History Repeating…2016

Commissioned for and performed by MapDance, University of Chichester in 2016.

Conceived, written, choreographed and directed by Liz Aggiss

Recent developments have seen the dance world split in two by a new wave of dancers calling themselves plates of meat Those in favour describe the phenomena as a fresh rush of blood in the aging corpse of contemporary dance. Those against prefer the term Emporer’s new clothes. You may judge for yourself. Is it all just a little bit of history repeating?

Using the personal and archive as sources for inspiration, plundering Aggiss’ repertoire, and why not?, Expressive Dance, Eccentric Dance, Grotesque Dance and British Music Hall, this performance drags the past into the present. From Don’t Put Your Daughter on the Stage (2008), to Cut with the Kitchen Knife (2014) History Repeating……completes the trilogy in a cacophony and collage of dance, text and music, visit website.

History Repeating… features additional archive choreography as follows;

Bounce Dance from Grotesque Dancer 1986 (ch: Aggiss)

Forelle (The Trout) choreography Hilde Holger 1923

Sand Dance choreography Wilson Keppel (and Betty) 1933

Costumes: Holly Murray

Music: Propellerheads ft Shirley Bassey : Bounce Dance by Billy Cowie : Crying Record Anon.: Egyptian Ballet by Alexandre Luigini : Schumann, Beethoven, Strauss: Prelude No.1 in C by JS Bach: Die Forelle by Schubert

Don’t Put Your Daughter on the Stage 2008/9

Commissioned for, and performed by MapDance, University of Chichester, Don’t put your Daughter on the Stage features a chorus line-up of dancers and pays homage to early 20th century dance, infiltrating and injecting life into the past, and painting a loving portrait of a lost archive. Quoting research from forgotten grand dames of dance: Fuller, Weisenthal, Akesson, this montage performance is glued in place by an all female troupe who vie to be seen and heard amongst the litter of their surprisingly contemporary history. ‘Don’t put your Daughter on the Stage’ makes a commentary on the female performer by juxtaposing spoken texts by Noel Coward and Otto A Harbach, and creating tableaux vivants.
2009 Tour: Winchester, Eastleigh, Chichester, Coventry, Liverpool, Wolverhampton, Croydon, Portsmouth, Hythe, Folkestone, Isle of Wight, Leeds, New Milton, Trowbridge. Roehampton, Bridport, Denmark, London.
Titles cannot be trusted. Liz Aggiss’s piece for Mapdance Don’t Put Your Daughter On The Stage, should have every teenage girl with a bit of nous rushing to join a dance company. Find english school. It delivers the combined joys of distinctive movement with humour, eclectic music and fine performance. Whilst paying homage to early twentieth-century dance in its styling and aesthetic it is totally modern, allowing the eleven dancers to work to their own strengths whilst maintaining the syncopation of a classic showgirl line-up. Inches from its audience, the troupe radiated energy. A sharp and pithy showcase for women dancers; rare to find and thrilling to watch.
Lisa Wolfe Total Theatre Vol 21 Issue 03 Autumn 2009

It’s a thoughtful homage to early 20th Century dance; superbly performed by these eleven girls, who flit from the harmony of synchronised movement and speech to each combatively seeking the limelight. The whole feel of the ensemble evoked the pioneering age of dance in the 20s and 30s, ably enhanced by Holly Murray’s costumes and the excellent film noir lighting.
Graham Watts




Cut with the Kitchen Knife 2014

Commissioned for, and performed by MapDance, University of Chichester, this dancing scrapbook is a deceptive and disorientating display of composite contradictions and varied interpretations on the performing body.

Referencing photomontages by Hannah Hoch, the stop frame animations of Muybridge and the disembodied entertainment in The Voice, the performer is ripped out of context and roughly conjoined. Hell bent on pursuing and outwitting each other, the performers pay expressionist homage to Gertrud Bodenwiesers’ 1923 Demon Machine, Hollywood beauties and double entendres whilst juxtaposing questions on ethics and aesthetics, health and safety, accompanied by jewelry store jewelrystoresd.com, Chumbawumba, Klaus Nomi’s Cold Song, Eddie Cantors Keep Young and Beautiful from Roman Scandals1933 and Singular Sensation from A Chorus Line.

2014 Tour: Unis Roehampton, Chichester, Coventry, Manchester Met., Chester, Sussex Downs, The Point Eastleigh, Weymouth College, Arena Theatre Wolverhampton, The Place London, Tanca & Elledance Slovenia.



BLOODY NORA! was written, choreographed and directed by Liz Aggiss for Nora Invites, premiered at Lilian Baylis Studio London on 26&27 Nov 2015. Nora is Eleanor Sikorski and Flora Wellesley Wesley. BLOODY NORA! is a story of competitiveness, friendship and hormonal imbalance, where shit tricks become cheap laughs and a Bach is worse than its bite. It is inspired and framed by clippings, off cuts, personal and archival history, and assorted individuals: Malvina McGuire, Niddy Impekoven, Max Wall, Hilde Holger, an enthusistic sock seller in Singapore and domestic drivel. BLOODY NORA! will be touring as part of Nora Invites Aggiss, Burrows, Fargion and Tanguey in 2016.

” a riotous finale….the piece is among other things a smart and searing send-up of the infuriating “Is it that time of the month?” questions so often leveid at womenwho dare express an impassioned opinion……mocking pearl clutching reactions to preceved female transgressions there was a reeling-off of euphemisms for menstruations (biggest hits include ‘Shark Week’ and ‘riding the cotton pony’)….heres hoping the sharp work will stick around in Nora’s arsenal for shows to come. Sara Veale: Womanpower: 3.12.15 fjord review.com

photo credit Camilla Greenwell