Courtney May Robertson (Scotland, 1992), is a performer and interdisciplinary maker based in Rotterdam. She graduated from The Scottish School of Contemporary Dance in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts - First Class Honours in Contemporary Dance Performance. Upon graduating Courtney joined Club Guy & Roni’s Poetic Disasters Club (NL, 2013) and has since worked with a number of choreographers across Europe.
In 2017 Courtney began working with Belgian choreographer Jan Martens. For her role in RULE OF THREE she was named ‘Female Performer of the Year 2017’ by Sceneweb (FR), and in 2018 ‘The first heroine of La Bâtie’ in Geneva (CH). Courtney currently performs in any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones, which premiered at Festival d’Avignon in July 2021 and has been touring internationally since. She is collaborating with Martens for the third time on his latest work VOICE NOISE parts 17 & 18, which will premiere at De Singel Antwerp in March 2024. More recently Courtney began working with Austrian choreographer Florentina Holzinger. First on Festzug, a parade for the opening of the Wiener Festwochen 2021 with musician SOAP&SKIN, and later on a large-scale theater performance, A Divine Comedy, which premiered at Ruhrtriennale (DE) in August 2021 and continues to tour internationally.
Alongside working extensively as a performer, Courtney began experimenting with creating her own work in 2015. As a trained dancer Courtney’s work starts with the body, but spans numerous disciplines including video, generative art, visual art and writing. Between 2015 - 2019 her small-scale / DIY produced performances were shown at various underground venues in the Netherlands. In 2019 her work entered a theater for the first time with ‘SUB’; a research project in collaboration with Tharim Cornelisse which combined choreography and computer coding. SUB formed the basis for the solo work THE WOMAN DESTROYED (2022). In an attempt to stage uncertainty, Courtney invited audiences to experience the unfolding of the events on stage simultaneously with her, as she responded to the demands of a digital system in real time. The complexities of submission and resistance were themes originally explored in her first short solo created in 2020; the pleasure of stepping off a horse when it’s moving at full speed. Both works toured throughout the Netherlands and 'the pleasure of..' continues to tour internationally.
In January 2024 Courtney will premiere a new work HUNTER in which - motivated by Julia Kristeva's Theory of Abjection - ‘the state of being cast off’ is embraced wholeheartedly. In all three solo works Courtney investigates a widely spread phenomenon she has defined as ‘a relentless desire to dominate’. Complex power dynamics, broadly speaking, have equally fascinated and disturbed Courtney for some time. In creating artistic renderings of such dynamics she attempts to shine light, critique and also bring nuance to the subjects at hand.
Courtney sees herself as a nomadic maker and enjoys collaborating with different production houses in different ways. Her choreographic work is currently supported by Dansateliers, Dans Brabant, ICK Artist Space & Grand Theater Groningen. For the concept of THE WOMAN DESTROYED Courtney was awarded De Troffel Prijs 2020 - Festival Cement’s incentive prize for young makers - and nominated for Het Theater Festival Belgium’s equivalent; Roel Verniers Prijs. In 2021 she was awarded the Young Amsterdam Art Prize, and in 2022 was selected for Aerowaves Twenty22. Courtneys recent work has been financially supported by Stimuleringsfonds, Gemeente Rotterdam, AFK, Kickstart Cultuurfonds and NORMA Fonds.