Our Dance Democracy Returns


Karen Gallagher MBE, Karen Gallagher and Associates( KGA) and Dr. Sarah Black-Frizell (Liverpool Hope University) present Our Dance Democracy 2: Identity, Pandemic, Protest/Resistance and Feminism

The role of dance and performance in democratic discussions and forging connections through identity and belonging will form the heart of a two-day conference online in February 2021.

The conference will be held ONLINE, 11th and 12th February 2021.

Building on the success of Our Dance Democracy (ODD) in 2018, this conference will further the debate, extending the dialogue of how artists and academics interrogate the function of dance in the 21st Century.

Our Dance Democracy 2 will consider the notion of our world as an ever-challenging and changing global society, in which social media facilitates the circulation of opinions and prejudices rooted in intuitive, and frequently unexamined narratives of contemporary societies. These are increasingly taken up, legitimised, and recycled as common-sense master-narratives across the discursive circuits of established media and political debate. A real expansion of inclusive public space is one outcome of this and introspection another. These tendencies expose boundaries in human relations, always constituted – contradictorily – as zones of exclusion which are always also points of contact. The UK as a bounded and bordered territory, demonstrates that perceptions of (in)visibility, identity and belonging have real-world significance, and the importance of interrogating assumptions underpinning them cannot be over-stated.

“With the impact of Covid-19 and the cultural sector facing unique challenges of our time it is with regret yet tethered with a sense of curiosity and excitement that Dr. Sarah Black- Frizell and myself have made the decision to produce our conference, Our Dance Democracy 2 (ODD2), as an online event for February 2021.” Karen Gallagher, Creative Director, KGA.

Keynote speakers included

  • Professor Victor Merriman: Critical Performance Studies, Edge Hill University
  • Dr. Elena Marchevska: Senior lecturer in Drama and Performance, London South Bank University
  • Alexandrina Hemsley: Choreographer, dancer, writer and facilitator
  • Dylan Quinn: Artistic Director, Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre

Papers and presentations by

  • Professor Thomas F Defrantz Professor in the dance program and African and African American Studies department at Duke University
  • Sharon Watson DL Principal of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

Films include

  • Circadian Rosemary Lee
  • Unseen Designs, Bisakha Sarker
  • Kontrol, Patricia Carolin Mai
  • RED, Liz Lea

Supported by People Dancing, new for this year we are delighted to have Wendy Houstoun as our Raconteur and she will consider what occurs throughout the sessions and deliver a short 10 -15 minute wrap up each day.

Our Dance Democracy is made possible with funding from Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grants and is a collaboration between Karen Gallagher & Associates, Liverpool Hope University, and People Dancing . With additional support from South East Dance (co-presenting Liz Lea: RED) and the NATIONALES PERFORMANCE NETZ International Guest Performance Fund for Dance, which is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (supporting Patricia Carolin Mai: KONTROL).

For more information, interviews or images please contact Karen Gallagher: kga@karengallagherandassociates.co.uk

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