Yolande Yorke-Edgell is the artistic director of Yorke Dance Project, who will be bringing their mixed bill Rewind Forward to Pavilion Dance on Thursday 9 February. We spoke to Yolande about her background, her inspirations and her life as an artist:
– What’s your background?
After training in ballet, I attended the Martha Graham school in New York and changed my focus to contemporary dance. After New York I danced with the Bella Lewitzky company in California. While there I also founded Yorke Dance Project.
– How do you work?
My work is generally narrative-based and character driven. Once I have a concept I do a lot of research before beginning to create movement for the dance.
– What’s integral to the work of an artist?
Making art takes time and coasts money. Inspiration comes for free, but in order to realise an idea, artists need considerable financial support.
– What has been a seminal experience?
Working with Robert Cohan for the last five years – as a teacher, mentor and choreographer – has been essential to my personal and artistic development.
– How has your practice change over time?
These days I am more and more focused on the intention of movement rather than steps themselves.
– Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
Reading Michael A Singer’s book The Untethered Soul inspired my new work Untethered (part of Rewind Forward).
– What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Enthusiastic audiences often say very wonderful, personal things that are very moving to me. And it is always great to see the company’s dancers be well reviewed. Luke Jennings has called the company “accomplished and sophisticated” and Sanjoy Roy has called the dancers “exceptional, super-beings”! That was awfully nice to read. Also the company was nominated for a UK Theatre Award in 2015. That was great!
– What is your dream project?
A fully funded project, with LOTS of rehearsal time, our own designated studio and a long international tour.