As we're all taking time off over Christmas, let's use some of this time to brainstorm about topics we'd like to raise (or have raised, if you can't be there in person) at our gender debate event on 10 January. How better to prepare for it than to start thinking about the topics we feel strongly about, and see the topics others want to tackle as well - as, after all, this event is all about defining action plans and strategies!
Responses so far:
- Geographical Location Issues - London Centred discussion/workshops etc are dominant, and yet there is a phenomenal amount of incredible dance and dance artists working across the UK.
- Lack of female choreographers in the Ballet World. I am currently working with Cathy Marston who is choreographing for NBT a new production of Jayne Eyre, regarding this issue and it is one of great concern on our main stages both nationally and Internationally.
- The 'Billy Elliot' Issue. Why are there so many 'Boys Only' classes/workshops/performance opportunities (Bourne's Lord of The Rings for example!) and yet nothing specific for girls? Or should it be this way? Surely the most natural and perhaps most traditional forms of dance need boys to dance "with" girls and not without them! They need to learn how to do this, segregating them in the studio and training ground is causing real cause for concern.
- Finally the "training debate" in the UK is by far from over or to be dismissed, and should definitely be discussed. Knowing that the majority of teachers are female, and they are mainly doing a stirling job, there are certainly some horrible flaws in our training systems in the UK which most definitely need to be discussed.
- I unfortunately cannot attend this event as I am working on a film with ENB and Tate Liverpool, pleased to report it is being choreographed by Jessica Wright and Morgann Runacre-Temple... WOMEN!
- Gender representation in the commercial and contemporary dance sectors and the key differences with reference to male and female stereotypes
- 'The Impacts of the Ballerina Effect" - classical ballet originally featured dynamic ballerinos but eventually came to be dominated by ballerinas, with male artistry losing prominence. As a result of this historical social movement, the vast majority of today's young students are invariably female. Be it hereby resolved that 'affirmative action' steps be taken in order to correct this historical imbalance and restore the danseur to his rightful place on the stage.