Inclusion and Intersectionality Symposium Report
By Chloe Hillyar, Jade Ward and Louisa Petts
On 19th & 20th November 2021, the Society for Dance Research, joined by Candoco Dance Company and C-DaRE (Centre for Dance Research, Coventry University), presented the Inclusion and Intersectionality Symposium. The two-day event curated panels that interrogated the extent to which narratives, practices and policies of inclusion exist within the UK professional dance sector and queried how dance research in the academy might overcome intersectional limitations.
The symposium explored methods of research that empirically support dance dialogues. Participants discussed how these traditional infrastructures that exclusively benefit the otherwise-privileged members of that group can be re-envisioned (Crenshaw, 1989). Intersectional reasoning dominated the discourse, with researchers reconsidering how such structures can integrate and include a more diverse community to harness the rich perspectives the dance sector might currently be lacking.
The panellists, speakers and participants shared, responded to, and voiced their experiences, opinions and positionalities with honesty inciting energy and hope for the dance landscape. These hopes and energies were not only borne from the discussions and questions posed during the symposium but from an age of discrimination, inequality and oppression. The array of determined voices from the event were necessary in communicating the transparent, authentic, and progressive dialogues the symposium aimed to bring to the forefront of current dance priorities.
Perhaps the most inspiring revelation of the symposium was the global reach from international researchers. The continuing and growing appreciation of researchers from different academic disciplines came together in the name of inclusion and intersectionality, to pave the way for strengthened international and interdisciplinary relationships for years to come.