‘Choreographers nowadays need to be clever’. An emerging curator Jacob Bray on what he’s screaming about -

‘Choreographers nowadays need to be clever’. An emerging curator Jacob Bray on what he’s screaming about


Laundry residencija | NARA Berta Tilmantaitė

Jacob Bray is a contemporary dance theatre creator and choreographer from the UK. Jacob’s work incorporates elements of dance, theatre, comedy, and speech. He’s interested in female empowerment, nightlife, world affairs, equality, and realness. In 2018, Jacob participated in Kaunas Biennial as an emerging artist with his work Laundry. He was the first internationally commissioned artist in Kaunas from the MagiC Carpets platform. Today we catch up with him as an emerging curator, too. We chat about the dance scene, sensitive topics, and reminiscence of the Laundry process. Also how to make dance accessible?


Jacob, what are you working on right now?

I’m working with people from Folkestone Fringe. It’s an arts organization here in Folkestone, and we work on the MagiCs Carpets platform. I’m the emerging curator, too. Alongside, I do a host of other things. As a choreographer and director, I’m moving towards my next piece of work currently it’s in the initial stages. That will be mostly film work, but also a bit of dance. I hope to involve a lot of the artistic and residential communities here in Folkestone.


When reflecting on the beginning of your dance studies, you wrote: “It felt like I could scream through choreography.” Do you feel the same way now?

I remember feeling like that because, as a teenager, I was shy. I remember being in situations and not being able to speak up or say what I felt. But through choreography, I could. That’s what made me so passionate about it at the beginning. Obviously, as I’ve grown older and my artistic interests have changed, I’m more confident now. So, I still do scream through my choreography but it’s not so much about what I’m feeling or what I want to say. It’s about political issues, how others are feeling, how I can empower others. It’s different.


So, the things you’re screaming about have changed, but not the screaming itself?

Yeah. Also, I remember writing that because my choreography used to be kind of garish. It was quite punchy and loud. And now, ten years later, I find much more sensitivity in my work. But, you know, that’s because I’m feeling different as a person.


What are you the most sensitive about now?

Probably my family, my friends, and my relationships with people. Those things are important to me, and I think they’re important to celebrate in the work because everybody has them. What else? Money issues. Especially at the moment. You know, things like paying bills, calling mum, the normal things we all do. Everything going on in the world. Yeah, unfortunately, there are lots of terrible things going on. My brain is very active in the world news. Those kinds of topics always crop up in my work somehow, I think it’s important to shine a light on them.

Keep reading the full interview by Tautė Bernotaitė on kaunaspilnas.lt in here.