Jen Malarkey is a rare artist; she is willing to take creative risks, to make work about challenging subjects and to connect with as wide a group of people as possible. She works cross artform – she’s interested in movement led work that has text and spoken language at the heart of the storytelling. The two forms (physical and spoken) have equity in her work and align to create an often explosive practice.
Louise Blackwell, Co-founder of Fuel
Jen’s work really interests us. She combines text and movement with rare confidence, flair and skill. Her ideas are distinct and convincing.
Christina Elliot, Senior Producer, The Place
Jen Malarkey lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire and works across the UK. She is an artist and practioner of movement in its broadest forms. She creates movement for professional theatre, coaches actors and teaches actor movement in Drama Schools across London. She is co-director of performance company Encounter, through which she makes new dance theatre performance. She has partnered, collaborated with and toured to Northern Stage, Soho Theatre, The Yard, The Lowry, The Place, Albany, Deptford, Live Theatre, Newcastle, Paines Plough and Fuel Theatre.
Jen collaborated with Paul Burns (Head of Dance, Creative Scotland), The Royal Court and The Place to deliver artist development for writers and choreographers to come together to explore the meeting points between their worlds for the first time.
In 2020, Jen presented The Kids Are Alright. A film
shot on location in a local housing estate, in Deptford, London
Produced by FUEL, co-commissioned by Fuel and The Place.
Supported by The Albany, Camden People’s Theatre, Northern Stage and Wandsworth Council. The project was funded by Arts Council England, Wellcome Trust and the Peggy Ramsay Foundation.
Jen holds an MA with Distinction in Movement Studies from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (2009/10) as well as a BA Hons Devised Theatre from Dartington College of Arts (2000/03) She also attended BRIT School, where her study of movement and its application to theatre began.
TEACHING AND FACILITATION
Jen’s committment to education and training as led to her contributing to training programmes at Mountview, Italia Conti, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Identity Drama School, British American Drama Academy, Theatre Arts London/University of Conneticut, Academy of Live and Recorded Arts and Middlesex University. She has worked with Opera Singers at Royal College of Music, supporting their performances and she had led youth dance groups for disabled and non-disabled children and young people. Jen is interested in the crossover of acting and dance trainings, and has worked on many projects where she builds performance technique that works across these disciplines. Jen is experienced in teaching across the actor movement curriculum, and specifically Animal Study, Viewpoints, Laban Efforts, Contact Improvisation, Elements and Historical Dance. She has led students in the creation of ensemble performance and directed projects and plays.
CHOREOGRAPHY AND MOVEMENT DIRECTION
Jen has created choreography and movement directed on both her own and other’s work; recent productions include: The Kids Are Alright: A Film
(Northern Stage, Albany, CPT, Fuel Theatre) The Kids Are Alright (The Place/Albany/Touring), I Heart Catherine Pistcahio (Soho Theatre/The Lowry/The Yard/Paines Plough Roundabout/LIVE Theatre), Choir (Northern Stage/Traverse Theatre/ARC, Stockton.) Previous productions include: Lagan (Oval House), Vinvent River (The Pleasence), Twelfth Night (Lion and Unicorn). Alexander Supertramp (Roundhouse), Dandy Dick (Italia Conti), Gut Girls (Chelsea Theatre), Phaedra (Birmingham School of Acting), Othello (Italia Conti.)
LARGE SCALE COMMUNITY
Jen has worked in several site specific settings and with different community groups. Most recently she was commissioned by FUEL and The Place, to create The Kids Are Alright, a film shot on location in a local housing estate, in Deptford, London. She was commissioned in Halifax, West Yorkshire to create a dance theatre performance that occupied every room of a terraced house and she has worked with children and young people to explore tech, digital media and movement for stage. Previously she choreographed a large scale Waltz performance on a busy street in Central London with people aged 60+ and choreographed for film, on location in Watford Town Centre for a community arts project in partnership with Watford Palace Theatre. Jen has trained in the DanceAbility Method, an approach to teaching and choreographing that works to dissolve barriers and connect disabled and non disabled people through dance and movement.
THE YARD TRAILER from Jennifer Malarkey on Vimeo.
Images: Chris Nash, Fuel, Camilla Greenwell