Fresh Friday with Yolande Yorke-Edgell
10th November 2023
It’s the first Friday back after reading week and our second and third year students are excited to be in the studio with Yolande Yorke-Edgell, Artistic Director of Yorke Dance Project.
Yolande’s professional career began as a dancer with Extemporary Dance Theatre. She then danced with Rambert Dance Company before moving to Los Angeles to join the Lewitzky Dance Company, dancing many leading roles and being appointed a master teacher. After the Lewitzky Company disbanded, she formed her own repertory dance company Yorke Dance Project which presented works by UK and LA based artists. Upon returning to the UK, she performed in Adam Cooper’s production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses before joining the Richard Alston Dance Company.
In 2009 Yorke Dance Project was re-established in the UK and continues to present works by world renowned UK and US choreographers. TWENTY, Yorke Dance Project’s 20th anniversary season, was performed to sold-out houses at the Royal Opera House in London following a successful UK tour. In addition to choreographing for Yorke Dance Project, Yolande has created works for other companies in both the US and UK as well as for TV and theatre productions.
In 2013 she began her intensive collaboration with Sir Robert Cohan, reviving his solo work, Canciones del Alma for Yorke Dance Project’s Figure Ground programme. She was later mentored by Cohan on several works she choreographed for the company. Together, Cohan and YDP created six individual productions which played to packed houses both in London and on tour.
In 2015, Yolande, along with Cohan and his long-time collaborator Eleanor Alberga, founded the Cohan Collective which brings together composers, choreographers, musicians, filmmakers and dancers to look deeply into the process of making music, dance and film to develop the depth and quality of their work and working methods. Yolande has co-directed each residency and is honoured to continue developing new Cohan Collective programmes, including 2020’s Cohan Collective for Film and this year’s Cohan Collective in partnership with the Martha Graham Dance Company and Joffrey Ballet.
Most recently Yolande has been collaborating with filmmaker David Stewart. They have begun working on a documentary on Robert Cohan’s life and completed filming seven of the solos from Afternoon Conversations with Dancers as a series of Lockdown Portraits which premiered at the Barbican Cinema in October. They are currently working on a film of Kenneth MacMillan’s Sea of Troubles, scheduled to start filming in 2022.
Yolande received a nomination for a Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for her performance of Martha Graham’s iconic 1930 solo, Lamentation.
Yolande describes what the students can look forward to, “For the workshops we will look at Martha Graham’s Errand into the Maze and Bella Lewitzky’s Meta 4. Each workshop will include teaching sections of the works and understanding the structure and intention behind the movement and spacial design.