Unknown Places

Following a two-day workshop, Shropshire Inclusive Dance commissioned me to make a 20-minute stage performance with an ensemble of 13 disabled and non-disabled dancers from Contact Dance Company.

‘Unknown Places’ explores how we navigate, compose and find comfort within the unknown, we play with notions of waves, tides, and changing places. As the external and internal structures ebb and flow, build and disperse, we find new ways to connect and explore a constantly moving stillness’

The commission took place just after finishing a residency in West Wales, as part of my Creative Wales research.  We worked with found materials from this place, sounds that I had recorded during this time and scores that had been developed on walks along the river.  We worked with composer Jamie McCarthy to create the soundscape from these recordings and to work with live sound from the materials on stage.

The performance was an important milestone for Shropshire Inclusive Dance who through funding from Arts Council England are embarking on an exciting new programme of work entitled ‘Growing Together’. The development of Contact Dance Company is an important part of this programme.

More information on the work can be found here


‘The new work was a wonderful piece of ensemble movement: focused, reflective, contemplative, infused with the presence not only of each dancer, but also the presence and energies of the natural world’

— Audience member

 ‘At times it felt like the piece was showing to me the ever moving qualities of the whole of humanity’

— Audience member

‘A dancer moves slowly within a circle while delicate strands of lavender are precariously balanced on her. A male dancer moves and slides a large boulder through his arms, a ripple of bamboo poles balanced on dancers bodies provides a gentle rhythmic accompaniment’

— Audience member

Supported By:

Commissioned by Shropshire Inclusive Dance. This work was informed by research from Joanna's Creative Wales Award 'Conditions for Possibility' Funded by the Arts Council of Wales.


Wednesday 20th June at The Hive, 5 Belmont, Shrewsbury  SY1 1TE

Wednesday 10th October at the Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton


  • choreographer Joanna Young
  • Composer Jamie McCarthy
  • Rehearsal Director Ray Jacobs
  • Performed by and devised with Contact Dance Company
  • Commissioned by Shropshire Inclusive Dance
  • Photos by Ewen MacIntyre