During the first year of The BENCH we worked alongside the mentors, contributors and participants to develop a manifesto that will help  shape the future of arts programming, ensuring that women's voices are equally heard and seen on stages across the UK.  To add your name or organisation to the list of those signed-up to deliver this manifesto, please email sarah@2faceddance,co.uk  


The BENCH Manifesto

·    I/We believe in equality of opportunity for all and will strive to produce a gender balanced programme in my/our organisation by 2020.


·    I/We believe in ensuring that there are female role models for the next generations of choreographers and will strive to promote and profile work by women.

·    I/We will challenge patterns of working and develop fresh ones, enabling us to support, encourage and promote creative endeavor on equal terms for all artists we engage with.

·    I/We believe in The BENCH, its ethos and objectives and will strive to work in collaboration
with the programme to innovate the sector.


·    Give my/our audiences a balanced programme of work that represents a range of different artistic voices.

·    Track and monitor internally the gender ratio of Dance Artists commissioned or programmed in my/our venue/organisation over the next 3 years and respond appropriately to address gender barriers.

·    Work alongside The BENCH team to lobby the sector and seek long-term investment in significant roles for female choreographers/leaders (within a variety of scales, range, status, genres).

·    Create an organisational ethos of which THINKING on gender equality is part of all departments truly embedding it within all sectors of our work on and off stage.




The BENCH is not just about developing the next generation of talent amongst female choreographers but it is about changing the arts sector, advocating on behalf of women working in the industry and ensuring equality exists within opportunities, profile and career development.  

If you would like to become an ambassador for The BENCH then please email sarah@2faceddance.co.uk  

Venues and organisations who have currently signed up to The BENCH Manifesto include:

If you would like to download a copy of The BENCH Manifesto, click here



The BENCH has generously received support from Arts Council England, Esmee Fairbairn and The Elmley Foundation through their 20th Anniversary Award.   We are currently seeking funding to continue and develop the project beyond 2016, reaching more women across the UK and Internationally.  We seek to undertake a piece of research later this year that gathers evidence, opinions and statistics.  If you would like to financially support The BENCH and support a genuinely groundbreaking programme please contact sarah@2faceddance.co.uk

Additional support, gratefully acknowledged from:

Jennifer Weber, Mark Baldwin, Ian Abbott, Tonic Theatre.