A Stage (In Between) Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Leeds (2017)

What is your most precious memory? Are you ready to let go in order to move on?

Blending elements of dance, theatre and storytelling, this creation for the students’ graduation at NSCD explores our relationship with the past, and what matters to us most as we move into the future.

Why Do You? Fusion Youth Dance Company, Aberdeen (2016)

‘With contemporary dance you have to think for yourself, decide what you’re going to do, because it’s you who is dancing.’

As part of the 2016 Dance Live Festival in Aberdeen, Joan worked with members of City Move‘s Fusion Youth Dance Company on a piece exploring why they choose to dance and how it’s benefitted their lives.  Why Do You? was performed as a curtain raiser to Plan B for Utopia at the Dance Live Festival.  Click here to read Joan’s Why Do You? Blog

Masked Ball, Illuminate Ensemble (2015)

‘Across the floor I see you… we move… In time we will move together, never apart, until… we have lost time. I cannot move, I am lost. All I want is to find you again…’

Masked Ball is a physical theatre performance directed by Amanda Lowson and devised in collaboration with Illuminate Ensemble, Dundee Rep’s ensemble for actors with learning disabilities. The work features live music by Scottish cellist and composer Greg Sinclair.

One of a Kind, Dalriada Youth Company (2015)

Getting ready to go out, making a road trip, laughing until your belly hurts, being asked to sing in front of your mum’s friends, putting up with your flatmates’ party… Why is it that we have the best and the worst of times with the same people?

One of a kind is a playful dance devised in collaboration with Dalriada Youth Company, a group of young dancers from the remote area of Argyll, in the West coast of Scotland. The piece explores what it means to belong to a group (be it a family, a clan or a clique) and how to survive it!

71 Dancers, Cultural Programme Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games (2014)

71 Dancers was inspired by the celebration of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. True to the spirit of the games, it brought together dancers from four different youth dance companies: Dalriada Youth Company (Argyll), Fusion Youth Dance Company (Aberdeen), Macrobert Youth Dance Company (Stirling), and Scottish Dance Theatre Youth Company (Dundee).

More than just learning a routine, Joan and the dancers worked together to create a new dance that talked about what mattered to them: their dreams, their worries, their hopes or their favourite dish! In a series of intensive weekend-residencies, the dancers visited each other’s cities and villages, but most importantly, they got to know each other and learn to think and work as a company. The piece was toured to different venues across Scotland.

Flors i Violes, Institut del Teatre, Barcelona (2014)

Flors i Violes was commissioned by Institut del Teatre (the Dance Conservatoire of Barcelona) for the graduating students of the contemporary dance department. The piece questions the idea of national identity, and emerged as a response to the political and social crisis that Catalonia and Spain have been experiencing in recent years. The work explores the tension between collective and personal identity, and implicitly questions the role of contemporary art in relation to political events.

Fiesta, Project Y (2013)

Project Y is an intensive performance course organised by Y Dance, the national dance organisation for young people in Scotland. The course is open to talented young dancers aged 16 – 21 and is an excellent preparation for those looking to pursue dance as a career.

Fiesta was commissioned as part of a triple bill with choreographers Anna Kenrick, Diana Loosemore and Filip Van Huffel. The piece is a dance journey down the rabbit hole into a nightmarish world where an eccentric celebration is taking place. A world dangerously similar to ours, where its inhabitants seem to have resigned themselves to keep partying until the curtain goes down…

This Town, Dundee Rep Creative Learning (2013)

This Town was a site specific performance directed by Suzi Morrice, head of Dundee Rep Creative Learning. The work was devised in collaboration with a cross-generational cast from the Whitfield community, and took the audience on a journey through the atmospheric rooms and corridors of Scotland’s Jute Museum at Dundee’s Verdant Works.

The performance evoked some of the stories in the collective memory of Dundee, like the one of Blind Mattie, a popular street musician who despite her advanced age, kept her inmates at the East House asylum dancing until late at night.

BolEro(s), Scottish School of Contemporary Dance (2010)

BolEro(s) was commissioned for The Space cadets, the performance group of the graduating students of Scottish School of Contemporary Dance.

‘We like answers. Answers that help us to understand the complex world we live in. And we like them, I suspect, because we don’t have them. One could say that we are only a bunch of evolved primates lost in the vastness of an incomprehensible universe. And, despite the claims of science and religion, we are still confused and scared, struggling to make sense of ourselves and the reality around us. In BolEro(s) I tried to talk about the futility and the beauty of this struggle’.