Joanna Young is an independent choreographer currently practicing in Wales and Bristol. Described by Dancing Times as ‘an adventurous choreographic voice’ her 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 Joanna’s work. Projects and practices emerge by listening and responding, which facilitates an inclusive, co-authored and participatory process. Joanna works in both rural and urban contexts, which have resulted in outdoor, gallery and site-specific installations; stage productions; film; and audio walks. She has 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 BRAW, an audience development research project).
In 2017 Joanna completed a Masters in Choreography (with distinction) from The Place, London Contemporary Dance School. She graduated from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in 2006, where she was awarded for her ‘outstanding achievement and progression in choreographic studies’. She then went on to complete an apprenticeship with The Cholmondeleys and The Featherstonehaughs.
Joanna regularly facilitates inclusive workshops in a range of education, community and health contexts. She is a visiting university lecturer specialising in expanded choreographic practices and theory and movement studies, including somatic practices. Joanna is a founding member of Groundwork Pro (Cardiff), and member of artist-led collectives Interval (Bristol), Maynard Collective (Wales) and BRAW collective (Scotland). She regularly collaborates with composer Jamie McCarthy and has worked with dance artists Deborah Light, Jessie Brett and Ania Varez in a supporting role / rehearsal director / mentor capacity.
Joanna is now concluding an 18-month research project funded through a Creative Wales Award from the Arts Council of Wales. Over the course of this research she has 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.