Being a bboy of origin, it’s important for Joseph Simon to maintain an ongoing practise of movement research for himself as well as in exchange with others. The central thread in his work is the cultivation of so-called “Third Culture Spaces”. These are the bridging spaces between different dance practises. In these spaces he searches for new forms of movement and more specifically: for the meeting point between practises and philosophies of different dance cultures. Joseph’s focus is mostly on ballet, breaking, house dance and more recently dance hall. The interest in “Third culture spaces” has its roots in Joseph’s identity as a “Third Culture Kid”: A frenchman who grew up in the Netherlands, Japan and Germany with a passion for languages, which is also reflected in his broad interest within the field of dance.
With exploring hybrid forms, Joseph seeks enrichment from and exchange between different dance cultures. Questions on the topic of identity are a focal point within this.
At the same time he is engaged to cultivate his awareness on the tensions around race, privilege and appropriation resulting from his practise. This is due to the merging of ballet, as a product of Western culture, and street- and club dances, which have a major part of their roots in the African diaspora, more specifically Afro-American culture.
Working with movement languages as “sticky feet” and work-titles as “ballet fantasies”, Joseph experiments with alternative forms of ballet, which break hierarchies and invite for groove and individuality from a perspective of HipHop philosophy.
Joseph Simon ( France, 1989 ) graduated from ArtEZ School of Dance, Arnhem in 2014. During his studies he was focussed on bridging his background as a bboy with contemporary dance. His ongoing interest for this subject led to a close exchange and collaboration with fellow student Jonas Frey, which still lasts today. Joseph finds it important to move through the dance field from different angles. For this reason he also teaches at the Codarts Circus school and keeps on developing by following classes and dancing in the works of makers as Alida Dors, Jochen Heckmann, Erik Kaiel, Jean-Guillaume Weis, Eric Trottier, Jonas Frey, Christina Liakopoyloy, Justin de Jager and Dalton Jansen.