Jane Turner set up TURNING WORLDS dance company in London in the 1990s as a route to creating collaborative, performative and participatory projects. With an initial residency at Morley College, and in collaboration with composer Daniel Biro, the company created “at the still point in the turning world” that evolved out of tracing spirals through the body into performance patterns, asking ‘does the world turn us, or do we turn the world’.
“What impressed me about the performance was the group’s sense of collective strength and cohesion. Simple natural movements built from within, generated strong shapes and organically created patterns. Even in its most complex moments, the piece retained a spontaneity that reaffirmed its improvisational basis. Here the rigour of ensemble work was fruitfully married to an inventive and imaginative concept. Jane Turner’s choreography – with a clear artistic provenance in New Dance – thus revealed, above all, a capacity to give vivid and concrete embodiment to an abstract idea. Her images not only compelled the attention, they resonated long after in the memory.”
Patrick Campbell, MTD Journal of the Performing Arts.
Meet the dance artists who have been most recently working with TURNING WORLDS:
Natacha Bisarre, Gwen Jones, Grégoire A. Meyer, David Ogle & Ann Pidcock in a short film by photographer/director Chris Frazer Smith.
Gwen, as seen here and featured in the Semaphore film, will also be leading our new London-based workshop graduated from London’s Laban Dance Centre in 2007. Working professionally as a dancer, teacher and choreographer in the UK and abroad, recent highlights include dancing for the Black Eyed Peas at the UEFA Champions League Final and in the Northern Soul feature film (dir: Elaine Constantine) which premiered in the UK and the US as well as: Aspen Rocks, Incandescence Circus Theatre Productions; Seasons 4.1, Drake Music with choreographer Sheron Wray; Longborough Festival Opera in The Ring Cycle, Gotterdammerung, Siegfried and Die Walkure; I We Collective in Amsterdam and Lisbon; ‘Please Switch on your Mobile Phones’, Tanja Raman, Wales; Bodies in Urban Spaces, Willi Dorner, Wales; Beyond the Stars, Bombastic Dance Theatre, UK.
She has performed and collaborated extensively with Turning Worlds since 2009 in Semaphore#Selfies, Choreograms, Semaphore, Quantum and Triggered and is excited to be leading on the current education programme. As passionate about teaching as she is performing, Gwen has been working with students in colleges and companies such as Young Academy Ballet, City of Westminister College, National Youth Dance Wales, Newington Youth Dance and most recently the Arts Depot Youth Dance Company. She gained a fitness instructing qualification through the YMCA and teaches sessions across London.
Her choreographic talents have also been honed working on music videos for artists Lamia and Juce, and as assistant choreographer for gig theatre show Princess, and choreographer and performer in the Festival of American Music, A Full Moon in March Lontano Ensemble. At the end of 2017 Gwen spent time in Germany developing her practice through participation on a physical theatre intensive course with Smash Berlin. Gwen also enjoys signing and performs variously as a backing vocalist.
Dance and Music remind us that “creativity – the means by which human cultures evolve – is a social affair” (Wheeler 2006).
Contemporary choreographic/compositional processes are essentially social in that they are collaborative and interdisciplinary and have their foundations in the liberational politics of the 60s, postmodernism. Contemporary performance culture involves creatively investigating and mapping human experience through listening, play and juxtapositions of difference. Rejecting the linear for the multi-dimensional and working with the body as both subject and object evolves an intercultural praxis that leads to greater understanding of the self as essential to the wider cultural ecology.
These understandings find synergy with the contemporary scientific theories of Chaos and Complexity which affirm the interconnectedness of all things at many scales as part of an ever-expanding universe.
Jane Turner, Choreographer, Artistic Director TURNING WORLDS