Dance

Equality Chant

Aim

Building on the popular event held in Victoria of February 2018, Combination Dance debuted their latest piece – The Equality Chant right next to Parliament on 14 December 2018 – exactly 100 years since the first women voted in a UK General Election. It was then performed at a second location close to Westminster Cathedral. Along with Scott David Photography, we were asked to document these events.

Method

Inspired by the story of The Dick Kerr Ladies & 100 years of change in women’s sport, Anne Marie Smalldon, Artistic Director of Combination Dance recruited dancers from their touring company, adult & youth groups plus students from Roehampton University. The events were funded by the London Borough of Richmond Council, Sport Richmond, Victoria and Westminster BID & supported by Harlequins Ladies Rugby.

The Stoop, home of the Harlequins Ladies Rugby team was the location that choreography was was first put together and rehearsed on the pitch itself. The dancers met some of the players who had come down to show their support. The teaser for the event was created from this day. Woven into the dance piece were stories of women in sport 100 years ago contrasting with a modern celebration of sport, health and equality for all inspired in part by the ethos of Harlequins and their rapidly progressing Ladies Rugby Team.

“We are delighted as a Club to support this dance – and celebrate 100 years of female empowerment. It is a privilege to be associated with this project and we look forward to seeing the end result in town on 14th December.”

Leah Lyons player for Harlequins Ladies and Irish International

On the 14 December, a breakfast reception was given to press and invited guests in the QEII building. It was attended by current female athletes, descendants of suffragettes and London based cultural, sports and history organisations. The speakers were there to show their support and explain how their organisations are actively involved in the pursuit of equality.

The performers were dressed in costumes by Mike Lees and authentic Harlequins shirts. Interviews were conducted with the key speakers after the event. The second performance then took place to an audience of passers-by and people in the surrounding venues.

Photographs from the Westminster Performance can be seen here.

Photographs from the Victoria Performance can be seen here.

Results

The created content was used to document the event and was used in press and promotional material for all associated companies. This piece will tour in 2019 in West London including the creation of a linked performance piece with a large community cast reaching over 1000 children and young people.

“This project continues the legacy of an amazing centenary year with a pan London dance project inspired by the capital’s commitment to equality”.

Anne-Marie Smalldon, Artistic Director of Combination Dance

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