Joanna Dudley works internationally as a director, performer, and singer, creating performances, choreography, and installations. She studied music at the Adelaide Conservatorium, Australia and the Sweelinck Conservatorium, The Netherlands. She also studied traditional Japanese music in Tokyo and traditional dance and music in Java.
Dudley has collaborated with William Kentridge for the past seven years as a co-creator, singer and performer. Works include Refuse the Hour, produced by the Holland and Avignon Festivals, which toured internationally for six years. Paper Music premiered at Carnegie Hall and has appeared at major venues and festivals such as ArtBasel, the Paris Philharmonie, Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, and the Holland Festival. Kentridge invited Dudley to create a solo role for his production of Lulu for the Metropolitan Opera, English National Opera, and Dutch National Opera. Together they co-created and Dudley performed The Guided Tour of the Exhibition: For Soprano and Handbag for the Martin-Gropius-Bau; it has since been seen at major venues throughout the world including the Louisiana Museum in Copenhagen and the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris. Dudley developed her soloist role alongside Kentridge in his ensemble piece The Head & the Load, commissioned and performed at the Turbine Hall at the TATE Modern, the Ruhrtriennale, and at the Park Avenue Armory in New York.
Dudley has created and is featured in the seven-screen video and sound operatic installation We Will Slam You With Our Wings for a group of girls ages 8–16 and herself appearing as the War Mistress. She has also been a guest director and performer at Berlin’s Schaubuehne, where works have included My Dearest, My Fairest with Juan Kruz Diaz de Garaio Esnaola and colours may fade with Esnaola and Rufus Didwiszus. Other works in collaboration with Didwiszus include The Scorpionfish, Who Killed Cock Robin? with the Flemish vocal ensemble Capilla Flamenca, and LOUIS & BEBE with the noise musician SchneiderTM. Other collaborators include Seiji Ozawa, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, and Thomas Ostermeier.