Janice Parker is an award-winning independent dance artist and choreographer. In the past 40 years she has created a vast body of work. Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, working locally and internationally, her primary passions are threefold: to develop and strengthen each person’s natural movement potential; to create art that deepens the possibilities of our feeling, thinking and imagination; and to create personal, social and cultural change. All art has the potential to be an act of quiet, or noisy, activism.
Starting out in the late 70’s Janice was part of the then radicle new practice of Community Dance and became a significant driving force in the development and prominence of current disability-led arts practice. She is known for her collaborations with people, of different ages and abilities, from all walks of life, many of whom are new to dance. She mixes together the community and the professional dance worlds, regarding them with equal value. Janice brings dance and people together in different ways, spaces and places, often working outwith the main-stream developing partnerships and collaborations across art-forms.
She makes live performance, film, publications, installations and events. Her work has been on mainstages, in theatres, art galleries, living rooms, museums, libraries, offices, in fields, village halls, public parks, health centres, gardens, factories, hotels, historic houses, care homes and dance halls, and can span anything from a number of years to a few hours at a time, involving a few hundred people or be an intimate solo piece.
Her way of working is responsive, co-created and socially engaged. Each process is unique to the people, the place and the context in which it is happening. Janice holds space for people to bring themselves to, listens and guides, leads and facilitates and works, always, from each person’s own natural expressive movement to build and structure the content of each new work.
Janice also develops and facilitates projects, leads workshops and residencies, teaches and mentors, gives talks and lectures, occasionally writes and has recently started to perform.
Her current focus, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, is quiet, local and born of necessity. She has developed a simple outdoor embodied movement practice that works to create resilience, resource and courage in people, place and community. She is also developing a solo environmental practice ‘Small Acts of Hope and Lament’, and is continuing with her on-going vision of placing value on older people as makers, creators and performers.
In 2005 Janice was awarded a Creative Scotland Award; in 2010 her work Private Dancer received a Herald Angel; and in 2018 she was inducted as an Outstanding Woman of Scotland by the Saltire Society. Janice is currently a Trustee of Luminate: Scotland’s Creative Ageing Organisation.