Liz Aggiss is a live artist, dance performer, choreographer and dance film-maker. She was taught Rudolph von Laban’s Modern Educational Dance in the UK, studied with Alwin Nikolais, Murray Louis and Hanya Holm at the Dance Theatre Laboratory New York, attended Hanya Holm’s intensive programme at Colorado Springs, trained with Hilde Holger in London and took workshops in Eccentric Dance with Barry and Joan Grantham. It is these mature artists and gifted pedagogues who are a constant presence and laid down the foundations for her thirst for knowledge, hunger to perform and quest for individuality.
Her work is framed by extensive contextual research that considers and uses the personal and historical as reference. Her performances have a distinctive expressive, grotesque and British music hall movement style, and integrate text, film and humour. Her work investigates the shifting nature of presentation and pushes boundaries within conventional dance practice, considering gender politics and the representation of women.
For the past 40 years Liz Aggiss has been re(de)fining her signature style and brand of British contemporary dance; from her early days in the 80’s supporting punk legends The Stranglers with her cabaret troupe The Wild Wigglers, to her classic solo Grotesque Dancer (1986), to the dance/opera duet Falling Apart at the Seams (1994), to the award winning dance film Motion Control (2002), to her Guerrilla Dance interventions (2008), to her unconventional Performance Lecture Survival Tactics (2009), to the cross art performance The English Channel (2014), to Slap and Tickle (2016).
She received the Bonnie Bird Choreography Award 1994, an Arts Council Dance Fellowship in 2003,and has been commissioned by The Zap, Gardner Arts Brighton, University of Surrey and South Bank.
Her dance films, screened on BBC, Channel 4, ABC Australia, have received numerous awards including; for Motion Control Czech Crystal Prague Golden Film Festival, Special Jury Golden Houston, Best Woman Film MediaWaves Hungary: for Anarchic Variations Romanian National Office of Cinematography, Special Jury Prize Napolidanza: for Men in the Wall DCW L.A. Innovation in the field of Dance Media: for Diva Hong Kong Jumping Frames Screen Dance Award: for Beach Party Animal South East Dance Award. In 2010/11 she undertook an international tour for The British Council /South East Dance Forward Motion screen dance package.
Anarchic Dance, published by Routledge, comprises a book and three hour DVD as a visual textual record of her live and screen dance work made in collaboration with Billy Cowie 1980-2005.
￼Liz Aggiss is Emeritus Professor in Visual Performance University of Brighton and holds an Honorary Doctorate University of Gothenburg.
EXCERPTS THE ENGLISH CHANNEL 2014
SURVIVAL TACTICS NATIONAL REVIEW OF LIVE ART 2011