The first of its kind in the UK, The BENCH was a programme established in 2015 by Artistic Director of 2Faced Dance Company, Tamsin Fitzgerald, in direct response to serious concerns about the lack of equality faced by female choreographers within the dance sector.
The programme aims to influence change and current behaviours within the UK dance sector by:
Initiating projects, programmes and resources to better support female choreographers
Provoking debates about the lack of support and opportunities for female choreographers
Building a network of programmers and promoters that have a long-term commitment to equality
Between 2015 and 2017 The BENCH worked and directly funded 12 female choreographers across the UK and 5 female choreographers from India to undertake an intensive programme of training, mentoring and reflection.
We commissioned and seed-funded 9 new dance works by women and toured 2 new productions RUN & OUTLANDS to over 60 venues across the UK and internationally.
We held 3 sector conferences in association with IDFB 2016, Attakkalari Biennial India 2017 and One Dance UK 2017 reaching over 500 programmers, artists, industry professionals and journalists.
Now, after much evaluation with our key stakeholders, artists and funders, we launch our new BENCH programme for 2018 - 2021.
The BENCH 2018-2021
The BENCH 2018-2021 will feature three key strands that will enable a step-change for artists and the industry.
Each element has been designed for maximum impact; we want to enable female artists to build momentum and ensure those with programming and commissioning responsibility offer the same opportunities to women as they do to men.