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The Royal Opera House Celebrates International Women's Day 2023 With Performance of BORN TO EXIST - THE WOMEN I KNOW

The event is on Wednesday 8 March at the Linbury Theatre.

The Royal Opera House Celebrates International Women's Day 2023 With Performance of BORN TO EXIST - THE WOMEN I KNOW

This year, the Royal Opera House celebrates International Women's Day on Wednesday 8 March in the Linbury Theatre with a dedicated panel discussion exploring themes of gender equity in dance. The event will be supported by an exclusive performance of Born to Exist - The Women I Know created by Royal Ballet Emerging Choreographer Joseph Toonga for his dance company Just Us Dance Theatre.

In addition, the Royal Opera House will also host a series of behind-the-scenes tours designed to recognise the work of female artists, creatives, and industry leaders who have helped shape the history of opera and ballet. These special events compliment a year-round programme of events led by The Royal Opera's Engender Network, which culminates its with the Engender Festival from 30 June - 2 July 2023.

Taking the 2023 International Women's Day theme of #EmbraceEquity the Royal Opera House will address key themes in the dance sector, from challenging gender stereotypes, to addressing discrimination and drawing attention to bias seeking to drive forward a fair and equal world.

On March 8 join Aishwarya Raut, dancer with Rambert, Joseph Toonga, Royal Ballet Emerging Choreographer, Emma Southworth, Creative Producer for The Royal Ballet, Kloé Dean, freelance dancer and performer with Just Us Dance and Nadia Gardner, freelance dancer and performer with Just Us Dance for this dedicated International Women's Day debate chaired by broadcaster Brenda Emmanus OBE. The event will also include the Royal Opera House premiere of Born to Exist - The Women I Know, created by Joseph Toonga. Born to Exist - The Women I Know is part of Toonga's acclaimed Hip-Hop dance trilogy: Born to Manifest, Born to Protest and Born to Exist. Created for Toonga's dance company Just Us Dance Theatre, this trilogy invites change, and a sense of overcoming stigmas society holds towards ethnic minorities. For this powerful, thought-provoking new work Toonga was inspired by the women in his life and has worked with three female dancers to create a highly charged work that explores the pressures, experiences and frustrations of being a woman in the 21st century.

Two HERstory tours will be available to join on International Womens Day. The tours, which are available to book year-round, look back over hundreds of years of history, and the women who have steered our iconic home in Covent Garden through tumultuous and exciting periods of our history and contributed to the vibrancy of our art forms - from the innovators who helped the Allied War effort to choreographers and composers who transformed ballet and opera forever. Many of these women defied the gender conventions of their day and helped the Royal Opera House become the global artistic powerhouse that it is today. Tickets are available on the ROH website.

Led by Royal Opera creative producers Sarah Crabtree and Kate Wyatt, The Royal Opera's Engender Network continues to provide career-enhancing support, and a space for professional visibility for women and non-binary people in opera, collectively working to transform gender representation on and off our stages.

We are delighted to announce that the Engender Festival returns this summer 30 June - 2 July - and is centered on two new works led by women. Maria Fusco's groundbreaking film History of the Present - a previous Engender project which will be premiered in Belfast this April - tells the story of ordinary lives still dominated today by the looming presence of the Belfast peacelines. This semi-autobiographical film connects eras and art forms, amplifying the untold stories of marginalised communities, and marks the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

The second Engender commission is Woman at Point Zero which is co-presented as part of the Aldeburgh Festival and Shubbak Festival 2023. Inspired by the seminal novel by Egyptian writer and feminist Nawal El Saadawi, Woman at Point Zero unites composer Bushra El-Turk, director Laila Soliman, writer Stacy Hardy and scenographer and film designer Bissane Al Charif, resulting in a contemporary multimedia opera. Conducted by Kanako Abe, the music blends Western and Eastern traditions, performed on a unique mix of ancient folk instruments by musicians from all over the world. In addition to events in the Linbury Theatre, a programme of informal fringe events will be running throughout the 2023 Engender festival.

More information about the global day is available at International Women's Day 2023.



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