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Jennifer Essex

01642 343689
Job title:
Senior Lecturer in Dance
School of Computing, Media & the Arts
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Computing, Media & the Arts research

About Jennifer Essex

Jennifer Essex

Jennifer Essex
Senior Lecturer in Dance, School of Computing, Media & the Arts
T: 01642 343689
Research: Computing, Media & the Arts research

Jennifer Essex works as a choreographer, dancer, and teacher on projects across the UK and internationally. Her choreography for award winning visual artist Corin Sworn was shown at the Whitechapel Gallery as part of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women. She has developed movement for innovative projects including a stop-motion film for French fashion house Hermes, an interactive video with the award-winning team from Studio Murmur, and a “choreophonic prosthetic” with high tech designer Di Mainstone. Her work has been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, Arts Council England, Dance City, and Pavilion Dance. She is a 2015-2016 BENCH fellow. Jennifer has performed in the feature films Anna Karenina and Les Miserables and in adverts for Hermes and Honda as well as in works by world-renown choreographers including Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Liam Steel, and Luca Silvestrini.

Research interests

Current research includes developing projects that use technology to develop inclusive and interactive experiences and exploring at how new technology affects social interactions. In her work REPLICAS she has been experimenting with multiple Twitter feeds and sending text messages in real time to audiences throughout the live performance to see how different mediums can convey separate sets of information and how these can provide emotional counterpoint to the action onstage. REPLICAS premiered at the Stockton International Riverside Festival and Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art in the summer of 2016.

Jennifer is currently touring an interactive dance theatre work for children, Space Rebel Princess, through a commission from Dance City and Middlesbrough Council. The work has received support from Tees Valley Dance, Includ Fest, Spare Parts Festival, and Young Fest and toured across the UK.

Jennifer also has a special interest in sound and music as they relate to the choreographic process. She was selected as one of four artists in residence at he National Choreographic Centre to explore collaborative process between choreographers and composers under the mentorship of Kim Brandstrup.

Jennifer has created a pilot programme of dance classes for people living with dementia which has been supported by Age UK Darlington and Tees Valley Dance. Jennifer was recently an artist in residence with Age Concern Central Lancashire where she worked in care homes with people living with dementia. The series of films developed through the project have now been screened at the Museum of Lancashire, as well as internationally in Athens, India, and in London at the Free Word Centre and Trip Space. She has spoken about the critical and theoretical aspects of arts in dementia care at the Annual General Meeting of Age UK Central Lancashire, at the Free Words Centre in London, Festival of Learning at Teesside University, Pint of Science, Lighting the Fuse: better engagement in public health through arts & media (fuse the Centre for Transnational Research in Public Health), and Older Persons Day at National Dance Agency, Dance City. Well-Being Conference 2016, and as part of the Aging Well Festival in Torquay.

Research projects & external funding

Researching benefits of dance for people living with dementia
Tees Valley Dance, Age Concern Central Lancashire

REPLICAS, interactive digital dancework
Funding: Arts Council England, Stockton International Riverside Festival, Dance City, Pavilion Dance. Middlesbrough Council

Space Rebel Princess, Interactive dance theatre work for children
Funding: Dance City, Middlesbrough Council, Includ Fest, Young Fest, Spare Parts Festival, Tees Valley Dance

BENCH Fellow 2015-2016

External roles and professional activities

Contemporary choreographer and performer, currently touring Space Rebel Princess (

Performer with Tmesis Theatre, Liverpool, currently touring Happy Hour and devising new work for touring 2018 in association with the Unity Theatre (

In the news

  • BBC Radio Tees
    Radio Tees, Mike Parr, 13/09/2017
    Teesside University lecturer Jennifer Essex talks about the proposal to have same sex couples on Strictly Come Dancing.

  • Dance explores whether women touch their phone more than their partners
    Express North (Blog), 04/08/2016; BBC Radio Tees, 05/08/2016
    Jennifer Essex is taking part at the Stockton Riverside Festival.

  • Business as usual at Sirf
    Northern Echo (North Edition) 04.08.16:
    A performance commissioned by Sirf for an event by the area's own Jennifer Essex Dance company. "It's called Replicas Jennifer teaches at Teesside University on the dance course.

  • From phone to stage, new work uses real couple's texts to create dance duets that examine touch in the digital age
    North East Connected (web) 28.07.16
    Part-time Senior Lecturer Jennifer Essex at Teesside university, has been working for the past two years on a new dance inspired by the text messages of real couples in love.

  • Pint of Science to take latest scientific breakthroughs to the pub
    Love Middlesbrough, online, 20/04/2016
    Jennifer Essex, Senior Lecturer in Dance, is contributing to the international Pint of Science festival.

  • Dancers with dementia enjoy class
    Northern Echo online, 01/02/2013; Northern Echo, 02/02/2015
    Age UK Darlington have now launched a pilot series of dance classes for Dementia suffers, which Teesside University lecturer Jennifer Essex together two of her students.