This event is part of ‘Chisenhale on Video’ a screening programme curated by Rachael Davies

This second screening event will focus on Chisenhale’s commitment to collaborative and interdisciplinary ways of working, with a particular emphasis on experiments with moving image and will be followed by an in-conversation between Sue MacLennan and Rachael Davies.

Through the 1980s, Sue was involved in the collective ways of supporting new dance work, initially through becoming a founder member of Chisenhale Dance Space. The conversation will take Sue’s own practice and, in particular, work with video as a starting point to discuss interdisciplinary ways of working that often lent themself to collaboration and how this was incorporated into Chisenhale’s programme.


‘Chisenhale on Video’ is a two-part screening programme comprising archival video footage which documents Chisenhale Dance Space, its work, and the work of its members through the 1980s. Each event will include a curated programme of videos followed by an in-conversation between Rachael Davies and invited speakers Mary Prestidge and Sue Maclennan. The conversation will then be opened up to the audience for questions and further contributions.

In 1985, the Chisenhale Dance Space collective outlined four organisational priorities that went on to shape policy and programming for the remainder of the decade. In no particular order these objectives were:

  • To programme and develop new work
  • To programme and develop multi-media work
  • To work with non-western cultures
  • To work with youth

These objectives engendered an ambitious and varied programme supported by an interdisciplinary artist collective. In 1987, the arts magazine City Limits reported that it was precisely this ‘eclectic mix of popular, community and New Dance performances and workshops’ that made the organisation unique. Norma Cohen described Chisenhale as ‘London’s only radical dance space’ (City Limits 1985).

Taking the video footage as a starting point and with these organisational objectives in mind, ‘Chisenhale on Video’ aims to explore Chisenhale’s work and ambitions during the 1980s and to situate these within their broader socio-political environment.