and site-specific installations; stage productions; film; and audio walks. Over the past twelve years I have received regular Project Funding from the Arts Council of Wales to develop and tour work and had numerous UK and International choreographic commissions. Recent collaborative projects include: ‘Conditions for possibility’ (a continuous research project funded through Creative Wales Award); ‘And all the men we saw today’ (Commissioned by Southampton university); ‘Unknown Places’ (Commissioned by Shropshire Inclusive Dance); and ‘Bodies of water’ (Part of BOW Collective).

In 2017 I completed a Masters in Choreography (with distinction) from The Place, London Contemporary Dance School. I graduated from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in 2006, where I was awarded for ‘outstanding achievement and progression in choreographic studies’. I then went on to complete an apprenticeship with The Cholmondeleys and The Featherstonehaughs.

I regularly facilitate inclusive workshops in a range of education, community and health contexts. I am a visiting university lecturer specialising in expanded choreographic practices and theory and movement studies, including somatic practices. I am a founder member of Groundwork Pro (Cardiff), and member of artist-led collectives Interval (Bristol), Maynard Associates (Wales) and BOW collective (Scotland). I regularly collaborates with composer Jamie McCarthy and have worked with dance artists Deborah Light, Jessie Brett, Beth Powlesland and Ania Varez in a supporting role / rehearsal director / mentor capacity.

I am currently concluding an 18-month research project funded through a Creative Wales Award from the Arts Council of Wales. Over the course of this research I have been looking into the potential for a more sustainable choreographic and artistic practice, expanding the form of choreography and its potential beyond the body.

As a child I had an obsession with arranging spaces, moving paraphernalia and domestic furnishings around to create different atmospheres and situations. I feel like I am still playing the same game.

I am passionate about interdisciplinary approaches that bring people together, dismantle traditional hierarchies, and create spaces that are inclusive, generous and responsive to place and environment, human and non-human. I am driven by practices and projects that build lasting relationships, distribute authorship between creator and situation and that come from a place of care and interconnection.

My work is conceptually driven, and political through its process. I work within a range of public and environmental contexts, which allows me to uncover and frame observations through the exposure of detail, function and transformation.