Emma Jayne Park
Emma is driven to be involved in the production of original work that challenges both audiences and practitioners. She aspires to develop new methods of evolving the arts sector to further support artists, engage audiences and develop artistic learning.
Emma has grown as a contemporary dancer, choreographer and facilitator since graduating in 2007 with a First Class BA Hons in Dance from Edinburgh's Centre for Professional Dance Training. Following her first performance contract in Gilbert Deflo's L'Orpheo at The Edinburgh International Festival, Emma relocated to Manhattan (NY) to undertake an internship at Dance New Amsterdam where she studied under artists such as Lynn Simonson, Douglas Dunn and Diane McCarthy.
Upon her return to Scotland Emma undertook an apprenticeship with Company Chordelia and has since danced with a variety of artists and companies such as Coral Lee Dance Company, Ocean All Over, Angus Balbernie & Norman Douglas, Freshmess, Barrowland Ballet, Lorraine Jamieson and Gary Clarke.
Since immersion in hip hop culture four years ago, hip hop has fundamentally changed Emma's lifestyle: supporting the Scottish training community; attending jams; battling and most recently exploring rhythm in spoken word. Having employed her skills to commence training in Hip Hop / club culture styles (primarily b-boying, waacking and vogue but with a strong interest in Popping and House) she now instinctively draws upon these styles when visualising new choreography and actively questions the boundaries of hip hop theatre.
Supported by Creative Scotland, Emma has travelled across Europe and North America to learn from waacking innovators Viktor Manoel, Dallace Zeigler, Tyrone Proctor, Archie Burnett, Kumari Suraj and Alyssa Chloe amongst more.
She recently began battling both nationally and internationally; being crowned the Winner of the first ever Punking Dramatics Category at Waackfest in Los Angeles in 2013.
Eager to maintain the integrity of original waacking culture she recently founded Northern City Waackers as a vehicle to develop the waacking scene across Scotland and the North of England.
Emma has a fuelled interest in exploring spoken word, immersive theatre techniques, design and the role of dramaturgy to strengthen the accessibility and originality of her work.
Choreographically, Emma began creating work as a means to performing between contracts however quickly realised that the art of making dance theatre was as significant to her as moving itself. Her first work Balance was the first featured dance work of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival. Since 2009 she has worked to develop her choreographic tongue and ultimately aims to create the work she would like to see; visceral, honest and original.
As a means to understanding the craft Emma has travelled across Europe and the UK to learn from practitioners such as Ivo Dimchev, Katie Duck, Alan Greig, Rasmus Olme, Nicole Piesl and Alva Noe. She was one of the original practitioners in Gary Clarke's '5 dances 5 days' (supported by Merseyside Dance Initiative) which was the pilot for his development model 'Lustrum' in which Emma has also participated.
As part of the Creative Scotland Choreographic Futures Programme Emma worked as part of a group of Scottish artists with iconic choreographers David Gordon and Liz Lerman over a two week period developing choreographic and analysis skills.
After participation in Breakin' Convention's Open Art Surgery, Edinburgh, under the mentorship of Jonzi D and Christine Devaney. Emma received support from Imaginate's Festivals Expo Fund to further explore ideas exploring social media. Her findings were shared as work in progress with delegates as part of the Imaginate Festival 2013. As a result of this the work, now titled "Status Anxiety' was programmed as part of Dance Base's main Fringe Festival Programme and subsequently toured to venues across Scotland.
Emma was one of six 2010/11 recipients of the Cultural Enterprise Office's One to One Coaching programme and is one of the 2014 Federation of Scottish Theatre Mentees on their Step Up programme.
Presently, Emma is researching methodologies that unite all elements of her practice. This includes questioning the creation and definition of hip hop theatre; developing cross genre movement vocabulary; fuelling teaching work with her current artistic questions and finding collaborative partners more concerned with answering creative questions than rigidly bracketing their creative practice.