Arts Council of Wales | Jo Shapland
Creative Wales Awards 2011/12

Jo Shapland


Jo-ShaplandJo is a mature performer, dancer, choreographer, filmmaker, installation artist, fine artist and compulsive self-documenter. She is the primary artist and artistic director of Man Troi. Rooted in landscape, her work is developed and presented in spaces ranging from ruined farm-buildings to traditional proscenium theatres, from natural wilderness to urban architectural interiors.

She has lived and worked in Wales since 1993, and has a deep connection to its cultural life and wild places.

Originally trained as a contemporary dancer, she now practices psychophysical training that includes Asian martial and meditation arts, improvisation and aerial dance.

  • Her practice is time-based.
  • Her performances are time-based autobiographies.
  • Her work is site-sensitive.
  • Her practice is both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary.
  • Her practice is the unravelling of intricate processes.
  • Her ideas congregate as Visual Polyphony

Project - ‘Being In Place’

jo-shapland-dance-for-neanderthal-photo-Michal-Iwanowski‘Being In Place’ is a 15-month programme of research-based activities predominantly based in Pembrokeshire with some activity in Brighton and the USA.

Jo aims to further investigate and refine an element that she began during her [in]scape residency at the Mostyn, Llandudno in 2005 and from the research that resulted in her choreography Dance for Neanderthal, commissioned in 2010.

She will immerse herself in 5 rural locations and develop ‘Landscape Scores’ from which to experiment with Visual Polyphony in a ‘black box’ control space. This will involve submersion, for brief episodes, in collaboration with other practitioners’ artistic ‘languages’: choreographic, inter-disciplinary, visual, sonic, dramaturgical, archaeological and geographical.

Jo would like this work to have more than just an ephemeral performance presence and to create a solid, useful tool for developing practice in the future – for her and others. Applied to other situations and to artists from varied disciplines, she wants to push the boundaries of her work and to open up possibilities.

This is a means to progress dance as an artform, to take it into new areas. Jo hopes that the whole project will be a catalyst for this work that is inherently embedded in and springing from landscapes of Wales.

This program will include workshop activities, rehearsals, mentoring, presentations, feedback sessions, exploratory visits and meetings.

Back to the full list of awards

Registered Charity Number 1034245