2020 Vision #3: Cath James

Currently Artistic Director at South East Dance, Cath James has had a career in dance for over 40 years, with a wealth of experience as a performing artist, a producer and a leader.

Cath James. Photo Emily Edgar

Graduating from Queensland University of Technology, Cath subsequently danced in Australia for ten years and toured extensively throughout Australia and the Far East before coming to live in England in 1988. On arrival she joined the fledgling Siobhan Davies Dance Company for its first season then became a leading dancer with Rambert Dance Company, where she stayed for six years: Cath then rejoined Siobhan Davies Company where she spent over 12 years, firstly as a dancer and, after the company moved to studios in South London, became the Company and Tour Manager. 

From 2010 to 2013 Cath was Director of Dance at Take Art, Somerset, setting strategy and direction for dance in the county. Cath was on the board at Pavilion Dance South West and Brighton Digital Festival, and was Chair of the Merlin Theatre Trust.

Cath James' pick for 2020 Vision #3

a part
Hubble Bubble Productions in association with Lîla Dance 

a part is a new dance film from Hubble Bubble Productions in association with Lîla Dance that showcases two of the UK’s most experienced disabled female dancers, Suzie Birchwood and Laura Jones, in a work that celebrates the art of wheelchair dancing. Choreographed by Abi Mortimer and produced by Lou Rogers, the intricate choreography with a backdrop of graffiti art is driven by the catchy rhythmic structures of an original score by Dougie Evans. With a nod to female pop video icons such as Brittany and Beyoncé; sharp shooting, fast-paced editing invites you to think differently and celebrate new female icons

Cath James says: "The first time I saw a part, I was really struck by the relationship between the two performers. Playful, risky, but focused, and lovely to see it filmed at Brighton Youth Centre, one of our partner organisations for The Welcome Project. a part was initially inspired by Rosas Danst Rosas, an experiment created by dancemaker Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker which became a classic and has been learned many times by new groups of dancers, including one of Beyonce’s early videos. For a part, the makers wanted to create something that could appeal to a wider audience than contemporary dance, and it’s certainly developed into something unique that works on its own terms. There are some rather good accompanying films that tell more of the story of making a part, and, if you fancy watching those too, they live here.


2020 Vision is our celebration of screen dance curated by the artists who will take part in the opening programme of The Dance Space next year, as well as the South East Dance team and our Welcome Project Community Steering Group.  

Read Cath's introduction to 2020 Vision here.


We would really appreciate you taking time to complete this short survey on your experience of 2020 Vision. It's important to us to find out what you thought of the programme, so we can refine and tailor our programmes to what you want to see. We also have to report back to our funders, so we need as much feedback as possible for them. Once again, thanks for your time and attention.


Thanks to the generosity of our funders and supporters, we are delighted to share this content with you for free. As an arts charity, however, we have to continue to fundraise - not only to complete the build and fit-out of The Dance Space, but also to ensure that the positive impact of our work can be felt by more people across the South East region. Please give what you can; every donation, large or small, is welcome. Thank you.

a part