“What interests me in dance is not the fact the we achieve a moment of an ideal but that we are emotionally, theatrically and physically attempting to fight for it.”

Joseph Lau

Joseph is an artist in dance and theatre working as a performer, choreographer and teacher who settled in January 2009 in the UK from Australia.

Joseph’s choreographic work centres around 3 areas of investigation being Memory, Design of the Expressive Body & of Space, and the Political. Joseph has developed and grown from working and shifting between these three areas as they have fed and influenced each other considerably and has been drawn towards searching for surrealist and absurdist images and symbols in his work to achieve a sense of visual poetry. His desire is to make challenging, thoughtful & engaging work that dancers and the creative team may invest deeply in. The range of movement utilised is broad from the everyday to the athletic and risky.

Joseph is one of four artists selected for the 2014/2015 inaugural Moving Dance Forward (MDF) Associate initiative. Dance Manchester and MDI are the lead organisations that are working together with partners in Greater Manchester (The Lowry, University of Salford, Z-Arts, Contact) and Liverpool (Unity Theatre) strengthen artist development and dance production in the North West of England. This scheme allows Joseph to support and present his work ‘The Age of Ledeph to support and present his work ‘The Age of Ledger’ to new audiences & presenters, and to conduct research and development for a new work titled ‘PIIGS’.

Joseph' Choreographic Projects have included:

The Age of Ledger (July 2013 – current)

A political solo work exploring the social, moral and ethical consequences caused by a market based globalised economy and their effects on the psychology, behaviour and attitudes of individuals expressed through personal narratives. This project is supported by Grants for the Arts funding from the National Lottery via Arts Council England. Project partners include Dance Initiative Greater Manchester, Dance Base, Z-Arts & the University of Salford. Development showing was performed for the Homegrown season at Z-Arts in March 2014. As part of the MDF Initiative, the completed work was presented at the Unity Theatre (Liverpool) in March 2015.

STAFF ID: 5201 (May 2012 - current)

This self performed political solo work asks questions about the value of human beings and responds to recent financial events and the rise of Capital in Asia and the East. Performed at TURN 2012 (Contact Theatre), Chorlton Arts Festival 2012 (Edge Theatre), Dance Cuts (Lancaster), Dance Base (Edinburgh), MediaCityUK for Black History Month at the University of Salford, & sited adaptation in the Work Ahead presented by hÅb (Contact Theatre). This project is supported by Grants for the Arts funding from the National Lottery via Arts Council England. Project partners include Dance Initiative Greater Manchester, Dance Base, Z-Arts & the University of Salford.

Drawn Together Drawn Apart (April 2013 - current)

This collaboration is with dance and fine artists working in dialogue between the physicality of movement and drawing that is at an initial investigative stage. Performed at TURN 2013 (Contact Theatre), Chorlton Arts Festival 2013 (Edge Theatre), Didsbury Arts Festival 2013 (Cafe Rouge), Homegrown at Z-Arts in Jan 2014 & Create at Salford Festival at MediaCityUK in Jun 2014.

Deeper Than All Roses (May 2013)

A live dance and music work, created and directed, based on the music composed by Dr Stephen Davismoon and inspired by the work of E. E. Cummings. This piece was a commission by the University of Salford for the FascinatE multimedia EU funded project that utilised state of the art 360 degree camera and advanced sound technologies for performance capture at MediaCityUK. The event hosted by the University of Salford, BBC, Technicolour & EU partners.

You are the Most Important Thing to Me (November 2012)

A work created on 2nd Year students at the University of Salford exploring areas associated with the theme of Sincerity such as interpersonal relationships, media, the political and society. Presented at the Robert Powell Theatre.

Viva… (June 2012 - current)

A work for three dancers, “Viva…” is a reflection of age around birthdays, memory, and relationships.  Commissioned as part of the Dance Channels programme, ‘Viva…’ offers a unique perspective on the theme of ‘the passage of time’. Dance Channels - International Contemporary Dance Exchange is a co-commission by Dance Initiative Greater Manchester (Manchester, UK), Trayectos (Zaragoza, Spain) & Corpi Urbani (Genova, Italy).

Abandoned Things (May 2011)

A work for three dancers about the deconstruction of narrative text using abandonment as a theme and as a choreographic device to reveal abstract form. Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, this work was also a commissioning prize from TURN, a dance platform established through a partnership between greenroom, Dance Initiative Greater Manchester and hÅb.

Out of the Blue Productions works (July 2010 – current)

Part of a collaboration that creates sited combined new dance theatre and music works, Joseph has created the following works:

•    ‘Simple Remains’ (July 2010 – July 2011): duet for film (Oslip, Austria), studio/salon (Venice, Italy & London, UK) & sited spaces (Austrian Cultural Forum London, UK) for ensemble and piano with Emily Howard & Gavin Wayte (composers) and with Bridget Fiske (choreographer)

•    ‘Presense’: video work as adapted from ‘Simple Remains’ filmed at the Austrian Cultural Forum London, UK

•    ‘Evolve’ (June 2011): an interventionist work for two dancers and two musicians created in partnership with the BBC Philharmonic for the Gala Evening for the opening of new studios at MediaCityUK as of ‘BBC Philharmonic Presents…’ series for BBC Radio 3 with Emily Howard & Gavin Wayte (composers) and with Bridget Fiske (choreographer).

•    ‘Revolve’ (July 2012): sited work with harp and presented at Urban Moves 2012 with Gavin Wayte (composer) and with Bridget Fiske (choreographer)

•    ‘Bones of Spring’ (March 2013): sited and multimedia work with harp and presented at Bridgewater Hall for the BBC Philharmonic ‘Ink Still Wet’ series with Gavin Wayte (composer) and with Bridget Fiske (choreographer)

Out of the Blue Productions has been supported by Grants for the Arts funding from the National Lottery via Arts Council England

His first UK performance was with Slunglow’s production of ‘They Only Come at Night: Resurrection’. Since then, he has worked with companies including Levantes Dance Theatre (2014), Imitating The Dog (2013), Bodies in Urban Spaces (2013), & Dynion Dance (2010).

Joseph worked as dramaturge on Bridget Fiske’s solo works ‘Aquarist Nimble’ and ‘Red Rain’. Joseph currently works as a co-facilitator and choreographer for DiGM and Company Chameleon on the STRIDE project and lectures at The University of Salford. In addition, he has been a teacher for the Centre for Advanced Training in Dance at The Lowry engaged to deliver contemporary dance techniques.

Australian company engagements include Buzz Dance Theatre, Dance North & Barking Gecko Theatre Company. He has also been engaged in previous Opera Queensland productions of ‘Graham Murphy’s Turandot’, ‘The Pearl Fishers’ and ‘Andrea Chenier’.

Joseph was a company member with Buzz Dance Theatre from 2003 to 2004 working as performer, dance workshop facilitator and dance teacher.  The company’s works ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ and ‘Beat Cake’ have allowed him the opportunity of touring with the company in Perth, throughout the state of Western Australia, regional Victoria and regional New South Wales. He has conducted and assisted in dance workshops aimed at children and young people; taught classes to the company and general public; and choreographed a work on Buzz company members in 2003’s Honey Season.

He danced with Dance North (April to June 2005) where he worked with Sydney choreographer, Jason Pitt in ‘Tangled Whispers’ and Acting Artistic Director, Kylie Ball in ‘Chit Chat Club’.  In addition, he assisted in the delivery of Small Wonders, a dance workshop series for children aged 5 to 14.

In a lead acting role, he was on an extensive Canadian Children Festival Circuit Tour and national Australian tour of the play, ‘Hidden Dragons’ for Barking Gecko (2005-2006). Joseph performed as a Chinese boy coming to terms with his Chinese Australian cultural heritage. The show toured to venues including Sydney Opera House and Victorian Arts Centre.

In Brisbane, he worked actively as an independent choreographer, performer and teacher.  His most recent significant works was as performer, choreographer and producer of ‘Collection One’ by Project Auske.  In 2007, he performed in ‘Arrivi Partenze’ with DaDa Dance for the Italian Week celebrations.

Other prior engagements include; ‘Riverscapes’ with the Cherry Herring Independent Collective; ‘Dance, Dance, Dance’ with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra; and the Opening Ceremony in the Goodwill Games 2001 with Rio Rhythmics.  Choreographic works have been staged through the Queensland independent dance collective, CRITICAL MASS (formerly known as ProDanceNet)

Artists that Joseph has had the privilege to work with choreographically and/or as a performer during his career include Paige Gordon, Felicity Bott, Rosetta Cook, Evan Jones, Leanne Ringelstein, Jean Tally, Tarcisio Teatini-Climaco, John Utans, Wendy Wallace, and Shane Weatherby.

He is a 1998 graduate of the QUT Bachelor of Arts Dance programme and 1991 Bachelor of Commerce graduate from the University of Queensland. As a board member, he held Treasurer positions with Ausdance (Qld), the Australian peak dance advocacy body and served on the Board of Expressions Dance Company.

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