“What is very specific about dance is that our profession is directly linked to our body and that invites a blurring of the private and the professional, that can often be sort of liberating, but it deviates away from a certain norm of how we think about our bodies. But I think it can also be very confusing and problematic, especially because, we have been trained in education to push our boundaries - so to talk about boundaries is a very interesting conversation”.
“Problem comes when there is no transparency in the hierarchy”
Ilse Ghekiere is a Belgian artist, writer, researcher, teacher and historian. As a dancer she has worked with choreographers Michèle Anne De Mey, Mette Ingvartsen and Jan Martens.
I came to know Ilse’s work through an article that was published last year about #METOO moments in dance. The article was captivating and revealed a side of dance that is seldom talked about. The article sparked many conversations and has sparked a range of actions, including: ENGAGEMENT. Launched on International Women's Day, ENGAGEMENT is an artist-led platform that seeks to tackle sexual harassment, sexism and the abuse of power in arts. The website provides practical advice to all sectors of the creative arts.
This was a great conversation and one that has so many different focuses. One of the things we do discuss is how to critique a field that you dearly love. We also discussed the particular structures in dance that have left women and young dancers too often disempowered.
“We are expected in certain contexts to be sexualized objects.”
This season has been produced to complement a special report exploring gender equality in Australian Dance. You can find the full report: Turning Pointe: Gender Equality in Australian Dance at https://www.delvingintodance.com/turning-pointe. This season focuses on international voices about gender equality in dance. Check out previous interviews from Deborah Jowett, Gideon Obarzanek, Rafael Bonachela, Lucy Guerin, Anouk van Dijk, David McAllister & Damian Jalet. You can now find Delving into Dance on Facebook, as well as Twitter and iTunes.
If you have enjoyed this episode and you want to continue to hear a diversity of dancers and dance makers experiences, leave a contribution. With arts journalism around the world in decline, now more than ever, platforms like Delving into Dance are critical in providing space to talk about dance.