Since 1985, Paula Josa-Jones/Performance Works has gained a national reputation for risk-taking, adventurous contemporary dance theater that explores the borders between states of being, including gender, species, past/present, movement/stillness, light/dark - works that are visually rich, provocative and grounded a rich improvisational movement practice. We are committed to collaborations with artists in all disciplines, and to fostering relationships with an international creative community. With our performances, what Mary Oliver says about her poetry relates closely to how we want to engage our audiences. She says, "I want every poem to 'rest' in intensity. I want it to be rich with pictures of the world. I want it to carry threads from the perceptually felt world to the intellectual world. I want the poem to ask something and, at its best moments, I want the question to remain unanswered. I want it to be clear that answering the question is the reader’s part in an implicit author-reader pact." Our goal with our teaching and residency work is to help others connect to their own delicious sense of embodiment through movement and improvisation and to nourish a deeper experience of listening, bold, playful movement exploration and attunement to self and others.
Paula Josa-Jones is a dancer, choreographer, writer, visual artist and movement educator known for her visually rich, emotionally charged dance theater. Her work includes choreography for humans, inter-species work with horses, dancers and riders, film and video. Josa-Jones has been called "one of the country's leading choreographic conceptualists" by the Boston Globe and the Village Voice describes her work as "powerful, eccentric, and surreal". Her dances have been produced in Russia, Europe, Mexico and throughout the United States. She has taught in the dance programs at Tufts University, Boston University and at universities, colleges and dance festivals nationally and internationally. She is a Certified Laban Movement Analyst and a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist (RSMT) accredited by the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association (ISMETA.) She is also a Guild-Certified TTEAM (Tellington Touch Equine Awareness Method) practitioner. Her writings on movement and dance have been published in Contact Quarterly. She is currently writing a book on her work with horses called The Common Body: Horses and humans sharing the language of movement and the body. Josa-Jones is a 2013 recipient of a Connecticut Artist's Fellowship, and a 2014 Bogliasco Fellow. She has received two Choreography Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, an NEA US/Mexico Cultural Exchange Fellowship and an Artist's Grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She is the recipient of two New Forms grants from the New England Foundation for the Arts, an Artist's Foundation Fellowship in Interarts for her video dance collaborations with Vin Grabill, and two finalist awards in choreography from the Massachusetts Council for the Arts. She has been in residence at Yaddo (twice) and the Djerassi Foundation in Woodside, California. Paula Josa-Jones/Performance Works has received support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the New England Foundation for the Arts, the Arts Lottery, Creative Time, the Dakota Foundation, LEF Foundation, the Claneil Foundation and the Polaroid Foundation. The company's work in Mexico was supported by the US/Mexico Fund for Culture, and they received two grants from the Trust for Mutual Understanding for choreographic projects in Russia. Josa-Jones has received commissions from the Joyce Theater, Jacob's Pillow, Dance Umbrella, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, and nuArts at Northeastern University, among others.