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What does the dx Choreography Award mean to you and how will you use your time at DanceXchange?

Jamaal Dancing XI expect to begin the development of a brand new work as part of a new series of works that began with the first piece ‘Volume 1’. I have in the past felt that when trying to describe the intention behind different works I have made, the clarity of delivering those intentions dissipates. I much prefer choosing to focus on the feeling than the thinking, and I feel most whenever I focus on music. This opportunity with dx affords me the chance to go back to the root cause of why I made dance in the first place. ‘Volume 2’ therefore will follow a musical score that builds from a small beginning into a huge climax, like rolling rocks into an avalanche, or swaying water that can turn violent. And in that process the meaning, which will never truly be defined, can certainly be unearthed for an audience member.

Tell us about you and your practice?

Originally from Leicester, I am a graduate of the Northern School for Contemporary Dance. Whilst studying I was inspired to begin playing with choreography which led to the creation of a piece entitled ‘Ocean’. The piece was commissioned for VERVE, the postgraduate company at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and it proved successful with audiences in UK and beyond. Whilst VERVE toured ‘Ocean’ nationally and in Europe, I continued my degree at Northern and upon graduating the piece was reworked a third time and final time for the opening of the Dance UK conference. During this period I was also successful in gaining my first grants for the arts award for the creation of a short work called ‘Sonder’. It was during the summer of the same year that I applied and won the New Adventures Choreography Award.

Dream collaboration?

It’s really hard to pick a dance artist I’d like to collaborate with, there are emerging artists whose work I really admire but i’d rather avoid getting into a studio with them as I love the mystique behind their practice. I really love collaborating with dancers that are the beginning of their journeys so getting to work with students is when I’m most inspired. Outside of the dance world, I love the connection between music and dance and i’ve been fortunate to work with my siblings who both have musical backgrounds as well. In the future i’m going to continue to work with music and musicians that inspire me, the dream artists from anywhere in world would be either Kendrick Lamar or the Fleet Foxes.

First dance experience?

My brother wanted to do Tap Dance classes and I decided to go along with him, but instead of doing the class, I took a ‘street’ dance class instead. This was when I was about or 11/12 and I was living in Leicester.

Favourite dance video of all time?

I fell in love with Choreography in my first year at NSCD after seeing this clip in an academics class from Rosas Danst Rosas. Up to this point I loved dancing but hadn’t fallen in love with the mathematics and mechanics of creating dance works. This work changed all that.

Jamaal’s Socials

Jamaal Burkmar Dance