Freedom of Movement
is a dance project for and about women migrating during the refugee crisis. The group is made up of women from Pamoja based at NNRF (Nottingham & Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum) and from Kairos (Nottingham Lesbian Immigration Support Group). The project is essentially ‘a dance-based exploration of women’s experiences of migration’, is funded by the University of Nottingham and is a collaboration between the ICEMiC research centre, represented by Dr Aimie Purser, and choreographer Emma Lewis-Jones.
Emma has been a General Adviser at NNRF for a long time and saw this summer (2018) project as a merging of her voluntary and professional work.
Refugee lives are often characterised by experiences of migratory movement and border crossing, of displacements and emplacements, of transnational connections and of those questions of belonging, home and return that continue to ‘move’ us even once settled in a host country. This project seeks to give voice to these experiences of movement through movement (dance), with a particular focus on the expression and communication of women’s embodied, sensual and emotional experiences of migration. – Dr Aimie Purser
Emma’s delivery at Level has several strands to it and the organisation remain in constant support of her work, since she first facilitated in February 2018. As well as providing regular Creative Choice workshops for adults with diverse needs, Emma also works with a group of young men with Down Syndrome in weekly choreographic workshops. Last year the group moved outdoors and began making work about public spaces local to Level Centre (Rowsley, Derbyshire). Most recently they have created a new research project; Body As Landscape (pictured), in which they’ll discover new ways of relating to Curbar Edge, Derbyshire, realised by bodywork and photography.
Emma has also joined staff at Level to deliver Body As Canvas sessions at New Art Exchange (Nottingham) with local participants, alongside the Level dancers.
where Emma is developing a new project with the intention of delivering a year-long programme of choreographic experiences in relation to the four seasons, starting in mid 2019. This is a delicate and thorough project for Emma, who’ll enable participants in the last year of their life to observe and enjoy the changing seasons in the beautiful grounds of the hospice. The project is supported by Nottinghamshire Hospice and Dance4 and is a variation and continuation of Emma’s outdoor movement practice. She is supported by mentor Kayte Coe.
Nottingham Nelken Line
On 22 April 2018 a group of community performers danced the famous sequence by the iconic German choreographer Pina Bausch: the Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter line from NELKEN, 1982, through the streets and parks of Sneinton, as part of an international participatory project. Emma facilitated workshops with Oakfield SEN School and several large community classes at Dance4, in order to teach the movement sequence to one hundred participants. She collaborated with a film student at Confetti Nottingham, Kyle Smith, so the work is now online alongside submissions from across the world.
Dada Is Umm
was a live art cabaret presenting many Nottingham artists, marking 100 years since Cabaret Voltaire’s Hugo Ball read the first Dada Manifesto in 1916.
Emma (as part of live art duo Dog’s Daughter) produced a program of performance art that celebrated the different, the fabulous, the ugly, the bright, the eccentric, the queer and the bold!
Pictured is a moment from a performance by Dogs Daughter, a collaboration Emma has with her father, Chris Lewis-Jones. The pair are based at Primary Studios, Nottingham and have produced five performance works concerned with gender politics, domestic ritual, folkloric practice and undermining hierarchy. Emma and Chris use their varying skills to generate unique, emotional performances for (sometimes unsuspecting) audiences in intimate settings. Dogs Daughter first presented Accoutrements of Domestic Ritual at Dada Is Umm and have most recently performed an outdoor work in Hockley, Nottingham; Peace Pipe.
a collaboration between Emma, choreographer Becki Nevin and invited international artists. The project took place along the length of the Cornish Coastal path in summer 2015. Walking from Morwenstow to Cremyll, Wonderlust engaged hundreds of audience members and generated many performances events alongside workshops delivered en route, punctuating the journey. Guest artists delivered on certain sections of the trip and many Cornish artists and organisations supported Wonderlust throughout the five-week (three hundred mile) hike. Emma's role was as both producer and choreographer, alongside fellow Falmouth University Graduate and colleague, Becki.