Blood Memory Dance is a community-based organisation established in 2017. Emma's innovative programme has attracted funding from Arts Council England, Hull Dance, HAVA Local & Leeds Inspired to support its intergenerational and professional dance practice. Working closely with partner organisations including HOPs, HAVA, Leeds Galleries & museums & Hawksworth Wood Primary School to deliver 'The Big Shebang' 2018. This project brought together 200 people from the Hawksworth wood estate of all ages inspiring a new dance commission and new community model. This was continued the following year as Emma created 'Counting Planes ' 2019 touring further to York and Hull . Included in Emma's R&D projects are more bespoke performance events Hawksworh Memorial event Oct 2019, York museum of Farming Nov 2019 & Swathmore centre, Womens Day March 2020.
Blood Memory Dance advocates working through creative practice to bring communities together; young and old, to share quality time and exchange of ideas in a fun and nurturing environment. Escaping the fast pace of the technological world, we immerse ourselves in dance movement, staying present in the body using our location, each other and our environment for inspiration.
Currently Blood Memory has teamed up with Hull Dance 'Time of Our lives' 2020/21, this is an online project mentoring young artists from Hull and Yorkshire. Devising live dance online and collaborating with musician Georgia Jakubiak to engage families & community groups. This work allows people to reflect on experiences over the pandemic and uses movement as a positive way to communicate with others and look forward to a better future.
Artistic Director |
In 1998, Emma graduated from NSCD with a Bachelor Arts Hons Dance Degree.
Emma has 22-years professional experience as a dancer, teacher, choreographer, and previous Artistic Director of Ascendance based in Leeds. Emma has performed in: number 1 hit ‘sweet like chocolate’; Seven Sisters (site-specific); Ascendance Rep Company working with Gary Clarke (site specific): Gerry Turvey at Tate Gallery and Leeds City Gallery, to name few. Commissions include: Phoenix Dance Theatre residency, Doncaster University in 2013, and FlashMob ‘Who R you talking to?’, a 6-week project for Online Safeguarding and West Yorkshire Police, received newspaper and online coverage.
Further opportunities include: working alongside Joss Arnott as part of his 2014 national tour; working with Gary Clarke to devise a project work shown to degree students about creative industries trajectory. In 2016, Emma was selected to collaborate with Gary Clarke on Coal at with National Coal Mining Museum.
In 2016-2017, Emma connected with international partners: Pina Bausch Foundation, Wuppertal, and PACT arts organisation in Essen, Germany, also delivering a degree student placement.
Emma was chosen for mentorship with One Dance UK 2015-2016, with mentoring from Beth Cassani and Yorkshire Dance. This allowed Emma to trial initial stages of Blood Memory, performing work at Yorkshire Dance and Kirstall Abbey, performing to families and reaching 5000+ people.
Emma has developed a strong reputation for building deep and meaningful relationships with communities and creating performances from their stories. 2019 commemorating Hawksworth memorial community event and 2020 with Swathmore centre celebrating International Womens Day with real war stories, live music & dance.
Since the pandemic Emma has become skilled working with on-line provision, devising Youtube videos, teaching weekly dance & yoga sessions and delivering creative workshops, one to one classes and large groups activities.
In 2020 Emma became online guest artist for Hull Dance speaking live about professional partnership, community dance projects and the changes and adaptions made to her artist work. also sharing about the pressures of juggling parenting and trying to keep her artistic work alive.
November 2020 Emma was selected for a online self care programme run by Creative Well with integrative arts psychotherapist Roshmi Lovatt. Learning fresh approaches to sustaining her online delivery looking after her own mental health & wellbeing.
Emma is currently managing an online project comissioned by Hull Dance, mentoring young artists from Hull and Yorkshire, devising and collaborating with Georgia Jakubiak through virtual workshops to engage families with Time of Our Lives project funded by the Arts Council England.
The Creative Team
Emma has been developing her artistic practice through training in music, theatre, site specific and working with community family groups, with support of artists: Rachel Wesson & Georgian Jakubiak. A strong team of artists were selected by Emma to support her vision in Big Shebang & Counting Planes including film artist Wayne Sables, rehearsal director Ascendance's Rachel Wesson, Mentor Susan Burns, Performers Bobak Walker & James Fogerty & musician Georgina Jakubiak. Rosie Watts from Spin Arts was commissioned to produce Blood Memory.
Audience- Yorkshire Museum of Farming Oct 2019
Beautiful imagery of 1940’s icons- planes, Zips, Gas masks, hugs, good byes etc. Loved the fusion of contemporary & hip hop. The music was superb- loved the dialogue and the traditional 1940s songs .Very emotive inspirational- loved it! Want to see it again! Wilson family p.s I want a boiler suit!
Participant - Bilton Grange, Hull Oct 2019
It was fantastic working with Blood Memory Dance. I really loved working with the various styles and have since added the new learning into my own practice. It was great to get to know the company and find out more about their work
Audience Humber street Hull - Nov 2019
Came off the street such unexpected pleasure to see this expression, energetic display of skill in the art of dance. Thank you! for the visual impact. Welldone!
Partner - Director of HOPS Big Shebang 2018
The show today was magnificent and reflects a great deal of effort on your part. I thoroughly enjoyed it and by the look on the participants young and old they did too. It was lovely to see old and young performing together. I am so proud of our older ladies , they rock.
Participant - Family workshop 2018
It was such a lovely opportunity to dance with my children and enjoying playing in a dance studio. You led it really well Emma, with flexibility and clarity. Thank you (Shelly, Rowan & baby Daisy)