Permission to Dance & What Does This Body Make? Exploring gender performance with Shannon Stewart, Arabella Stanger & Rory Pilgrim.
Explore the intersections between queer theory, feminism and dance through 2 days of workshops with Shannon Stewart and talk series with Dr. Arabella Stanger and artist Rory Pilgrim.

Where: Chisenhale Dance Space, London

When: 12th- 13th September 2018. 10 am- 3.30pm

Early bird £60 till 15th August, £70 thereafter until all spots sold!

How do we conceive of self and body? What scripts are at work? What role does our perception play? How do gender and identity perform itself at the perceptual level? How do these things implicate “other” and design they ways we relate to ourselves, each other and environment? What tools for transformation are available to disrupt patterns and make new ones?

Explore the intersections between queer theory, feminism and dance through 2 days of workshops with Shannon Stewart and talk series with Arabella Stanger and Rory Pilgrim, curated alongside research for Christopher Matthews’ installation Lads recently seen at Art Night, London.


PERMISSION TO DANCE or REAL DANCE CLASS FOR FAKE DANCERS or QUEERNIQUE is just a dance class–with a warm up, some exercises and even a little bit of choreography. It celebrates the ritual of coming together to be in our bodies learning things. It takes inspiration from queer theory and feminism to make sense of the practices we do or can do. PTD is a warm-up for understanding how knowledge is processed and living in our bodies. We use it to open up a nonlinear communication practice between thoughts/movement but also to queer and reclaim the rituals that are familiar to us within the context of a dance class.


WHAT DOES THIS BODY MAKE? with Shannon Stewart

During this class ,we will use our individual and group body to make and unmake ourselves. Working with disorientation, quick shifts of attention, endurance and group dynamics, we will move away from language and towards embodied comprehension. We will push to the edges but also question “edge” as a boundary or distinction between ourselves, others and the space we occupy. We volley between performer and witness. Is it a spiritual transformation? Is it subtle drag performance? Is it quietly radical?

In WDTBM, we use somatic exercises adapted to engage questions about how we construct our bodies and how they are constructed. Proposals are seeded from queer, feminist, and critical race theory that exemplify and disrupt the way identity is embodied. This work is supported through reading and discussion and through composing and decomposing performances.


Dr. Arabella Stanger and Rory Pilgrim will offer perspectives and provocations in relation to Christopher’s research around masculinity, gender performance, class and more. The sessions will unfold into a dialogue between histories and practices, with the chance to zoom in or follow the thinking somewhere unexpected over the 2 days.

Workshop price includes all activities. Talks can be booked separately too for £5.

Regretfully, Chisenhale Dance Space is on the second floor, accessed by a staircase and therefore is not wheelchair accessible. For full access ,details see:

Please be in touch to discuss access needs, we will do what we can to support your participation.

Booking here:

We have a couple of pay-what-you can spots if cost is prohibitive- please get in touch.

Costs for participants:
early bird £60/ regular price £70

Contact details:
Chisenhale Dance Space
64-84 Chisenhale Road
London, E3 5QZ
Tel: 020 8981 6617

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