The BENCH, a unique platform give a voice to female choreographers around the world, was originally devised in 2015 by Tamsin Fitzgerald (Artistic Director and Choreographer for 2Faced Dance) as a direct response to serious concerns about the lack of equality faced by female choreographers within the dance sector. The next phase of the programme, launched on October 10, will focus on women of colour.

Between 2015 and 2017 The BENCH worked and directly funded 12 female choreographers across the UK and five female choreographers from India to undertake an intensive programme of training, mentoring and reflection.

The programme commissioned and seed-funded nine new dance works by women and toured two new productions Run and Outlands to over 30 venues across the UK and internationally.

Talking about the future of the programme, Fitzgerald says: “Over the next 3 years we will ensure that The BENCH provides female artists with real investment. The Women of Colour Commission has been expertly constructed with our partners to reflect the reality of living and working as a female artist today. Dance must be representative of our society; a wide range of choreographic voices creates a wide range of audiences and ensures it does not become stale or static in its progression. I am truly excited to see the vast range of applications and look forward to launching a further two parts of The BENCH 2018-2021 later this year”.

The BENCH, in partnership with Dance Hub Birmingham, Strike A Light, Pavilion Dance South West, Corn Exchange Newbury, Kala Sangam, One Dance UK and The Elmley Foundation will offer a substantial commission for one candidate to create an outdoor work for up to three male dancers from 2Faced Dance Company during Spring 2019.

The commissioned piece will tour nationally and internationally in 2020 as part of a 20th Anniversary tour for 2Faced Dance Company. The BENCH is open for applications now, with a deadline of 9pm on Monday, November 5.

Following the application deadline, a panel comprising of Fitzgerald and Ian Abbott for 2Faced Dance, Louise Katerega (Associate Artist, People Dancing) and Pawlet Brookes FRSA (CEO and Artistic Director, Serendipity) will shortlist and interview up to four candidates.

For full details, criteria and FAQs, and to apply for the Women of Colour Commission, visit: