Paris-based WLDN is a project and a philosophy at the same time. The title references the renowned book Walden by Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), the American philosopher, naturalist and poet. This novel, published in 1854, influenced many schools of thought and served as a reference for those seeking to reconnect with basic values. Thoreau recounts his two years experience living independently in the middle of nature.
Joanne Leighton is a Belgian-Australian choreographer, pedagogue and director of WLDN, her choreographic work has been presented on international stages for over 20 years, with over 30 productions touring to France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Morocco, Netherlands, Australia, Cuba and the UK. Her professional career is linked to an original, dynamic and constantly evolving vision of dance with an emphasis on dialogue and exchange, both with the public and with her artistic collaborators. In an exploration of site and territory, she deals with ideas like identity and memory by creating contemporary rituals through a practice which activates, engages and choreographs the city.
Her choreographic work includes Corps Exquis, an exquisite corpse for 58 choreographers; 9000 Steps, performed on 2 tonnes of salt; Songlines, for a collective of eight dancers; Made in…Series, a large-scale moving architecture for 99 participants... In September 2011, she launched her large-scale monumental work, The Vigil, a performance for 730 citizens performed over 365 consecutive days. Over the past nine years, The Vigil has been running continuously in France, Germany, Netherlands and Austria in Belfort, Laval, Rennes, Haguenau, Freiburg, Évreux, Dordrecht and Graz.