Professor Liz Aggiss is a performer, choreographer and film-maker who has made key innovations in arts practices, notably in that of screendance.
Her investigations have changed the ways in which practice is undertaken and disseminated and, throughout her academic career was a vital influence on the teaching of practice and performance art at the University of Brighton
Professor Liz Aggiss is a performer, choreographer and film-maker. Key areas of research within her work are; screen dance, live performance and inter disciplinary performance practices. Her work is eclectic, borrowing from a range of performance styles and is inherently cross-genre, unclassifiable, dodging categorization. Existing on both stage and screen, it blurs the boundaries between high art and popular culture.
She studied at the Louis/Nikolais Dance Theatre Lab. New York, and with Hanya Holm in Colorado, and Hilde Holger in London. She collaborated from 1980 to 2006 with Billy Cowie creating over thirty live works commissioned by The Zap, Gardner Arts Centre Brighton, University of Surrey and The South Bank, and toured nationally and internationally as a solo artist and with her company Divas Dance Theatre. Additionally Aggiss and Cowie have created single screen dance films, multiple screen dance installations, and live performance installations alongside dance theatre, cabaret and Live Art.
Liz Aggiss’ work has been driven by content and explored; body politics, commentaries on language and wordplay, age, death, power, post feminist aesthetics and the artifice of performance. It has been described as; expressionistic, uncompromising, funny, challenging, absurd Dadaist dance, entertaining, provocative and characterized by a trademark grotesque, stylized performance vocabulary. Aggiss has been described as the Vivienne Westwood of the dance film world, fearless, satirical, funny, powerfully disturbing, dominant and yet vulnerable.
She guested with British experimental company Lumiere & Son in a reconstruction of The Blue Duck(1985), in Performing Clothes 1984 (Gale, Morris, Bergese) and Off The Rails 1985 (Tarascas, Rubin), created commissioned work for Extemporary (1988), Intoto (1999) and Transitions Dance Companies (1995), worked with special needs dance groups High Spin (2000 and 2001) and Carousel (1989 and 1990), sat on national, regional, local committees and advisory panels, been Artist in Residence at the Duncan Centre Prague and L’Opera Montpellier France, spoken at conferences and debates, written for magazines including Dance Theatre Journal and Animated, appeared on Children’s TV, corporate videos and Radio 4, performed on the alternative cabaret circuit, and toured rock stadiums supporting The Stranglers in 1986 with her dance trio The Wild Wigglers.
In 1986, together with Cowie, she choreographed and performed Grotesque Dancer. This visually arresting solo work raised the debate on feminist work, polarised critics and became their successful signature piece, written about as an important contribution to UK contemporary dance history in the publications Dancers, Sylphs and Sirens (pub MacMillan) by Christy Adair and Dance Space and Subjectivity (pub Palgrave) by Valerie Briginshaw.
She has created many successful solo and group works which toured and exhibited throughout the UK and worldwide at major art galleries, theatres, dance, film and performance festivals including: Brighton, National Review of Live Art Glasgow, New Moves Nottingham, Woking Dance Umbrella, New Art Gallery Walsall, Baltic Gallery Gateshead, ICA and was supported internationally by The British Council at Bagnolet Paris, Eurodanse, Budapest, Zurich, Vienna, Berlin, Hamburg, Prague, Canada, Holland, Sweden, Russia.
Her commissioned screen dance work includes for the BBC Dance for Camera Awards Motion Control (2000) and Beethoven in Love (1994), for the Arts Council of England and Capture Award, Anarchic Variations (2002) and for Channel 4 Dance4 season Break (2005). Her screen dance installations for the Arts Council of England and Capture Award includes: Men in the Wall (2003) and Doppelganger (2004). The screen dance work has received numerous international awards including: for Motion Control the Czech Crystal Prague Golden Film Festival (2002), Honourable Mention Paula Citron Award Toronto 2002, Special Jury Golden Award Houston (2003) and Best Woman Film Media Waves Hungary (2003): and for Anarchic Variations The Romanian National Office of Cinematography Award (2003) and the Special Jury Mention "Il Coreografo Elettronico-2004" at Napolidanza 2004. Dance Camera West Award 2007 Los Angeles for Men in the Wall: Innovation in the Field of Dance Media. Aggiss and Cowie’s book Anarchic Dance published 2006 by Routledge for Taylor and Francis, comprises a book and three hour DVD-Rom that is a visual and textual record of the live and screen dance work.
In 1994 she received the Bonnie Bird Choreography Award and in 2002 an Arts Council Dance Fellowship to develop her practice in screen dance, writing, installation and performance. As one of only six artists in the UK to receive this Fellowship, this important award supported continued artistic development, new departures and recognized Aggiss’ creativity and achievement in the development of the art form of dance.
Liz Aggiss's Beach Party Animal is a screen dance film commissioned by South East Dance (£13K),
Research and professional activity
Exhibitions/Screen Dance Films and Installations
Live Performance (see details under research esteem)- National and international exhibition of live performance work and research dissemination of Survival Tactics Findhorn Foundation Scotland April 13, The Showroom University of Chichester Oct 24, research and development and selected for scratch at The Works Brighton 9 April, and preview solo work The English Channel Yorkshire Dance Leeds June 7.
Screen Dance (see details under research esteem)- National and international exhibition/dissemination of Beach Party Animal, Motion Control, Break, Diva, Anarchic Variations and practice based colloquia in collaboration with The British Council and South East Dance.
Survival Tactics: Universities of Plymouth 6 March, Falmouth 7 March, for Juncture Yorkshire Dance Leeds 24 March, Caravan Exchange Brighton Festival 14 May, DMU Leicester 16 Oct, Chester 17 Oct, alongside arts venues presentations including City Moves for dancelive and Conference presentation Aberdeen 20 Oct and performance 21Oct, Phoenix Arts Exeter 8 Nov, Arnolfini Bristol 9 Nov.
Screen Dance (see details under esteem indicators): national and international exhibition/dissemination of Beach Party Animal, Motion Control and practice based colloquia in collaboration with South East Dance.
Live Performance (see details under esteem indicators): national and international exhibition of live performance work and research dissemination of Survival Tactics, research and development of new solo work The English Channel, and Blurred Vision a collaboration with Charlotte Vincent.
Survival Tactics: The Basement Brighton Festival 7-8 May, City of Women Festival Llubjana Slovenia 10 Oct http://www.cityofwomen.org/sl/content/2011/video/liz-aggiss-taktike-prezivetja
Screen Dance (see details under esteem indicators) International exhibition of screen dance films and leading a lecture programme on screen dance research and practice based colloquia in collaboration with The British Council and Forward Motion to: Warsaw Poland, ARCIS University Video Dance Festival Santiago, Chile, Gati Screen Dance Forum Dehli India
Live Performance (see details under esteem indicators) National and international exhibition of live performance work and research dissemination through the performance lecture Survival Tactics to; University of Gothenburg, International City of Women Art Ljubljana, Slovenia, Yorkshire Playhouse Leeds
Screen Dance: Basini selected for screening at Civitanova Marche, Ravenna and Bassano del Grappa Italy
Survival Tactics: Rich Mix London 10 Feb, British Dance Edition Birmingham 5 Feb, National Review of Live Art Glasgow 20 March.
Screen Dance (see details under Research Esteem) International exhibition of screen dance films and leading a lecture programme on screen dance research and practice based colloquia in collaboration with The British Council and Forward Motion to; Damascus Syria, Rio De Janeiro, Sao Paolo, Buenos Aires South America, Auckland New Zealand Brisbane and Melbourne Australia, Stockholm Sweden
Live Performance (see details under Research Esteem) National and international exhibition of live performance work and research dissemination through the performance lectures Survival Tactics and Hi Jinx to; British Dance Edition Birmingham, Rich Mix London, National Review of Live Art Glasgow, Provocations Festival University of Brighton, Tempo Festival, Auckland New Zealand
2009 Presenter Best Special FX Award at the Oska Bright Award Ceremony on 19 Nov OMAC Brighton. www.oskabright.co.uk
Chair South East Dance Screen Dance Forum with David Hinton in Brighton 5/2/09 and Bristol 17/2/09
Lecture on research and screen dance practice at LaSalle College of the Arts, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and Nanyang Technical University Singapore
British Council Forward Motion international tour includes: http://www.britishcouncil.org/arts-dance-broadcast-forward-motion-2.htm
Motion Control selected for screening at Loikka Festival Helsinki Finland, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Forward Motion British Council to Singapore Ekaterinburg Festival Urals, Russia 12-19 November
Basini selected for screening at Civitanova Marche, Ravenna and Bassano del Grappa Italy 11 - 22 November
Diva at Loikka Helsinki Finland, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro Brazil (dancaemfoco)
Screen Dance International Tour of Forward Motion: this three DVD package, produced by The British Council and South East Dance is a collection of outstanding British screen dance and features Professor Aggiss as Lead Presenter for DVD 1 Forward Motion Intros. Forward Motion also includes Aggiss’ two screen dance films, Motion Control and Basini
Forward Motion tour: Professor Aggiss has been invited by The British Council to lead presentations on screen dance, and chair a forum and selection panel for new commissions. 2009 British Council Forward Motion international tour includes: India Library Tour to Ahmadabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Dehli and Pune, Melbourne International Film Festival, Space FNAC Madrid Spain, City Contemporary Dance Festival Hing Kong, International Kalamata Dance Festival Athens Greece,, KuanDu Arts Festival Taipei Taiwan, http://www.britishcouncil.org/arts-dance-broadcast-forward-motion-2.htm
Men in the Wall, exhibition at Southampton City Art Gallery; 18th Street Arts Centre, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, USA.
Motion Control selected for screening at Konsthall Vaxjo Sweden, Oaxaca Mexica
Diva selected for screening at 4th International Dance film Festival Yokohama Japan, Moves Manchester, Sans Souci Boulder Colorado USA, Il Coreografo Elettronico Naples, Dance Camera West LA, ADF North Carolina, Edit Budapest, Shoot Sweden, Cape Town, KinoDance Armenia
Men in the Wall
Rich Mix London 10 Feb, British Dance Edition Birmingham 5 Feb, National Review of Live Art Glasgow 20 March
'Don’t put your Daughter on the Stage' UK Tour (Reconstruction for eleven dancers) Touring to Roehampton, Winchester, Coventry, Bridport, Portsmouth, Chichester, Denmark, London.
'Performance Lecture: Professor Liz Aggiss Anarchic Dancer': Lessons in Hybridity and Survival Tactics presentation at Kolikki Screen Dance Festival Helsinki Finland.
'Double Vision' a duet for Liz Aggiss and Charlotte Vincent (Vincent Dance Theatre) at The Place London, Green Room Manchester, Nuffield Theatre Southampton, Sallis Benney Theatre, Cambridge Junction, Sheffield.
Performance Lecture Tour: Professor Liz Aggiss Anarchic Dancer: Lessons in Hybridity and Survival Tactics
Performance Lecture Presentations at: Goldsmiths London, Wimbledon School of Art, University of Chichester, University of Surrey. University of Gothenberg Film School Sweden
'Hi Jinx' – a solo live performance presented at The Point Eastleigh Hampshire, Southampton City Art Gallery Lecture Theatre; Empac Rensselaer Institute, Troy, New York
'Guerrilla Dances' – solo live performances British Dance Edition Liverpool; Caravan British Council Showcase Brighton Festival; National Waterfront Museum Swansea; Merchant City Festival Glasgow; Frieze and Zoo Art Fair London; Shoot Festival at Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö, Sweden
'Don’t put your Daughter on the Stage' (for 6 dancers) – Live Performance - UK Tour including Winchester, Eastleigh, Chichester, Coventry, Liverpool, Wolverhampton, London, Croydon, Portsmouth, Hythe, Folkestone, Isle of Wight, Leeds, New Milton, Trowbridge
'Diva' – a screening presented the following international screen dance festivals – Baxter Theatre Cape Town, Cinecity Amsterdam, Edit Film Festival Budapest; Cinecity Brighton; DFA New York; 4th International Dance Film Festival Yokohama; Sans Souci Boulder Colorado; Moves Manchester; Il Coreografeo Elettronica Naples Italy; Dance Camera West Los Angeles; ADF North Carolina; Stockholm; Gothenburg; Malmö. TV includes ABC of Dance4 Film on ABC Artscape Australia. Channel 4 transmission date 30th August 2008 at 19.30
Performance Works prior to 2001 include:
'Rice Rain' (2001) Premiere 8th March 2001 at De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill
'The Surgeons Waltz' (2000)
'The 38 Steps' (1999)
'The Fetching Bride' (1995)
'Beethoven in Love' (1994)
'No Man’s Land' (1993)
'Falling Apart at the Seams (so it seems)' (1993)
Cafeteria for a Sit Down Meal (1992)
El Puñal entra en el Corazón (1992)
'Vier Tänze' (1992) Premiere The Green Room at the Manchester Festival of Expressionism
'French Songs' (1991) Premiere at the Gardner Arts Centre
'Drool and Drivel They Care!' (1991) Premiered The Zap, Brighton
'La Soupe' (1990)
'Banda Banda' (1989)
'Dead Steps' (1988)
'South East Dance Take 7' - a study pack for students and teachers learning about making screen dance. Distributed by South East Dance
'Zap : Twenty Five Years of Innovation', Chapter 1: The Early Years
Aggiss, L. Take7 Study Pack for students and teachers learning about making screen dance (DVD incl) published by South East Dance
Aggiss, L. Zap: 25 Years of Innovation Kakarella Ka Diva! Zap and the early years 32-37 ed Max Crisfield pub. Zap Arts & Queenspark Books
Aggiss, L. Cowie, B. with Bramley, I. Anarchic Dance – a book and DVD of a visual and textual record of the work of Aggiss and Coiwe (Divas Dance Theatre). Published by Routledge for Taylor and Francis ISBN 0-415-36517-1
Anarchic Dance Liz Aggiss and Billy Cowie, ed. (Routledge)
Aggiss, L. Cowie, B. with Bramley, I. Anarchic Dance publ. Routledg
Aggiss, L. (2005 Summer) A Thumbnail Sketch: Aggiss and Cowie Inc. Dance UK Issue 5, 1
Aggiss, L. (2003 Winter) Being There: Liz Aggiss is finally present Animated, 8-9
Aggiss, L (2003) Upfront : Liz Aggiss on being a Professor. Dance Theatre Journal 19(3)
Aggiss, L. (2002 Summer) Beavering in Brighton not bonkers by the Sea. Dance UK,
Aggiss, L. (2001 Spring) Outsider Performance: Learning Difficulties and Dance Animated Magazine, 32-3
Aggiss, L. Juggling not Struggling Dance Theatre Journal, Vol 15 (4), 29 – 3
Aggiss, L. (1999 Summer) The Rough Guide to Reconstruction Animated Magazine. 34-3
Aggiss, L. (1996) Internal Force Liz Aggiss reflects on the life of Hilde Holger Dance Theatre Journal Supplemen
Forward Motion (2009) Leading British Screen Dance publ. British Council/South East Dance
Take7 Aggiss, Liz, South East Dance (2008) A DVD collection featuring seven short dance films accompanied by a study pack written by Professor Aggiss for students and teachers learning about making screen dance
Dance for Camera 2. Dance films from around the world (2005) published in the USA by www.firstrunfeatures.com
Esteem for professional and academic practice
GUEST LECTURE: By Invitation: to deliver lecture on screen dance practice at Cine-Corps dance film Festival Strasbourg November 21st 2013: http://cine-corps.com/
BEACH PARTY ANIMAL: selected for outdoor large scale beach screening, Brighton Big Screen Tuesday 13-15 August 2013. Looped screening in Edwardian Bathing hut on Llandudno seafront as part of Llandudno Festival 20-22 September 2013.
THE ENGLISH CHANNEL: performances, post show research based discussion and workshops at DeMontfort University Leicester 6 Nov, Coventry University 7 Nov, Bedford University 20 Nov
DIVA (dance film) aquired for screenings on Arte TV German and French territory, internet, Westdeutscher Rundfunk regional home channel for Germany, and transmissions in WDR’s digital partner channel "EinsFestival".
Honorary Doctorate Award from Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
BEACH PARTY ANIMAL: a 10 multi-screen loop at MyHotel Brighton for South East Dance DansDialogues March 19.
BEACH PARTY ANIMAL: selected for XONTAKT DFV in Split, Croatia screened on 20. 11. 2011. http://www.xontakt.org/?p=638. Also selected for the touring 2013 programme by Xontakt Croatia to Zagreb, Varadin and Karlovac. http://tala.hr/english/platforma-en/home-en.html www.kdf.freedance.hr http://www.perform-d-ance.com/
By invitation: The English Channel selected for 15-minute extract for The Works Pavilion Theatre Brighton April 9. The selection was made by Brighton Dome and Festival programming team, Tanya Peters (Senior Producer), Laura Ducceschi (Contemporary Music Producer), Orla Flanagan (Theatre Producer) and Lou Cope (freelance dramaturg), who will act as facilitator and lead discussion. The focus and goals for The Works is that the evening is a constructive enquiry into the pieces presented.
BEACH PARTY ANIMAL (dance film) SCREENING (before live performances) Saturday 16th February and Thursday 21th February at the Mercat de les Flors (Barcelona). "ShortDanceFilms, a crossborder of genres" is a dancefilm program curated by Núria Font/Nu2s BARCELONA SPAIN, in the framework of Modul-Dance, a cooperation project between more than 20 European dance houses and media institutions from 15 countries (www.modul-dance.eu) http://www.nu2s.org/cat/e_list.php?ida=44477
BEETHOVEN IN LOVE (dance film). This 15 minute BBC/Arts Council Dance for Camera Award 1994, with choreography Aggiss/Cowie and directed by Bob Bentley, was filmed in Spitalfields London and features Liz Aggiss in duet with Tommy Bayley a performer with learning difficulties. The film has been elected for the ‘Side by Side’ exhibition, March 15- April 8th, Royal Festival Hall London. Citation: “the film is a true poem full of choreographic subtlety and cinematic tenderness. It is a fantastic film and needs to be shown worldwide” Alla Kovgan director KinoDance Russia. http://bobbentley.co.uk/beethoven-in-love.html
BY INVITATION: DANCE DEBATE. LEAP FESTIVAL LIVERPOOL: In the Balance - Female Choreographers in the UK: 7 March FACT. FEATURING: Charlotte Vincent, Liz Roche, Liz Aggiss, Sharon Watson, Toni Grove and Lucy Suggate explore what it means to be working as a female choreographer in the UK – their inspirations, collaborations, obstacles and aspirations. They will debate whether equality of opportunity exists in the dance field and if so why there is this ongoing feeling that women’s dance work doesn’t reach as far or get taken as seriously as that of our male counterparts. Are men fast tracked in their careers or is this a myth? Is women’s work better placed on the small scale and therefore not as visible? How does female-led practice differ from the male approach to making work? How do women measure success? Does the British Dance scene fairly represent female led work and if not, does that matter? Discussing career trajectories and confidence, gratitude and glass ceilings, family and feminism, this experienced panel discuss their own experiences in and perceptions of the dance world to provoke a debate that highlights where we find ourselves right now and where we might like to be in future. http://www.mdi.org.uk/events/view/the-dance-debate-female-choreographers-in-the-uk-followed-by-pina-3d-2011
SURVIVAL TACTICS (live performance). By invitation to perform Survival Tactics in a Double Bill with Wendy Houstoun 50 Acts at Findhorn, Scotland April 17.
THE ENGLISH CHANNEL (live Performance). Preview Yorkshire Dance Leeds June 7.
ROUTLEDGE PERFORMANCE ARCHIVE (live and screendance) http://www.routledgeperformancearchive.com/
Professor Aggiss has been invited to submit three pieces of work for this online performance archive with supported texts for educational and academic use – Grotesque Dancer 1986, Motion Control 2002, Survival Tactics 2010. The Routledge Performance Archive is a developing resource created through two years of dedicated research and development with Digital Theatre. It provides unique access to an unprecedented range of audio-visual material from past and present practitioners of performance. This ground-breaking and constantly growing online collection delivers essential resources direct to the classroom, lecture theatre and library. The video material spans more than fifty years of documented work direct from renowned practitioners and specialists, and ranges across the entire spectrum of theatre topics. Included in the Routledge Performance Archive are interviews with key figures in theatre history and contemporary practice; masterclasses with specialist actor trainers from around the world; unique footage direct from the legendary practitioners themselves; excerpted and full-length contemporary productions; and documentaries previously unavailable to global audiences.
INTERNATIONAL SCREENINGS as follows "ShortDanceFilms, a crossborder of genres" is a dancefilm program curated by Núria Font/Nu2s BARCELONA SPAIN, in the framework of Modul-Dance, a cooperation project between more than 20 European dance houses and media institutions from 15 countries (www.modul-dance.eu)
Temps d'images festival. Dusseldorf 12 al 15 January, Plesna Izba. Maribor17 de febrer - 30 September, Dansens Hus. Estocolmo. 29 April, Danse gate Lefkosia. Cyprus. 1 November.
Oaklahoma Dance Film Festival, November 5.
The English Channel (live performance). An Arts Council of England Award and South East Dance Production Award (£30K) to research and develop from Feb 2012 to June 2013, a new live solo performance with integrated film, supported by Screen Archive South East.
Survival Tactics (live performance). National tour of solo performance lecture with wrap around educational activities as follows: Universities of Plymouth 6 March and Falmouth 7 March, for Juncture at Yorkshire Dance Leeds 24 March, http://www.vincentdt.com/projects/juncture/index.html, at Caravan Exchange Brighton Festival 14 May, at Universities DMU Leicester 16 Oct, Chester 17 Oct, alongside arts venues presentations for dancelive and including a panel discussion for Devils Advocate Luminate Festival in Aberdeen 20/21Oct, Phoenix Arts Exeter 8 Nov, Arnolfini Bristol 9 Nov. http://www.arnolfini.org.uk/blog/2012/10/12/850 http://exeuntmagazine.com/reviews/survival-tactics
By invitation to deliver research based colloquia to post graduate students at University of the Arts Chelsea School July 4, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Glasgow to undergraduates Text in Performance module 29-31 Oct.
Blurred Vision (live performance) V&A Artefacts Liz Aggiss and Charlotte Vincent by invitation to R&D for Juncture at Yorkshire Dance Leeds a new work Part Two of the Vision Series titled Blurred Vision 22 March.
U Dance Fresh Takes initiative (screen dance presentation) for South East Dance Youth Dance England, to support the curatorial processes in screen dance for young people. http://www.u-dance.org/main.cfm?type=FRESHTAKES
Beach Party Animal (screen dance). Dissemination and acceptance at the following national and international festivals: DMJ International Video Dance Festival Japan Jan 13-15, LOIKKA Finland March 22-25 Cultural Complex Andorra and Cinema Kinopalatsi, Brighton Fringe Festival The Old Market May 5/6-12/13-19/20-26/27. http://totaltheatrereview.com/blog/white-night-beach-party-animals
Mentoring professional practitioners by invitation to support the individual research and development processes. Each artist was funded by The Arts Council and South East Dance Mentor Bank: Jennifer Jackson Dancing the Invisible – Age and Dance project http://www.surrey.ac.uk/dft/research/currentprojects/dancingtheinvisible/, Inconvenient Spoof Theatre Artists, Kalya St Claire Live Artist, Marina Tsatsara installation and live artist, Jo Shapland dance artist.
Motion Control (screen dance). Selected for “A Typical Dancer Dance Film Programme’ a tour to accompany CandoCo at Dance Umbrella SouthBank 9 Oct, Tanz Heilbronn 12 May, TAnzoffensive Leipzig 5-12 May: TEDxUChicago Revolutions Festival April 29 (managed by DFA New York), Busan International Dance Festival Korea June 1-5, The Wits School of the Arts Johannesburg South Africa 17-20 Oct.
BREAK (dance film commissioned by Channel 4 for DANCE4. 'Break' is a multi-camera 4 minute dance film, directed by Liz Aggiss and Billy Cowie, commissioned for Channel 4 DANCE4 in 2005(£12k). Broadcast 11.30pm 29th December 2005. The solo dancer (Thomas Kampe) is surrounded by nine fixed high-definition cameras and through a process of editing between the camera viewpoints, the audience has a 360-degree view of the choreography, itself informed by the stasis imposed on the performer by the filming set-up. Break screenings: 2005 Dancefilmday, English Heritage Theatre, London, December; 2006 Kinodance, St Petersburg, 9 November, La Danza Projectada Zaragoza, 9 July, ADF Festival, North Carolina, 7 July, Televisio de Catalunya, May 5th Commonwealth Film Festival, Manchester, 1 May, Screen Dance Shorts Havant, 12 March, Sadlers Wells Live Screen, London, 13 February, British Dance Edition, Leeds, 10th February, 2007 IMZ Festival, the Hague, November, Mediated Bodies, Dublin, 14 September , Dance Camera West, Los Angeles, 2 June, Centrfug Festival, Malmö, 4, May, 25th Festival International sur l’Art, 8 March, Regensburg Short Film Festival16 December. Break was selected for "ShortDanceFilms, a crossborder of genres" is a dancefilm program curated by Núria Font/Nu2s BARCELONA SPAIN, within the framework of Modul-Dance, a cooperation project between more than 20 European dance houses and media institutions from 15 countries (www.modul-dance.eu) http://nu2s.org/eng/e_list.php?ida=68022. INTERNATIONAL SCREENINGS within ShortDanceFilms 2011 as follows : Festival IDN, Imatge, Dansa i Nous mitjans. Barcelona13 -16 January, Dublin Culture Night / Dance Ireland. Dublin 23 - 24 September, Carl Festival/ DanseHallerne. Denmark 2 - 11 December, La Alhondiga. Bilbao 19 November.
'Portrait of Liz Aggiss' - interview for KurzSchluss on French/German arts channel Arte. Das Magazin #562. 30 December 2011.
Reasons for Dancing article by Dr Carol Brown. Looking at Professor Liz Aggiss' Performance Lectures Survival Tactics during her visiting artist-scholarship to New Zealand, supported by NICAI, British Council and the University of Auckland.
Beach Party Animal (screen dance) VideoDanzaBA Argentina 22-27 November, Aesthetica Short Film Festival York 3rd November, Sans Souci USA Sept/October, American Dance Frestival North Carolina USA, Agite y Sirva Mexica, SoundWaves Brighton July, Cornwall Film Festival Falmouth Nov 3, Cinecity Brighton 26th November, White Nights Brighton 29th October, Malmo Dancing in the Dark 8-10 December, ArteTV portrait Dec 31st.
By invitation MDI Liverpool (Merseyside Dance Initiatives) to deliver research, masterclasses and practice based colloquia on current live and screen based research concerns titled: Recovering the Body from the Library 14-18 Feb. This seminar/workshop examined Aggiss’ research and expertise in European Expressive Dance (Ausdruckstanz), Grotesque Dance, and pioneering early contemporary and cabaret contexts, and invited the conference participants to spread their wings, move outside the box, grapple with the unknown and recover bodies from their libraries. Asked to sun up the experience the responses were as follows: Informative, poignant, profound, very very interesting, a self-fulfilling learning, environment, consideration of practice, new, amazing, fearless, inspiring, great fun, empowering, hilarious!
By invitation Consultation on approaches to developing interdisciplinary education at the University of Gothenburg 7-9 March
By invitation Education Dept National Opera House Warsaw Poland in collaboration with The British Council to deliver screen dance lecture and present Forward Motion Intros programme and Chair discussion 28 March
By invitation Research Seminar presentation on contextualising research based practice to undergraduate and postgraduate performance students at the University of Gothenburg 31 March
By invitation (live performance) Brighton Festival Performance Lecture Survival Tactics The Basement 7-8 May
Selected screenings: Forward Motion featuring Professor Aggiss as on-screen presenter and two Aggiss films Basini and Motion Control in South America in March to DVDanza, La Habana, Cuba / FEDAME, Mexico City April: Agite y Sirva, Puebla/Oaxaca, México
By invitation Seminar presentation on contextualising screen dance research based practice Santiago Chile 3-7 October
By invitation (live performance) City of Women Festival Ljubljana Slovenia Performance Lecture Survival Tactics 10-15 October
By invitation Seminar presentations on contextualising screen dance research based practice Gati Dance Forum Dehli India 21 Nov – 16 Dec.
In November/December 2011 Professor Aggiss was invited to mentor and contribute to The Yellow Line Project organised by Gati Dance Forum Delhi India and supported by the British Council, Forward Motion and South East Dance. The YLP project identified and tapped into a unique approach relevant to India’s professional contemporary cultural community. The combination of professional practitioners from dance and media from across India, and the use of pre allocated public sites as a creative and political initiative, challenged the screen dance form. The prescribed public sites were both vast and physically awkward, and selected for their cultural and political attitudes to public spaces in India and consideration towards migrant communities and attitudes to growth and expansion. The sites included; Nehru Place, an Auto Rickshaw Yard, a Hospital construction site, Railway sidings and pavements. All these places were fully occupied by working and living communities further adding to the life/art drama and politics. Rather than being initiated by a ‘screen dance idea’, the artist practitioners as a consequence developed their research and language looking outwards to site rather than inwards to the dancers world. The YLP project also raised questions and debate on the choreo-mentary screen dance form, and the challenges of formal Indian dance languages and Bollywood, and how that might impact meaningfully on screen dance. The films that were made as a result of this project pushed the form out of the screen dance ‘ghetto’ and offered a unique way of working and potential to develop an Indian screen dance art form. The results of this ambitious three-week project were screened at Devi Gargaon and Kohj New Delhi and the dissemination delivered a unique opportunity for the artists to exhibit, and audiences to view the work; each artist was invited to choose their own space within the building and install the work as a loop throughout the evening rather than the classic single cinema screening; the sites included a underground carpark. cafeteria, an exterior brick wall, the courtyard, and hallway.
Selection for major events
By invitation to present solo 60 minute Performance Lecture Survival Tactics at British Dance Edition Birmingham 5-7 Feb, The British Council launch of Forward Motion at Rich London 10 Feb, 30 Year Anniversary of National Review of Live Art Glasgow 19-21 March, and an extract at Provocations Research Festival University of Brighton 28 June
Major collaboration with The British Council: By invitation to deliver external lectures, masterclasss, present Forward Motion and chair screen dance forums for the British Council in Damascus Syria 26-28 April in collaboration with Tanween Dance Theatre Damascus and The Ministry of Culture Syria. http://www.britishcouncil.org/new/forward-motion/Forward-Motion-Articles-Folder/Forward-Motion-News/
Major collaboration with The British Council: By invitation to deliver external lectures, masterclasses, and practice based colloquia on screen dance research, present Forward Motion and chair screen dance forums for the British Council in Rio De Janeiro, Sao Paolo, Buenos Aires in collaboration with danceemfoco and videodanzaBA festivals South America 29 Aug-18 Sept. http://www.dancaemfoco.com.br/ http://www.videodanzaba.com.ar/. See also http://www.britishcouncil.org/new/forward-motion/Forward-Motion-Articles-Folder/Forward-Motion-News/
Major collaboration with The British Council: By invitation to deliver external lectures, masterclasss, present Forward Motion and chair screen dance forums for the British Council in collaboration with Tempo Festival and NICAI National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries University of Auckland New Zealand 9/10 Oct
Major collaboration with The British Council: By invitation to deliver external lectures, masterclasss, present Forward Motion and chair screen dance forums for the British Council in collaboration with Powerhouse Brisbane 25-27 Oct http://www.brisbanepowerhouse.org/ and DanceHouse Melbourne Australia 23-31 Oct. www.dancehouse.com.au/
External Examiner for the Masters Dance course at the NICAI National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries, University of Auckland, New Zealand 25 – 29 Sept
By invitation to present masterclasses and practice based colloquia on screen dance research and live performance research at the National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries, University of Auckland, New Zealand 30 Sept – 6 Oct
Selection for major event: By invitation to present Performance Lecture Hi Jinx at TAPAC Tempo Festival Auckland New Zealand 7/8 Oct www.tempo.co.nz Nominated for the most inspiring performance of the Tempo Festival. Review: Bernadette Rae Weekend Herald New Zealand 9/10/10
By invitation to present masterclasses and practice based colloquia on screen dance research and live performance research at Shoot! Screen Dance Festival Stockholm Sweden 12-15 Nov. www.doch.se. See also www.britishcouncil.org/new/forward-motion/Forward-Motion-Articles-Folder/Forward-Motion-News/Final-stop-in-Sweden-/
Selected screenings Basini in Italy at the Anuntamenti Festival 5-19 Sept.: OperaEstate in Bassano del Grappa, Teatro Publico Pugliese in Bari: AMAT Ancona Nov.: Progetto Punta Corsara in Napoli
Selected screenings: Forward Motion British Council Screen dance package; screenings featuring Professor Aggiss as on-screen presenter and two Aggiss films Basini and Motion Control: Oct 18-31 FIVDC Festival VideoDanza Santiago Chile: Oct 25-20 Cuerpo Digital La Paz/Cochabamba Bolivia: Nov 3-5 Festival Imagen en movimento Bogata Colombia: Nov 4-5 Agite y Sirva Festival Baja California, Mexico/Multioro del ICBC, Tijuana, Mexicao/Foro Experimental del CEARTE Ensenada Mexico.
Patron Hilde Holger Dance Co
By invitation Basement Arts Board Member
By invitation Member of Brighton and Hove Arts Commission
By invitation External Advisor for Digital Theatre Archive Online: Theatre and Performance Studies for Routledge (Taylor&Francis)
By invitation Debretts People of Today entry
By invitation IJPADM (International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media) Journal Issue Dancing Across film, television and the Digital Screen: Screen Advisory Reader
By invitation to Chair South East Dance Agency Screen Dance Forum 5 Feb. Brighton and Atelier Space Bristol 17 Feb
Major collaboration with The British Council: By invitation to be the on-screen presenter for Intros on Forward Motion a screen dance DVD package published The British Council
Selection for major TV broadcast event: Diva repeat broadcast Dance4 on Channel 4 29th Jan
Selection for major exhibition/event: Diva screened internationally NU2 Barcelona, Jumping Frames in Bangkok, danca em foco Sao Paolo, Brazil
Prize shortlist: Diva screen dance shortlisted for NU2 IDN Image Dance and New Media Barcelona Prize
Major External funding won in open competition: South East Dance commission (supported by Jerwood and Esme Fairbirn) to make new screen dance film Beach Party Animal (£13K)
External Funding Award: Arts Council Award in support of development of screen dance film Beach Party Animal (£5K)
Internal funding FRSF Award research and dissemination Beach Party Animal (£4125)
By invitation to present masterclasses and practice based colloquia on screen dance research at Loikki Screen Dance Conference/Festival Helsinki Finland 23/24 April (supported by UoB Conference Fund £250)
By invitation to present external lectures on live performance and screen dance research practice at University of Roehampton 18
Collaboration: By invitation a research collaboration with Charlotte Vincent producing live performance event Double Vision and An Audience with Liz Aggiss and Charlotte Vincent exhibited by invitation at The Place London 10/11 March, Manchester 13 March, Southampton 17 March, University of Brighton 18 March, Cambridge 25 March, Sheffield 1 April.
Commission: By invitation to reconstruct commissioned work for MapDance Masters Performance Company University of Chichester Don’t Put Your Daughter on the Stage for their 2009 UK Tour
Major collaboration with The British Council: By invitation to delver external lectures (LaSalle and Nanyang), consultation, chair screen dance discussion forum on screen dance and present Forward Motion for the British Council in Singapore 4 – 11 Oct
Prize: Motion Control nominated as one of the best dance clips on the web Time Out July 23-29 P73
By invitation AHRC Peer Reviewer (Dance)
By invitation Member of Brighton and Hove Arts Commission
Consortium member of Movement 12
By invitation Basement Arts Board Member
By invitation selector for the National Review of Live Art Glasgow 2009 Patron Hilde Holger Dance Co.
By invitation Debretts People of Today entry
By invitation External reader/assessor for Routledge Performance/Dance Books (Taylor&Francis)
Break, Diva and Anarchic Variation screened during Xontakt Croatia 04. 09. 2008 http://www.xontakt.org/web_08/videodance_hr.html
External Funding Award: Arts Council Award to make 15 live Guerrilla Dances performances (£5K)
Selection for major events: By invitation to present performance interventions Guerrilla Dances at British Dance Edition Liverpool (30 Jan - 2 Feb), British Council Brighton Festival Caravan event 11-13 May, Swansea National Waterfront Museum 12/13 June, Merchant City Festival Glasgow 25-28 Sept
Selection for major exhibition: By invitation from Empac (Experimental Media and Performing Arts) USA to exhibit four screen 3D screen dance installation Men in the Wall, plus screen dance archive, live performance Hi Jinx at Rensselaer Institute Troy New York USA 14-20 April
Selection for major exhibition and event: By invitation to present The Living Archive of screen dance, installation and live performance and reconstructions celebrating 25 years practice at The Point Eastleigh 16-18th June
Selection for major exhibition: By invitation to exhibit the four screen 3D screen dance installation Men in the Wall at Southampton City Art Gallery 18 July – 7 Sept
By invitation to research, develop and write a screen dance educational study pack Take7 with DVD support, published by South East Dance
Commission: By invitation to undertake a choreographic commission for MapDance Masters Performance Company University of Chichester Don’t Put Your Daughter on the Stage UK Tour
Selection for major TV broadcast event: Request from Channel 4 to include screen dance film Diva in Dance4 broadcast Channel 4 27 Dec and ABC Australia 8th April
Diva awarded Hong Kong Jumping Frames Screen Dance Award for screen dance film (FRSF funded)
Selection for major exhibitions: By invitation Diva screened internationally DFA NY, Yokohama, Sans Souci Colorado, Cinedans Amsterdam, Coreografo Elettronico Naples, DCW LA, ADF N Carolina USA, Shoot! Stockholm, Malmo, Gothenberg, Edit Budapest, Cape Town S Africa, Hong Kong, MIR Athens, Kinodance St Petersburg, Frame Portugal, Moves Manchester
By invitation to deliver masterclasses and practice based colloquia on screen dance research at Shoot! Screen Dance Conference/Festival Stockholm 22-26 Oct, Gothenberg and Malmo 31 Oct - 2 Nov
Major collaboration with The British Council: By invitation to be on the steering, selection, consultation and curatorial committee to develop Forward Motion a screen dance DVD package published by The British Council
By invitation to deliver external lectures on research practice at Universities of Wimbledon 9 Oct, Chichester 15 Oct, Surrey 7 Nov
By invitation to Chair South East Dance Agency Screen Dance Forum 7 Dec
By invitation Member of Brighton and Hove Arts Commission
By Invitation selector for the National Review of Live Art Glasgow
Consortium member of Movement 12
By invitation Basement Arts Board Member
By invitation Debretts People of Today entry
Grants and Awards
Diva shortlisted for NU2’s IDN – Image, Dance and New Media Festival, VideoDansa Barcelona International Prize 2009
South East Dance Commission £13K to make new screen dance film Party Animal
Arts Council South East £5K to support Party Animal
FRSF £4,125 to support Party Animal Research
Arts Council South East £5,000 to make live solo performance interventions titled Guerrilla Dances
Hong Kong Jumping Frames 2008 Dance Video Award for Diva
FRSF Award to make Screen Dance Diva (Channel 4 and ABC Australia broadcast dates tbc) £6,400
Dance Camera West Award, Los Angeles for Men in the Wall: Innovation in the Field of Dance Media
Arts Council South East Forward Projection Plan Award (with Cowie) to develop a strategy, revision and research for organizational and professional development £20,000.
Channel 4 Commission (with Cowie) to make the 4 minute screen dance Break £12,000.
Arts Council England and Capture Production Award (with Cowie) to make stereoscopic screen dance installation Doppelganger £20,000 and FRSF Award £10,000
Arts Council South East Production Award (with Cowie) to develop the Performance Installation Scripted to Within an Inch of Her Life £10,000
Special Mention Award Naples Film Festival 2004
Arts Council England and Capture Award (with Cowie) to make stereoscopic screen dance installation Men in the Wall £20,000 and FRSF Award £10,000
Romanian National Office of Cinematography Prize
Special Jury Golden Award World FilmFest, Houston, USA
Best Female Film Mediawaves, Hungary
Cited Professor Visual Performance University of Brighton
Arts Council England Dance Artist Fellowship Award in recognition of extraordinary creativity and achievements in developing the art form of dance £30K
Arts Council England and Capture Award (with Cowie) to make 7 minute screen dance Anarchic Variations £20K. This award funds screen based initiatives that utilise a range of moving-image media and encourage the use of new and emergent media as well as the use of video and film. Anarchic Variations won
Honourable Mention Paula Citron Award, Toronto, Canada
Regional Arts Lottery Project (RALP) Award (with Cowie) to record and contextualise personal performance and screen archive material in order to develop the publication Anarchic Dance (Published by Routledge for Taylor and Francis 2006) £32,000.
Arts Council England and BBC Dance for Camera Production Award for 8 minute screen dance Motion Control (broadcast March 2003) £50K. This film explores an aging dancers physical and emotional entrapment in private and personal spaces. Shot on 35mm, super 8, digibeta it is unique in its interplay with different tape stock, use of Motion Control camera and animation techniques
Czech Crystal Golden Prague Television Award Czech Republic
Taped Up production Award for Meridian TV for screen dance Sea of Heads £2,000.
Arts Council England and BBC Dance for Camera Production Award (with Cowie) for 15-minute screen dance Beethoven in Love. Shot on 16mm, Beethoven in Love explored the Outsider Performer and his troubled relationships. The integration of a performer with learning difficulties was a unique achievement in the dance for camera genre
Bonnie Bird Choreography Award
Citations and Reviews
Citations on Professor Liz Aggiss Live and Screen Dance Artist
Interview with Liz Aggiss, choreographer and film-maker. KurzSchluss - Das Magazin #562, Arte.tv. 30 December 2011.
"Liz Aggiss has stamped an indelible mark on the local and international dance film scene. Together with composer and co-director Billy Cowie she makes fiercely idiosyncratic dance-based work for live performance, film and multi media. Aggiss and Cowie's impression on the dance film excellence and innovation cannot be overestimated."
(Das Jahrbuch von Ballettanz - Tanzfilm – 2005 - by Lizzy Le Quesne, Autumn 2005)
Liz Aggiss 3D Queen of Brighton: "Aggiss’ work is largely about artifice, both on stage and screen. She explores theatrical devices and the very notion of theatre as fiction, and at the same time, reality. The very notion of what Liz Aggiss describes as the 'drama of presence' becomes the subject of the work, both on stage and screen."
(Das Jahrbuch von Ballettanz - Tanzfilm – 2005 - by Lizzy Le Quesne)
"The performance proved that she is indeed the Vivienne Westwood of dance film world: anarchic, strawberry blonde, fearless and satirical. Aggiss has an incredible charisma and adds a welcome injection of humor into an artistic area that can often come across as pretentious, whilst also illustrating the beauty of movement and dance for the camera."
(londondance.com - Georgina Harper, 22nd November 2006)
"Aggiss and Cowie delightedly crumble rules and icons in their art." (translation from Swedish)
(Anna Ãngstrom - Svenska Dagbladet (Kultur) Sweden 1.9. 2006)
Citations on Men in the Wall
"But credentials don't explain results. 'Men In The Wall' enormously expands video's horizon. As each guy occupies his own space — now dancing, now playing the guitar while singing lieder — each acts as human semaphore, sending human-shaped signals. It's as tightly constructed as a classic American sitcom, and funnier than most."
(Toronto Star, 18 November 2004, by Peter Goddard)
"3-D glasses enhance Liz Aggiss and Billy Cowie's four-screen, stereoscopic Men in the Wall. Situated against various backdrops (day, night, urban, coastal, etc), each male --- a mixed batch of builds, temperaments and nationalities --- dwells in his own walled square. They talk, sing, play music and move in a fashion stamped with the Aggiss/Cowie signature of quirky-humoured poetry and askew beauty."
(Dance Europe. April 2004, by Donald Hutera)
"Liz Aggiss and Billy Cowie’s life size installation 'Men in the Wall' is perhaps the most radical, with 3-D figures that appear to detach themselves from the screen and inhabit the same space as the viewer."
(Capture Installations on Tour11-17/12/04 Guardian Guide by Judith Mackrell)
"This strange and beguiling work exudes the irreverent whimsicality expected from Aggiss/Cowie but in a different tone. Aggiss and Cowie’s impression on the dance film excellence and innovation cannot be overestimated."
(Das Jahrbuch von Ballettanz - Tanzfilm by Lizzy Le Quesne - Autumn 2005)
Citations on Motion Control
"The electric movements of the dancer and choreographer Liz Aggiss converted into a true audio-visual feast of widely ranging emotions. A superb cinematic experiment that starts out from the conventions of video-dance but manages to go beyond them through an intelligent use of editing, colour, sound and music."
(Sitges International Festival Programme October 2002)
"Motion Control is a stunner"
(The Globe and Mail Toronto, 22 October 2002)
"Both 'Birds' (Dir David Hinton) and 'Motion Control', in very different ways perfectly demonstrate how collaborations in these short film could produce innovative work of the first order."
(Vision on Film Television and the Arts in Britain, John Wyver, Publ. Wallflower London New York 2007)
Citations on Anarchic Variations
John Rockwell wrote about the DFA festival which included 'Anarchic Variations': "the most exciting dance films are ones in which the line between choreography and direction becomes impossible to discern, where the allusiveness of dance meets the intimacy of film to create a new kind of magic"
(The New York Times, Sunday, 1 January 2006, Arts & Leisure Section)
Citations on Scripted to within an Inch of her Life
"In inspired collusion with Billy Cowie, she makes wonderfully funny, touching capital out of who she is; not physically young but gleefully youthful in the movement of her own impressively elastic limbs, or in the fabric of costume, or in film"
(Mary Brennan, Glasgow Herald, 23 March 2004)
Citations on the Publication Anarchic Dance
"Divas is not your average dance company and Anarchic Dance is not your average academic text book. Sparking debate is what Divas' work has always done and Anarchic Dance will no doubt continue this legacy. If you are a dancer, student of dance, dance enthusiast or someone who is interested in artists who continually seek to push boundaries, I recommend reading this book. It gives a fresh perspective on many aspects of dance and the dance world and that alone is well worth the read."
(Lisa Haight, Londondance.com, September 2006)
"With honesty and directness, the artists explain how they work, and the influences upon it, while others provide insightful analysis and context. Academic perceptions are seriously and accessibly brought to bear on the output of Aggiss and Cowie's more than 20 year collaboration - deconstructing and discussing it in terms of feminism, hybridity, Expressionism, the 'grotesque', abstraction and narrative, linguistic play and addressing the multiple and playful textures that define it: sound, space, shape, language."
(Das Jahrbuch von Ballettanz - Lizzy Le Quesne - Tanzfilm, Autumn 2005)
"Aggiss and Cowie are a formidable team. Their deserved reputation rests on many strands of activity over the years: as artistic directors of the seminal Divas Dance Theatre; award winning film makers for their dance-on-screen work: conveners of the ground breaking Visual and Performing Arts degree at University of Brighton. Their extraordinary range of work - from cabaret solos like Grotesque Dancer to such large scale ensemble pieces as No Man's Land (which featured a host of women of all ages) to the stunning 3-D installation Men in the Wall - can be viewed on the DVD, and is reflected upon in this book (with contributions from Aggiss and Cowie themselves together with such luminaries as Deborah Levy and Sherril Dodds). Although primarily a monograph dedicated to Divas, an added bonus is the inclusion of a chapter, by Aggiss and Claudia Kappenberg, on the work of Hilde Holger, the German expressionist dancer who was both teacher and inspiration to Aggiss"
(Total Theatre Vol.18/1 Spring 2006 by Dorothy Max Prior)
Citation on the Screen Dance Installation Doppelgänger
The brochure describes this exhibition as: a "'full colour, stereoscopic, dance-screen installation', but believe me, that’s not even the half of it. Think of it more as a shopping basket full of dance choreography, 3D spectacles, eight wall length video screens, the ladies' toilets and there you have it, one of the latest exhibitions to grace the Walsall Art Gallery. The gallery alone is wonderful, it’s as if it has just landed out of nowhere, a modern architectural beauty and coupled with an exhibition such as this, you can tell this Art Gallery is only going to progress further with more innovative works from visual artists, painters and sculptors alike. Liz Aggiss and Billy Cowie choreographed the exhibition, which focuses in representing the movement of one individual being reproduces by other character and creating something not unlike a slow music video. However, it’s not that simple at all, the artists decided to present the movement in a sort of stop motion using stereoscopic cameras producing two almost identical images that when looked at with the right pair of spectacles turned into a 3D performance."
(Fused Magazine, Jade Canhigh, 3 May 2006)
"Doppelgänger exhibited at New Art Gallery Walsall takes the British artists' ongoing fascination with 2 and 3D appearances one step further, while rendering an innocent visit to the art gallery an absurd, confusing game of human assertions and denials"
(Das Jahrbuch von Ballettanz - Tanzfilm - Lizzy Le Quesne - Autumn 2005
Citation for screendance film 'Diva'
"A compelling work"
(Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema, Boulder, Colorado, USA)
Citation for Double Vision
She loves performing, wants to be seen and heard, hates namby-pamby touchy-feely ‘ processes’ – thinks people should decide what to do and then do it. She, on the other hand, prefers not to perform, likes to take control, enjoys the role of director. She wears a gunmetal silver stain evening gown and heels, dyed blonde hair chignon skewered with chopsticks; whilst she wears a modest forest green wool dress, opaque black tights and sensible shoes. Meet Queens of the Night Liz Aggiss and Charlotte Vincent, whose carefully crafted duet, magnificently performed, explores what it means to perform.
I have something I’d like to show you……And I want you to know that I don’t like people telling me what to do” says Ms. A, as she gallops across the stage, clompety-clomp, banging her drum. “Could you do a bit less,” asks Ms. V “ How small can you make it?”
In its mathematically tight structure, use of rhythm and repetition, stark utilitarian staging (desk, chairs, blackboard) and foolish props (dagger, joke hats, toy drums), Double Vision shares territory with the work of Forced Entertainment. Immaculate timing and choreographic precision we expect (and get) from these two highly experienced dance artists (But are they acting their age? Aha! Interesting question. Next…..)
It is also, surprisingly, a clown show – the humour is knowing, at times side splittingly funny and the way the two women play off each other is a clear nod to the classic clowning traditions of diametrically opposed pairings (from Laurel and Hardy to Eric and Ernie). Enterprising entertainment. Brave ladies! Take a bow, do!.
(Dorothy Max Prior, Total Theatre, Vol 21, Issue 2, Summer 2009)
Citations for Survival Tactics
“Irony- zation of the artist and bandaging of the body” Mission: Liz Aggiss
At least once in every festival, we see a performance by a middle-aged woman with a successful performing career behind (and in front of) her, who has mastered all the qualities of British humour; a performer ready to look with irony at her own art, her artistic position and her role in it all, in order to give us strong, original entertainment…Liz Aggiss uses humour and irony as her primary performing tool. She is directly entertaining and funny and she invites us not to indulge in any lingering feelings that the elaboration of her traumas on stage might bring………With this performance, she created a homage to herself and to the artists who have influenced her, treating her material in an unreverential manner. Her performing language is ludistic – drawing playfulness from the sense that a text has no ultimate meaning. She has no final story of success or failure from her 30 years’ performing practice, and she feels no need to make a point or draw a moral. Her material is well thought out and well constructed. She doesn’t care to give us any categorical truths that she could set down along the way. All she is sure about is that she knows certain things about herself. And watching the elaboration of this knowledge, embodied in the performer Liz Aggiss, the audience simply cannot be bored!
(Ana Schnabel The Observer Ljubljana Slovenia 2011 [trans])