By Cath James
2 May 2019
Gender equality and quotas. It’s nothing new, right? It’s a conversation that has been going on for decades. Back in 1985 I was performing in an all-female choreographers dance programme in Brisbane – the work commissioned and presented specifically to address the lack of the female perspective on dance stages in Australia.
In 2013 dance critic Luke Jennings gave us a well thought through assessment of the UK dance scene, from which I quote my good friend, the late great choreographer Janis Claxton: “It’s a nightmare for those of us who watch as men get given chances they are simply not ready for while we graft away at our craft and take smaller-scale opportunities…. Women quit because they don’t get the support that their male colleagues get, and having to push constantly against this outrageous gender inequality is infuriating.”
Then we had a UK first in 2015 in The Bench, a programme established by Tamsin Fitzgerald, Artistic Director of 2Faced Dance Company. It was a direct response to serious concerns about the lack of equality faced by female choreographers within the dance sector.
Has anything changed since then? Is it time for 50/50 quotas? This is a question I posed to a panel of dance industry programmers, creative directors and independent artists and choreographers in March, as part of a debate at Brighton Dome during International Women’s Day celebrations. What was immediately clear is that this is not a simple issue. Many points came across, but three really stood out for me:
Read the full article on Arts Professionals.