Jennifer Christine Stokes is a South East based Freelance Community Dance Artist, originally from Liverpool, North West England. She has ten 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 interested in investigating the need for a sociotransformative practice within community dance. With a focus on site-specific work and somatic practice, her research includes the development of a socio-choreographic practice that utilises digital technologies within communities. She will be making an original contribution to the field of community dance.
As a Catalyst Artist for dancedigital in 2013, Jennifer developed the idea for . 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. 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 have been included in their educational programme for 2014 – 2015.
Jennifer 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), 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.