2018 is the centenary of women first achieving the right to vote with the Representation of the People Act of 1918.

With a desire to celebrate this, the team of Groundwork women and myself set about curating a mini series of events.  The current climate of sex abuse scandals the #metoo campaign and ongoing discussion in our community about ‘where are all the female choreographers’ is giving us all food for thought.

Personally I find myself at odds with the art form I love so much. Dance as a performance art is rooted in a patriarchy and objectification of the female form which I am struggling to negotiate. I am full of question that I don’t yet have answers for … is it possible to not perpetuate and endorse the male gaze?… is it possible for the beauty of the female moving body to be witnessed without sexualization?….have I been complicit?….how can I not be complicit?…. how will I make work now these questions have started to press on me so much?

I feel the need for action but at the same time my circumstance (two small and one tiny child to be there for) and these questions to which I have no answers mean I feel incapacitated.

So together with the Groundwork team we have invited four brilliant women who’s practice and politics interrogate some of these issues to be part of a mini series of discussion events. Amy Bell, Hannah Buckley, Eleanor Sikorski and Jamila Johnson-Small will join us through January to March for evening discussion events hosted at Three Doors Up (Queens Arcade) in partnership with our friends at Cardiff Arcade.

Our invitation to these women was to deliver an event not just in commemoration of achieving the right to vote of 100yrs ago but to consider what the women at the forefront of that movement might be fighting for today: what now/what next? How can we continue to address imbalance? What is the continued action?

We have titled the series ‘Representation of the People: Act’, directly referencing the Act of Parliament which was passed 100yrs ago in Feb 1989, it also calls people to action now. 

The Groundwork team welcome you to come and join us for these events, whatever your background or involvement in dance, we’d love to hear your voice. Amy, Hannah and Eleanor will discuss their politics, practice and personal journeys inviting us all to reflect on where are we now. 100yrs on what will be our next ‘Acts’ in 2018?

More information about “Representation of The People: ACT” events can be found HERE


Deborah Light

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