February Recap: Let’s actually do something!

What’s been in the news this month? The lull has returned. Apologies for getting excited last month. 

But, that doesn’t mean the gears haven’t been put into motion. Or kicked up a gear (pardon the pun).

One thing to get excited about is Cloud Dance Festival’s progress with the gender debate, specifically the doing part of the debate. Enters Blue Cloud Scratch.

The new scratch night for the independent dance sector (curated by Blue Elephant Theatre and Cloud Dance Festival) hopes to give UK-based dance artists the ability to present their works and receive feedback. Much like the Kaleidoscopic Arts Platform (and we can’t get enough of these platforms!).

The first scratch nights will be on Wednesday 9 March and Tuesday 31 May. Keep your eyes peeled for their progress, or visit www.bluecloudscratch.com



Like a terrible hangover, the brouhaha surrounding Akram Khan’s comments last month continues to frustrate.

Londondance.com however decided to publish commentary from dance organisations, practitioners, and choreographers (the one that The Stage decided to not publish), which hopes to dampen the raging fires in our eyes.

What we can read is a very thought-provoking, balanced, and eloquent debate about the issue at hand, its roots, and where to head next.

“The question, we argue, cannot just be, ‘do we need more female choreographers?’ Because the obvious answer to this is of course, yes. Instead the question must also be extended to: how do we create stage space and funding for racialised/queer/trans/differently-abled bodies and choreographers who occupy a spectrum of identities?”


“Choreography is not a gender issue – it is an issue of talent.” Sounds familiar?

The ex-Director of Britain’s Royal Ballet, Dame Monica Mason was asked why she had never commissioned a work by a female choreographer, and this was her answer; a fair response.

But is it solely down to talent? Issues of Ballet may not fully link to the gender debate in contemporary dance, but there are quite a lot of crossovers. Balletposition.com tries to find out if “gender, rather than talent, determines which choreographers get commissions?”.

This article shines a bright light on the paradox that Akram Khan tried and failed to discuss – Is merit and talent overridden by gender?



News in brief

Caroline Miller received a great award at the Critics Circle National Dance Awards at The Place on 25 January 2016. She was awarded the De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance, and appeared in the news this month to talk about her inspirations.

This is really to much by the Graceful Collective was an eye-opener on commentary about “what it means to be a 3-dimensional, high definition, water-drinking, salad-eating, moisturizing WO-man in modern society”. The dance performance was part of Resolution 2016 at The Place, and received good reviews.

And finally, Arlene Phillips took to The Stage and said that female choreographers need to fight to get ahead in the sector, claiming men are better at “seducing producers”. Women don’t play a game, so should they?

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