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Yorkshire Dance presents a night of subversively wonky dance

Wed 24 May
Part of: Artists Curating Dance
Frauke Requardt - Mothers © Chris Nash

Yorkshire Dance has, for the second year running, invited dance artist Amy Bell to put together an evening of dance which explores gender, sexuality and queerness.

This year, Bend It – the fourth in the increasingly popular series of annual events – features dance works by four artists: Julie Cunningham, Sheena McGrandles, Monsur Mansoor and Frauke Requardt.

Cunningham’s Brutal is a solo reflecting on the experience of an immigrant working in the Chicago stockyards in the early twentieth century, as told in Upton Sinclair’s novel, The Jungle.

In Eee, McGrandles has created a work in which the familiar human form becomes unfamiliar – a jumble of body-parts.

Mansoor’s WanTanaMoBabe (vers.1) challenges our preconceptions about race, sex and gender in the Muslim world.

Requardt has been making odd, dark and chaotic work for over ten years. The extract she will be showing from her new performance, Mothers, is a dance across sticky surfaces with slippery bodies.

Amy says, “I’m delighted to be returning to Yorkshire Dance to curate Bend It 2017. Dance is still crying out for initiatives that really get to grips with conventions around gender and sexuality. I’m excited to present this programme of witty, intelligent, subversive and physically vibrant works from four artists who each approach gender and sexuality with a rich and unique voice.”

Wieke Eringa, Artistic Director of Yorkshire Dance, says, “Dance has a unique ability to explore, subvert and comment on gender and desire with queer strategies and sensibilities and we’re very proud that Bend It is becoming a really popular platform for this kind of work and attracts big audiences from within and beyond Yorkshire’s LGBT+ and artistic communities.”

Yorkshire Dance, the region’s dance development organisation, has long had a keen interest in work by artists exploring a queer aesthetic.

Wieke Eringa adds, “This summer we’re also creating a major new dance piece with choreographer Gary Clarke. Into the Light is our contribution to LGBT50 – Hull UK City of Culture 2017’s celebrations around the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality. We’re thrilled that it’s telling the stories of the LGBT+ community of Hull and East Yorkshire to what’s sure to be a huge audience in Hull’s Queen Victoria Square this July.”

Bend It is part of Yorkshire Dance’s Artists Curating Dance project, funded by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation. It aims to develop curatorial practice with a selected group of six artists, including Amy Bell, who are working at the cutting edge of contemporary practice and who are supported to develop curatorial ideas.

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