Jennifer Christine Stokes, BA (Hons), MA

Jennifer Christine Stokes is a South East based Artist-Scholar in Community Dance, originally from Liverpool, North West England. She has twelve years’ experience as a Dance in Education & Community Dance Artist for organisations such as Cheshire Dance, English Heritage, Ludus Dance, MK Gallery and Theatre Royal Wakefield. Her roles have involved planning, organising and evaluating dance and performing arts workshops and programmes, workshop delivery and choreography in a wide range of styles including Bollywood, Contemporary, Dance for Camera, Dance Theatre, Physical Theatre and Street Dance. She has also devised workshops relating to National Curriculum topics such as Ancient Greeks, Romans, Liverpool, Victorian Britain and World War 2. Jennifer has led workshops and programmes to a wide range of groups including schools (primary and secondary), college, university, youth, elderly and disability groups as well as more specialised groups such as LGBT, youth dance and undergraduate dance companies, diversionary/excluded youth and Roma, Gypsy and Traveller groups.

As a Doctoral Researcher in Theatre and Performance at University of Reading, Jennifer is exploring how social choreography can be integrated into dance practice in the community. With a focus on site-specific work & somatic practice, her research includes the development of a socio-choreographic practice that aims to address cultural displacement. She will be making an original contribution to the field of community dance by building upon & developing critical concepts around the fields of social choreography & somatic practice. This research is currently postponed.

In November 2015, Jennifer was selected by a panel of industry professionals to take part in One Dance UK’s Choreographers Observership Programme 2015 – 2016 in partnership with English National Ballet. The programme provided fourteen choreographers with awards to observe a choreographer of their choice in order to foster peer-to-peer learning, broker and build relationships between choreographers and provide an opportunity for choreographers to develop their craft. Jennifer observed Adrienne Hart, Neon Dance early 2016 and wrote and delivered a paper presentation on her observation, How Does Liveness and Presence Interact with the Digital?, at  JAM 2016 conference, University of Reading.

As a Catalyst Artist for dancedigital in 2013, Jennifer developed the idea for <ID_anc(E)>. An interactive and immersive digital environment that enabled audiences to become the dancers/users of their identity. Audience members were to be guided through the creation of their own avatars and encouraged to take part in a series of movement games that brought about an acceptance of themselves and others. <ID_anc(E)> aimed to create a performance by the audience that encouraged agency and also a sense of togetherness. This R&D period captured the attention of MK Gallery and Dance for Camera workshops inspired by the work were included in their educational programme for 2014 – 2015.

Jennifer also has a proven interest in representing a UK reality of both the masculine and feminine within the biologically, female body through the medium of video installation. When creating material for her video installations, she has selected self-identified androgynous women to explore their identity through a series of given creative tasks; enabling participants to make a contribution for the video installation and/or performance. The specifics of their contributions were then applied to the film editing process; resulting in the participants’ having full creative control.

She has studied under the direction of Frank Bock, Rosemary Brandt, Emilyn Claid, Valerie Preston-Dunlop, Helena Hunter, Miranda Pennell, Simon Vincenzi and Rachel Zerihan. All of whose practices have influenced her own. The mode of presentation of her work has been site-specific and mixed mode (recorded video projection and live, pre-directed performance) and she has showcased her work at Laban London (2010), Greenroom Arts Manchester (2011), Theatre Royal Wakefield (2011), The Dukes Lancaster (2011-2012), The Point Eastleigh (2011), Rich Mix London (2012), Blue Elephant Theatre Camberwell (2012) and The Place London (2013). She often collaborates with other artists, companies and organisations in their own performance based projects; taking on a variety of roles which are related to her past and current interests.

Jennifer is a professional member of People Dancing: The Foundation for Community Dance, Dance UK and Reading Dance Professionals Network. For more details on her work, please visit the news, gallery or contact pages of this website.