Based in Paris Ile-de-France, Joanne Leighton is a Belgian-Australian choreographer. Her professional career is linked to an original, dynamic and constantly evolving vision of dance and her discourse is permeated by an emphasis on dialogue and exchange, both with the public and with her artistic collaborators. Central to her work lies the notion of site, territory and identity, which are for Joanne Leighton interdependant spaces.
After dancing in the Australian Dance Theater (1986-1991), Joanne Leighton moved to Europe, living and performing in London for 2 years. Her company Velvet was established in Brussels in 1993, where she built up her choreographic work, active for over 18 years.
Directrice of the National Choreographic Center of Franche-Comté in Belfort in France (2010 – 2015). In 2015 Joanne Leighton formed WLDN, project, philosphy and platform for her choreographic research and creation. Her works have been performed nationally and internationally in theaters, urban and industriel spaces, art galleries, town squares, on rooftops and presented on screens and smartphones.
Joanne Leighton's choreographic work has been co-produced and presented on many international stages for over 20 years. Joanne Leighton has to her credit over twenty dance productions. This includes her stage work « Exquisite Corpse » (2012) an exquisite corpse for 57 worldwide choreographers and 7 dancers ; « Made in…Séries », a large scale ‘architecture in movement’ for 99 participants performed in situe and (re)created in France, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, Cuba ; « The Modulables », a series of site-specific pieces between installation and performance with an ambulatory public, which have been evolving over a period of 10 years. Joanne Leighton and the director Christoph Frick co-sign « Melting Pot » for 9 young performers from immigrant backgrounds, a cultural exchange between the Theater Freiburg, the CCN of Belfort and Junges Theater Basel ; « Chair Dances » (2010-2015), a virtual digital gallery comprising over 30 short choreographic films involving chairs ; « 9000 Steps » (2015), is performed by six dancers on a bed of salt to the music of Drumming, Steve Reich.
In September 2011, Joanne Leighton launched her large scale work, « The Vigil », a work for 732 inhabitants and performed over 366 consecutive days. The Vigil of Evreux - « Les Veilleurs d'Evreux » is currently being mounted for the Scène Nationale Tangram in Evreux, the performance will premiere on the 22nd September 2017 - 22 Setpember 2018.
In parallel to her signature stage piece « 9000 Steps », Joanne Leighton has initiated a series of walking pieces with « WALK#1 Belfort – Freiburg », where she walked a path between the two Vigil sites by following waterways over 120 kms in four days. Since 2014 these ‘walking dances’ are part of her choreographic practice.
An internationally recognized pedagogue, Joanne Leighton regularly gives lectures and workshops. She has taught for companies such as Jean-Claude Gallotta, Catherine Diverrès, Angelin Preljocaj, Trisha Brown Company, Centre National Danse in Paris, Carolyn Carlson Atelier, Batsheva Company etc.
« Songlines », the new choreographic work for 6 dancers, will premiere in February 2018. Interested in finding new ways of being, doing, thinking, working, making and presenting, Joanne Leighton seeks to embrace a radically different approach to access, ownership, and authorship in contemporary dance performance.
Source: Joanne Leighton's website
More information: wldn.fr