Sunday, 9 March 2014

Public Contemporary Dance + Celebrating Women = Love

Yesterday was International Women's Day, and I was thrilled when I realised as part of the celebrations, Manchester Town Hall was hosting a free dance performance.

Ubidanza, an Italian dance company presented Principesse which is choreographed entirely on a stairway.  The dancers used the ornate staircase in the beautiful building to perform the unique work.  The images look so much more powerful thanks to the architecture of the performance space.

The enchanting performance was well received by the audience, many of which were just intrigued passers-by from Albert Square or in the Town Hall for other reasons on a Saturday afternoon.  Femininity was portrayed with playful sounds and movements, gold stilettos and a long sequence of air kisses.

I really enjoyed the live dance performance, but most of all I enjoyed that it was free.  Events like this are the key to getting more members of the public enjoying the delights of contemporary dance.  And of course, I absolutely loved the Women's Day theme and the fact that Manchester City Council have a wealth of events celebrating women across March. 

There was another great celebration of women on display at Manchester Town Hall - a statue exhibition.  It was shocking to learn that out of the 640 listed statues in the UK, only 15% are women; and most of these are monarchs or mythical creatures.  This misrepresentation is highlighted in the Town Hall, where crafty women have hijacked the numerous bustiers of men.  Using crochet masks, they have transformed the successful men into amazing women from the Greater Manchester area who made profound achievements and often haven't received the recognition they deserve.

The collection of women through history include the first woman to be allowed to study at Manchester University, a novelist who had her books burnt, suffragettes, a boffin who figured out the answer to the Rubik's cube and one of the first women to swim the English Channel.  Here are a few snippets:

Thank you Manchester City Council - more free dance in public spaces please!

Click here for more information on events throughout Manchester celebrating International Women's Day.