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Yorkshire Dance Takes Pride in Rainbow Plaque

Wed 1 August 2018
Part of: Performing Gender: Dance Makes Differences | 2017-2018 | Gender Moves Performance Project | 2018
Wieke Eringa with Rainbow Plaque - Leeds Pride - July 2018 © Yorkshire Dance

Yorkshire Dance has been honoured with one of 15 rainbow plaques marking this year’s Leeds Pride.

Leeds Civic Trust & Leeds LGBT+ Hub have worked together to prepare this special Rainbow Plaques trail to celebrate and highlight the history, events & people that have influenced our LGBT+ heritage.

The plaque at Yorkshire Dance commemorates the many seminal gay and queer artists who have made work in our studios over 37 years. The idea was born from watching a BBC documentary about dance in Leeds from the late 80s, featuring Nigel Charnock and Lloyd Newson rehearsing in our studios with the internationally-acclaimed DV8 Physical Theatre.

DV8’s work is characterised by a desire to question received attitudes and beliefs, and has frequently addressed issues such as gender and sexual identity. ‘My Sex Our Dance’, partially created in Yorkshire Dance’s studios in 1987, proved a powerful response to prejudice surrounding AIDS and the infamous Section 28.

As founder of DV8, Lloyd Newson’s work for stage and film has won more than 50 National and International awards. He has been cited by the Critics Circle as one of the hundred most influential artists working in Britain during the last hundred years. In 2013 he was awarded an OBE from Her Majesty the Queen for services to contemporary dance. His work has had a dynamic impact on contemporary dance and theatre.

Yorkshire Dance is currently working locally and internationally to develop new narratives around gender and identity through a range of projects including Performing Gender and Gender Moves.

On Thursday 2 August, Yorkshire Dance, in partnership with Friends of Dorothy – a group for LGBT+ people aged 55 and up – plays host to the Rainbow Ceilidh – an evening of dance and queer pop-up entertainment for everyone.

The trail also includes plaques mounted at the BBC Building, commemorating Angela Morley, trans woman and Oscar-nominated composer and musical arranger for TV shows and movies including ‘Dynasty’, ‘Dallas’, ‘Watership Down’ and ‘Star Wars’; at West Yorkshire Playhouse, celebrating the life and work of Alan Bennett; at Leeds Beckett University for the pop group Soft Cell; and at the First Direct Arena for boxer Nicola Adams.

The Rainbow Plaques will be on display until 17 September.

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