The latest activity within the Women’s Voices project sees the start of a new research and development project that uses dance and the arts to create a performance that is authored by many women, unpicking attitudes and behaviours surrounding Shame and Honour in relationships towards women’s bodies and sexuality, and weaving together common threads across different cultures.
The project co-ordinated by Creatve Director Alys North, will be running workshops with 4 diverse women groups across NE this summer inviting creative expression via participative arts processes, drawn from our artistic team’s backgrounds in dance, poetry, painting & installation art. Our professional artists will shape women’s perspectives into an original combined-arts work-in-progress performance to show back to participants, industry professionals at Dance City & youth audience, presenting the work in October 2017.
Drawing on women’s testimony/creative expressions, professional artists will devise a dance-theatre piece incorporating visual art/text, supported by installation artist Polly Turner, dramaturg Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh & dancers Alice Henry, Nadia Iftkhar & Aya Kobayashi, hosted by Dance City in 6 day residency, ending with sharing for participants, industry professionals/influential programmers & youth audience drawn from partner schools/colleges to: ensure work feels relevant/true to overlapping experience of diverse groups; gain critical feedback to inform refinement and shape our intended plans for a public tour beyond R&D in 2018.
The project will work towards creating a performance that will:
Create a platform where the women we work with can define how they believe their bodies and sexuality should be treated and respected;
Raise awareness of how we all participate in judging women’s bodies and sexuality through exploring how attitudes of shame and honour manifest themselves;
Create a space for reflection about how we can empower, support and respect women better, bringing attention to women’s common experience across cultural differences.
The Young Women’s Outreach Project Gateshead
The Comfrey Project Gateshead
The Halo Project – Break The Silence, Middlesborough
We have also been working closely and supported by East Durham Creates and the EastDurham Trust.