Emma Jayne Park:  artistic director

Photo by Suzanne R Livingstone
Photo by Suzanne R Livingstone

Carrying the innate values of hip hop culture whilst exploring new territories in theatre, EJP is driven to make socio-political work with the intention of creating genuine dialogue.  'High Octane... energetic, witty & playful' (The Skinny), her practice asks audiences to engage through questioning their own social norms and their consequences.



Since graduating with a First Class BA Hons in Dance in 2007, from Edinburgh's Centre for Professional Dance Training, EJP undertook a her first performance contract in Gilbert Deflo's L'Orpheo at The Edinburgh International Festival.  Soon after she relocated to Manhattan, New York, to complete her contemporary dance training with an internship at Dance New Amsterdam, studying under artists such as Lynn Simonson, Douglas Dunn and Diane McCarthy.  


Upon returning to Scotland EJP undertook an apprenticeship with Glasgow based Compay Chordelia and has since worked with a variety of practitioners such as Conflux (Ricardo Puccetti/ Patrick Nolan), Ocean All Over, Angus Balbernie, Norman Douglas, Freshmess, Barrowland Ballet (Natasha Gilmore) and Gary Clarke.


Committed to developing her creative voice, EJP has travelled across Europe learning intensively from practitioners such as Alan Greig, Ivo Dimchev, Katie Duck, Rasmus Olme, David Gordon, Liz Lerman, Nicole Piesl and Alva Noe, with support from Creative Scotland and their Choreographic Futures programme. Further receiving mentorship from Christine Devaney, Jonzi D and Jonathan Burrows through the choreographic development initiatives of Breakin’ Convention.


Although branding her work dance theatre, EJP explores spoken word, physical theatre, immersive techniques, design and interdisciplinary collaboration to strengthen the quality and communication within her work.  Each piece takes a unique form focussed on generating a powerful, engaging experience and occasionally walking the line between dance and live art.  Her first work Balance was the first featured dance work of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival, leading to EJP being announced the first Associate Artist of SMHAFF in early 2015.  



Since immersion in hip hop culture in 2011, EJPs lifestyle has changed fundamentally:  supporting the Scottish training community, attending jams, battling and most recently through explorations of spoken word.  Having employed her skills to commence training in hip hop and club culture styles she now instinctively draws upon these styles when visualising new choreography and actively questions the boundaries of hip hop theatre.  


Supported by Creative Scotland, EJP has travelled across Europe and North America to learn intensively from Waacking innovators Archie Burnett, Viktor Manoel, Dallace Zeigler, Tyrone Proctor, Ana Sanchez, Kumari Suraj and Alyssa Chloe.  Since she began battling both nationally and internationally, she was crowned Punking Dramatics winner in 2013 and successfully defended her title in 2014 at Waack Fest, Los Angeles.  


Eager to maintain the integrity of Waacking culture she founded Northern City Waackers as a vehicle to develop the Waacking scene across Scotland and the North of England, further supporting Vogue as a sister style through the formation of the 'No Shade Ball' in 2015, in an effort to grow the Scottish Ballroom scene.


Having been eager to develop a collective ethos since her career began, EJP formed Cultured Mongrel in 2014 as a means to develop practices which impact the sector beyond simply touring work.  She has since established several unique working methodologies with a focus on supporting creative development, pushing the form and sustaining the sector. These include Permanent Visitor, #TheSoloFilter and Suspended Theatre Tickets.


Emma was one of six 2010/11 recipients of the Cultural Enterprise Office's One to One Coaching Programme and a 2014 Federation of Scottish Theatre Step Up Programme Mentee.  She received Creative Scotland support as one of The Melting Pot's Social Innovation Incubator Award 2014/15 and is proud to announce that throughout 2016 she was selected as one of four recipients of the Bonnie Bird Choreographic Fund's Marion North Mentoring Awards.