First image: David Caines. All other photos by Andrew Downs.

What Matters

What Matters follows on from the highly successful What If… festival which took place in 2010, at the Siobhan Davies Studios.

Co-curated by Cash and Edmunds, together with Claudia Kappenberg, Chirstinn Whyte and Gill Clarke from Independent Dance, the festival sought to encourage an expanded perception of what might be seen as ‘dance’ work.

Returning to the Siobhan Davies Studios for four days in April 2012, Cash and Edmunds will be presenting another thoughtfully curated programme of screenings, performance, debate and discussion located throughout the building, this time under the title of What Matters. This will be a unique opportunity to see a range of experimental work and choreographic enquiry across traditional art-form boundaries from the UK, Europe and further afield.

Sitting somewhere between a choreographed exhibition and an exhibited choreography, the curators delve into what really matters in the context of these artists’ practices.


What Matters is the fourth in the series of ‘What’ festivals instigated by Gill Clarke (1954-2011), co-director of Independent Dance. The two What Now festivals in 2009 and 2011 were curated by Gill but with typical generosity she invited a collective of artist curators, (Lucy Cash, Becky Edmunds Claudia Kappenberg and Chirstinn Whyte) to co-curate What If… with her in 2010. Before she died, Gill had already begun discussing the possibilities of the next festival – What Matters – with Cash and Edmunds (straybird).

Gill’s passion focused on presenting artists and independent makers on the edges of visibility who generate excitement and debate in dance. She was driven by an aim to expand the notion of what might be perceived as the legitimate concerns of a dance practice, drawing on her broad vision that embodiment, movement and choreography are investigative processes we are all involved with. These processes can be rigorous and invite connections across disciplines. Gill was drawn to works which respond to questions about what is happening now and where creative concerns are heading. This festival is underpinned by a recognition of her interests and her contribution towards expanding ideas of choreography.


What Matters is presented by Independent Dance in association with Siobhan Davies Dance and South East Dance. Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Additional support from the International Journal of Screendance. Produced by Artsadmin with straybird.


South East Dance, Siobhan Davies Dance, Arts Council England Lottery Funded, Independent Dance, Artsadmin