June Recap: Dance Umbrella says Man Up

It’s that time once again and it’s been a bit of a quiet month. But it looks like the beacon has been passed onto Dance Umbrella to continue what seems to be the most active year for the gender inequality debate. 

Man Up. A saying itself quite charged with issues of gender prejudice. Though I suspect it was chosen for that very same reason.

Dance Umbrella is introducing yet another debate on the topic – Man Up: The Gender of Choreography. Is it time for quotas?

Kicking off on Wednesday 6 July, the event – a collaboration between Dance Umbrella and Big Dance – will continue talks about “how to change the world”. Presumably the world of female choreographers and artists in particular. But also crucially, the dance sector as a whole.

The panel sees recurring names and heads learned on the topic, from Tamzin Fitzgerald, Artistic Director of 2Faced Dance, to Alistair Spalding, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Sadler’s Wells.

Oh, did I mention it was FREE?! Totally not the reason I’m attending, but it’s worth a mention. The more people engaged the better!

Head to London’s Living Room, City Hall, The Queen’s Walk (SE1 2AA) ready to take action.

There are really important questions to ask. It all boil down to this. Are you a Game of Thrones fan, or a Orange is the New Black fan? Well, you’ve got a new series to add to your ‘to watch’ list.

Smacks of Naff has turned its hilarious short clips into 2 minute + long episodes. Revel in the awkward humour amazingly presented by Justine Reeve. Have a look at my personal favourite!


Okay, let’s wind it back and look at an idea I believe could truly help the imbalance, from a young age up to the choreographer discipline.

Men & Girls Dance, a venture by Fevered Sleep and Dance4, is a production imbued with socio-political issues. It aims to “bring together two very different groups of performers: adult, male professional contemporary dancers, and girls who dance for fun. At times playful, at times provocative, emotionally charged, and deeply political, Men & Girls Dance is a celebration of tenderness, empathy, care, protection and love”.

I highlight this because this touches on the disparity between male and female dancers from an early stage. The disparity Luke Jennings spoke of as an institutional problem. How wonderful would it be for this to be a fully funded venture exercised by many across country? How great would it be if the roles were reversed and female professionals teamed up with young budding male dancers? What are your genuine thoughts?

Find out more about this idea on Dance4’s website.


News in brief

Dance Luminaries Weigh in on the Conspicuous Absence of Female Choreographers. This New York Times article takes the angle of time being one of the issues that comes up time and time again. “It’s impossible to overemphasize the arduous work it takes for women, on a daily basis, to stay in optimal physical shape while working to perfect their technique and artistry…”

Is the gender pay gap a myth? This very elaborate article looks at both sides of the argument and gives a fresh perspective.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s