2020 Vision: Liz Aggiss

Liz Aggiss is the ‘grand dame of anarchic dance’, the ‘enfant terrible of the bus pass generation’, and has been playing by her own rules in performance for the past 40 years. 

Liz Aggiss. Photo Joe Murray

Mindful, but not minding being cast as a difficult ‘fit’, she has used difference, polarized opinion, and abject criticism to her advantage, and segued into contemporary dance, theatre, live art, queer, cabaret, comedy, age on stage, WOW, music and screen dance festivals.

From her early days in the 80’s supporting punk legends The Stranglers with her cabaret troupe The Wild Wigglers to her latest unsettling work Crone Alone (2021), Liz Aggiss has pushed boundaries, challenged gender politics and conventional ideas of female sexuality and beauty, questioned the social mores that pigeon-hole women of all ages, and reclaimed the stage space for the older woman.

She received a Total Theatre Award for her ribald solo Slap and Tickle (2016), is Emeritus Professor (Visual Performance) at the University of Brighton and holds Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Gothenburg (Interdisciplinary Practice), and Chichester (Art).

Liz Aggiss' pick for 2020 Vision

Tanzerische Pantominen
by Valeska Gert
Presented in collaboration with the Centre national de la danse – CND, Paris, France.

Liz says: “Over the years I have unearthed a coterie of performing artists who impact on my practice, mentor me from beyond the grave, contextualise my work, and accompany my artistic journey. This museum of invisible chums, interrogates, provides clues and informs my aesthetic. Emanating from Expressionist/Ausdruckstanz, Eccentric Dance, Music Hall and early Modern Dance, their choreographic work, artistry, performance skill and pedagogic talent contribute to my work; Hilde Holger, Hanya Holm, Bronislava Nijinska, Dore Hoyer, Valeska Gert, Mary Wigman, Lily Morris, Niddy Impekoven, Gertrude Bodenweiser. The remains of their work is often fragmented video clips, photographs, documentation, writing and critiques.

"Introducing Valeska Gert (1892-1978) a pioneering German dancer, performance, pantomime, cabaret artist, and actress. Gert’s aesthetic appeal for me is that as a soloist her work was, and still is, inspirational, unconventional, embodies politically driven, unvarnished content and is wilfully subversive but with a clear boundaried premise. Gert was a provocative, unpredictable, wild anti-dance dancer, with grotesque, anarchic, expressive movement and visual originality. Her performances are brief, uninhibited, disarmingly simple and content specific. Abnegating female beauty, this brave, feminist, political work is still a relevant contemporary experience.”


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 an introduction to 2020 Vision from our Artistic Director, Cath James, 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.


Although we are bringing you this content for free, we are fundraising to help South East based dance artists affected by COVID-19 who have, in many cases, lost almost their entire incomes overnight. If you are able to donate, any amount is welcome. Thank you.


Please note this film is silent.

Tanzerische Pantominen