Professionals & Artist Development

Jamaal Burkmar

Jamaal Burkmar is an internationally award-winning choreographer whose first creation was as a second year student at the Northern School for Contemporary Dance (NSCD) where he created a piece entitled Ocean. The piece gained critical acclaim, and was performed around the North until it became the first and only undergraduate commissioned for VERVE, the postgraduate company at NSCD.  The success of this piece led to Jamaal being awarded the highly prestigious ‘New Adventures Choreography Award’. He has since been commissioned by and received support from the Dance Hub in Birmingham, Leeds Dance Partnership, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Mobius Dance and more. Jamaals work has a strong relationship to music and sits in many spaces, outdoor, theatrical and online. 

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What are you most excited about joining the new group of Work Place artists?
I’m excited about the future and having a wider dialogue about the ways in which we as makers and our industry can adapt especially in relation to new media. Audiences and the way they interact with art and media are changing, rapidly. I don’t want to get stuck in the mud rehashing the same ideas and strategies without any conversation about their relevance in the 2020’s. And so, I'm really excited to hear about the other artists' visions and how we all might be able to inform and aid in each other's growth.
 

Where do you seek or find inspiration for your work?  
Music is most often the central theme to how I start a creative process. It informs my relationship with the dancers around me as well as figuring out the story that I'm trying to tell.
I also get a lot of joy out of composition and structure, and this year in isolation has shown me how much I find limitation as a source of inspiration creatively. 

What does it mean for you to be an artist in this day and age? 
The last 10 years, since my professional training began, l have been working on my craft. Figuring out what was most important for me to say and how best to say it. Developing both my language and my identity as a creator. That of course never stops.
 But this next 10 years, it seems most crucial to me to think creatively and radically about my relationship to audiences. To ascertain the best route to bringing the results of the last decade to all manner of people. Especially those that we see so rarely in the spaces we as creators tend to inhabit.