What would happen if we taught girls to take up space inside and outside of the dance class?
Frustrated with the lack of support for female choreographers in the dance and performance world, Grace Nicol set up Woman SRSLY, a platform that brings together female artists, and challenges the way self-defining women and their bodies have hitherto been represented. Since its inception in August 2017, Woman SRSLY have curated three events with over 12 female-led companies. Ladybeard was privileged to have them programme an evening of performance as part of our recent HYSTERIA exhibition. ‘Like Honey’ – choreographed by Becky Namgauds’, danced by Amanda Pefkou and was overlaid with the undulating vocals of Yael Claire Shahmoon – created a charged energy within the room. As Amanda’s body rippled and contorted, Grace’s aim to create ‘a space that [acknowledges] female desire, instead of merely adhering to stereotypes of male expectation’ felt fully realised. Alongside this were performances that touched on everything from laughter and nudity, to labour and boredom, creating a textured evening of diverse work. At the heart of Woman SRSLY is this idea of inclusivity: Grace talks about ‘amplifying’ fellow artists’ voices as a way of directly countering the exclusionary practices of mainstream companies. Ahead of their next event on 19 April, Ladybeard caught up with Grace to talk about how to take back control of these performance spaces.