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Where Are The Female Choreographers?

The launch of the Female Choreographers Collective

In recent years, this has been a recurring topic of discussion in Modern Dance: in an industry which is predominately female and in an artform pioneered by women .... where are all the female choreographers?

In a response to the dwindling number of female choreographers receiving regular funding or support in the same league as their male counterparts, we feel compelled to take positive action. Therefore, we would like to introduce to you the FCC – the Female Choreographers Collective. The sole purpose and mission of this collective is to support, encourage and spearhead work created by female choreographers across the UK. We seek to make contact with all female choreographers in the UK and organise forums, networking opportunities and platforms to showcase the abundance of female talent currently creating work.

We are also committed to investigating the reasons behind this shift, and we plan to call on all female choreographers who are interested in highlighting this issue to share with us their experiences being a female choreographer in the modern dance industry today. This issue has been discussed sporadically over the last few years, with Dance Umbrella hosting a forum on the topic in 2009. In this heated debate, everything from childcare to sexualisation and the ego of the male choreographer were thrown into the arena. Betsy Gregory, artistic director of the dance festival Dance Umbrella, said, "There are loads of women making work. So why are they not progressing? I can't offer answers, but it could be around women having other creative drives in their lives, like family..."

We currently have only theories and no clear answers on why this shift has happened, but we are passionate about investigating it further with the support of female choreographers around the UK. We hope that by sharing our experiences and concerns we can take affirmative action in giving female choreographers the opportunity to stand alongside their male counterparts gaining higher profile choreographic commissions and opportunities.

We have decided to launch the FCC with the aims of supporting female choreographers of all genres, whether they are just starting out on their creative journey or are fully established choreographers. We will offer support, feedback, information, workshops, seminars, networking events and most importantly the opportunity to show work at the FCC women’s choreographic platform.

To celebrate the launch of the FCC, and in light of our commitment to offer a platform for female choreographers. We will be holding our first female only platform entitled ‘We Face Forward’ on Saturday October 13th at the Actors' Church in Covent Garden. This platform will showcase breathtaking work by Lucía Piquero of Diciembre Dance Group and Anna Watkins of WatkinsDance. It will also be the premiere of new works by Beyond Repair Dance and A.D. Dance Company.

We look forward to your continued support and interest in the FCC, we believe it is a journey we are impelled to take together.

Jane Coulston & Holly Noble
FCC Founders