Cultured Mongrel is the umbrella organisation for the creative practice of Emma Jayne Park. Forming Cultured Mongrel in 2015 as a means to invite people to work with her not for her, she is eager to collaborate with people who share a common value set rooted in authenticity, autonomy, bravery, curiosity & optimism.     

Emma Jayne Park

 'High Octane... energetic, witty & playful' 
                                                               
(The Skinny) 

Emma's practice asks audiences to engage through questioning  their own role in the performance, role in the conversation and role in society through the socio-political performance she creates, workshops she delivers and events she facilitates.  Branding herself Cultured Mongrel is an honest reflection of her multifaceted practice and broad curiosity which explores approaches united by the common value set that underpins all of her work.  Find out more here:

 

Training

EJP graduating with a First Class BA Hons in Dance from Edinburgh's Centre for Professional Dance Training in 2007.  She relocated to Manhattan to complete her contemporary dance training  at Dance New Amsterdam, studying under artists such as Lynn Simonson, Douglas Dunn and Diane McCarthy and upon returning to Scotland undertook an apprenticeship with Glasgow based Company Chordelia during their production '73 1/2  Minutes To Make A Good Impression.'

Committed to developing her voice as a theatre maker Emma 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 the Choreographic Futures programme.  
 

DANCER

Emma undertook her first performance contract in Gilbert Deflo's 'L'Orpheo' at The Edinburgh International Festival in 2007.  She has since worked with a variety of practitioners and companies such as Conflux (Ricardo Puccetti/ Patrick Nolan), Ocean All Over, Angus Balbernie, Norman Douglas, Freshmess, Barrowland Ballet (Natasha Gilmore), Gary Clarke and Curious Seed.  Although she has predominantly performed in her own work since establishing Cultured Mongrel, Emma is still eager to work as a performer  for other artists in the fields of dance, theatre and immersive performance.  
 

theatre maker

Although branding her work dance theatre, Emma explores spoken word, physical theatre, immersive techniques, design and interdisciplinary collaboration to strengthen the quality and communicative power of her work.  Each piece takes a unique form focussed on generating a visceral, engaging experience and occasionally walking the line between dance and live art. 

Her first full scale production 'Balance' was the first featured dance work of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival, touring across Scotland with support from The Bipolar Fellowship and Dance House Glasgow.  She has since gone on to create several works that have toured extensively nationally including Status Anxiety (**** The Skinny), Thinking In The First Person (***** Talking Heads), Experts In Short Trousers (**** TV Bomb) and #Trans (**** Lorna Irvine) which was selected as part of the Scotland Focus at Mirabilia Festival in Italy (2016).

She was commissioned by Dancebase to create a solo work with performer Norma Turvill as part of 'First Thought, Best Thought' and received The BENCH Commission in 2017 to create It's Not Over Yet... as part of The OUTLANDS Tour.
 

Collaborator

Emma's original fascination with working in the arts came from working in spaces that encourage connection, questioning and developing collaborative relationships.  Therefore, she is eager to work as a collaborator both on productions and research projects.

She was one of the original collaborating artists on Gary Clarke's 5 Dances in 5 Days at Merseyside Dance Initiative which then became his renowned touring project Lustrum.  In 2018, she will collaborate with Director Ross Mackay (Tortoise In A Nutshell) as movement director for Scottish Youth Theatre's National Ensemble tour of Vent.

Emma collaborates regularly on short projects with musician and sounds designer Nik Paget-Tomlinson, who is instrumental in his contribution to the Living Rooms Performances research.
 

Movement Director

‘ explosive dance sequences by Emma Jayne Park that range from the
slightly intrusive to the absolutely brilliant’  
 
(**** Monstrous Bodies reviewed by Joyce MacMilllan, The Scotsman)

Emma has worked directors Max Webster (The Winter's Tale, Royal Lyceum Theatre), Sandy Thomson (Monstrous Bodies, Dundee Rep),  Joe Douglas (Arabian Nights, Royal Lyceum Theatre) and Anna Newell (Lullabub, Theatre Hullabaloo) as a movement director, adapting her role to meet the requirements of each individual work and each directors vision.  This role varies from developing the overall physical language of the work to choreographing specific short sequences within these productions and is unique to the requirements of each performance.  

She has also contributed to the research and development of work with Lou Brodie (Your Words In My Mouth, Tron Theatre/ Imaginate), Eszter Marsalkó (Puffin) and Drew Taylor (44 Stories).

Emma regularly delivers movement workshops for performers without formal dance training with a focus on building physical confidence, exploring dynamics, interpreting text and approaches to creating a physical language.  |
 

ADVOCATE, MICRO-ACTIVIST & FACILITATOR

Micro-activism is concerned with taking small steps towards positive systemic change.  Emma is invested in developing and a healthy arts ecology for everyone who connects with it.  Her work includes advocating for the arts in non-arts settings; encouraging collaborative working between organisations and individuals; actively promoting artists and organisations doing great work; facilitating the Federation of Scottish Theatre Dance Forum (2017/2018); consulting on the FST/ Creative Scotland Touring Strategy Meeting Group and facilitating sessions that require safe spaces in which people can discuss both sensitive and challenging matters.

She has been Associate Artist with the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival since 2015, one of the world's largest social justice festivals, for whom she curates two scratch events titled '5 Ways To Begin...' each year.  These events prioritise an overall healthy experience for the artist as well as the audience.

Emma was trained in Critical Response Process by Liz Lerman and is eager to contribute to developing healthier critical conversations in the dance and theatre sector.  She launched Scotland's first Pay It Forward Theatre Ticket Scheme in 2014, Suspended Theatre Tickets, which still runs on a small but manageable scale.
 

QUEER CULTURE

Since undertaking a Creative Scotland supported period of professional development in 2013 to explore Waacking and Vogue, Emma has been working to develop access to these queer art forms across Scotland through the platform Northern City Waackers, hosting regular mini-ball events and  investing in hosting Scotland’s First Waacking and Vogue Festival (2017) featuring ten international guests renowned on the ballroom scene as a means to introduce authentic ballroom culture to Scotland. She has performs regularly with Dive Queer Party and has shown short work at Queeriousity, Glasgow.

Invited to study the styles by New York based pioneer (Godfather of The House Of Ninja), Archie Burnett, Emma began training in Waacking and Vogue simultaneously.  However, upon realising the distinct differences between the cultures focussed upon my learning as a Waacker, studying intensively with founders Viktor Manoel, Ana Sanchez, Dallas Zeigler and Tyrone Proctor as well as new wave Waacking innovator Kumari Suraj.

Emma won the Punking Dramatics Category at Los Angeles’ Angel City Ball (2013), Punking Dramatics Category at Los Angeles’ Mount Olympus Ball (2014), the Waacking Category at the Gothenburg’s Revolution Ball (2017) and was a Waacking finalist in at the Love Conquers All Ball in London (2017).  She also performed the Waacking showcase with Viktor Manoel at internationally renowned Streetstar Festival in (2015).

Emma's Vogue research has continued since 2016  beginning to walk Old Way and American Runway in her drag king persona, most recently reaching the finals of the American Runway Category at London’s Alexander McQueen Fashion Ball (May 2018). 

Queer identity and gender politics play a key role in Emma's artistic practice, her 2015 work #Trans toured Scotland, England and was programmed in Miriabilia (Italy) Festivals Scotland Focus. She was also selected as a PUSH.EU Project Artist, participating in the their Gender and Sexual Identity in Theatre for Young Audience Lab in 2017.  Out with her creative practice she is presently training to be a helpline volunteer with LGBT Health and Well Being.

 

HIP HOP CULTURE

Since immersion in hip hop culture in 2011, Emma's lifestyle changed fundamentally as she dedicated time to  supporting the Scottish training community, attending jams, battling and through exploring spoken word both independently and briefly as a shadow artist with John Berkavitch.  Aligning herself with the fundament values of the original hip hop movement (Consciousness Awareness, Civil Rights Awareness, Activism Awareness,  Justice, Political Awareness, Community Awareness) and having explored training in styles associated with hip hop culture, she now instinctively draws upon these styles when visualising new choreography and actively questions the boundaries of hip hop theatre.
Emma defines herself as being on the fringes of hip hop culture and regularly works with hip hop heads (people immersed in the culture) to develop new work and projects.
 

MENTORSHIP

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.  Emma has received artistic mentorship from Alan Greig and Christine Devaney as well as Jonzi D and Jonathan Burrows through the choreographic development initiatives of Breakin’ Convention.  She was selected as one of the 2017 Scottish Ballet Creates artists, under the mentorship of Kerry Nicholls and Christopher Hampson.  Emma was selected as a BENCH Fellow in 2016 and since this time has developed a long term mentoring relationship with Charlotte Vincent.

 

PHILOSOPHY:
Feeling CONNECTED To Each Other Is A Basic HUMAN Need - Everyone is entitled to HIGH QUALITY arts experiences - If it INTERESTS you then it is correct - CHANGE Happens - INTEGRITY outweighs measurable progress - PEOPLE MATTER - Stay CURIOUS - BLUR the boundaries - Put BOTH feet in - Repetition can be AMUSING - Make your CAKE and eat it - CELEBRATE diversity - DO what you say you will - Be organised enough to have time for  SPONTANEITY - Be HONEST - Make time to PLAY - Enjoy the CHALLENGE - Repetition CAN be amusing - Say YES before you say no - If you don’t KNOW get to know - Get your hands DIRTY - COMMUNICATE - 50% IN BODY and 50% in the ROOM - Enjoy the PROCESS.