Jane McKernan - Northern School of Contemporary Dance


Lecturer in Creative & Contextual Studies

BA(Dance), Academy of the Arts, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Role and responsibilities:

  • Choreography
  • Improvisation and Movement Research
  • Performance in Context

“My current dance work and research is around the broad concept of unison which encompasses notions of the individual and collective; using improvisation to produce a ‘group body’; emphasis on modes of sharing practice; and developing processes to create ‘instant’ choreography and impossible repetition. I am interested in the relation/tension between writing and movement, and uses both in my practice and performance works.”

Career History

Jane McKernan is an award winning Australian choreographer and performer recently resident in West Yorkshire, UK. She has been a member of the collaborative trio The Fondue Set (with Emma Saunders and Elizabeth Ryan) for over 15 years, and has been making her own work since 2009.

Her most recent work, Mass Movement was a finalist in the inaugural Keir Choreographic Award and won the Audience Choice prize. Other recent work includes: Imagined Piece for Four Players, commissioned work for Synergy Percussion; One Thing Follows Another, a collaboration with composer Gail Priest, funded by the Dance and Music Initiative of the Australia Council; and her solo work, Opening and Closing Ceremony, performed at Arlington Oval, Dulwich Hill.

Since arriving in the UK, Jane has performed in Wendy Houstoun’s Stupid Women at The Place, London and Unity Theatre, Liverpool.

As part of The Fondue Set, Jane has created and performed in six full-length dance stage works, including No Success Like Failure which won a Green Room Award, as well as works for film, museums, bars, foyers and parks. The Fondue Set have performed their work throughout Australia, in Europe and Japan, and have collaborated with Miguel Gutierrez, Wendy Houstoun, Rosalind Crisp, Paul Gazzola and Andrew Morrish.

Professional Activity and Research Interests

Selected Residencies and Exchanges (from 2012 only):

2016 Spring Residency, Yorkshire Dance, Leeds

2016 Residency at InDialogue16 and Dance 4, Nottingham with Chloé Dechery

2015 ‘On The Horizon’ Research Room Residency, Critical Path with Chloé Dechery

2014-15 ‘Picnic on the Edge’, Australia Finnish Choreographic Exchange between Campbelltown Arts Centre and Zodiak, Helsinki

2013 Unison Project, Critical Path Responsive Residency

2012 Residency with Lizzie Thomson, Dance 4, Nottingham and Io Myers, UNSW

2012 Residency with sound artist, Gail Priest, Rex Cramphorn Theatre, University of Sydney

Key Publications, Papers and Conferences

2015 ‘The National Dance Festival of Victoria’, Critical Dialogues # 4

2013 ‘In Writing’, Critical Dialogues Issue 1, Guest Editor

2010 ‘Between Space, People and Camera’, RealTime #96 April-May

2010 ‘Out of the Ordinary’, RealTime #95 Feb-March

2009 ‘Merce Cunningham: Generational Mix’, RealTime #91 June
2009 ‘I don’t know about acting…’, RealTime #91 June-July

Performance artefacts (from 2012 only)

2016 Imagined Piece for Four Players, Commission for Synergy Percussion, 40 under 40

2014 Mass Movement, Commission for the Keir Choreographic Award, Dancehouse, Melbourne and Carriageworks, Sydney. Finalist and Winner of the Audience Choice Prize.

2014 One Thing Follows Another, collaboration with sound artist Gail Priest, Score Season at Performance Space, Sydney

2012 Opening and Closing Ceremony, site specific solo dance work at Arlington Oval , Halls for Hire Season, Performance Space

2012 You’re Gorgeous and I’m Coming, showing of collaboration with Miguel Gutierrez and The Fondue Set, Carriageworks