Ruth Holdsworth

I am a Freelance Producer/ Curator who lives and works in Bristol. I have worked for companies such as LIFT, Artsadmin and Corali Dance Company, and The Mary Neal Project.
My professional approach is also supported by my interest in critical dialogues with works and artists due to my recent PhD in ‘Curating Risk’ with University of Bristol and Arnolfini. I work also as an academic and writer in experimental contemporary performance and theatre.


The Mary Neal Project

Portfolio image: Ruth Holdsworth - The Mary Neal Project
I was the Programme Manager for the Mary Neal Project ( in 2009 and 2010. rnrnThe Mary Neal Project brought to light the story of social reformer, suffragette and radical arts practitioner Mary Neal CBE, for the first time. A great spirit behind the folk revival of the early 20th century, her pioneering work with young dancers and children at The Esp√©rance Club in Somerstown, cut across a remarkable spectrum of British political and cultural life, and offers today a model of some of the earliest known participatory arts practice.rnrnThe project was brought to light through Neal’s personal archive, at the instigation of Lucy Neal (former director of LIFT). I worked with Lucy to do this through three main areas of activity, involving: archive, archive + learning, archive + learning + artists and projects.rnThe Project acted as a catalyst to inspire contemporary arts and folk practitioners to explore the following questions:rnrnHow are English indigenous song and dance traditions inherited, and to whom do they now belong? and;rnHow do these traditions connect to a continuum of participatory arts practice today?rnrnMany of the questions posed by the revival around authenticity, participation, excellent and access remain as resonant today. rnrnMy role was to support Lucy in the making public of the archive through the various strands of activity outlined above. As part of this we worked to create and design a website that functioned as an online archive of all the related documents to Mary Neal’s life and current day connections, as well as worked with the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) to produce a huge public celebration involving Morris dancers, contemporary arts practitioners, academics, school children,and folk enthusiasts etc.rn rnrn

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Corali Dance Company

Portfolio image: Ruth Holdsworth - Corali Dance Company
I have worked as Freelance Producer for Corali Dance Company since 2005. My job has been to support Arts Council and other funded projects to happen from their application to production and presentation stage. As part of this I have worked with the learning disabled performers to support the integration of their artistic voices and visions for the company and its works. I have also worked on the strategic development of the company with teh Artistic Director, Sarah Archdeacon. My role has also incorporated general office and organisational management and running operations, and marketing/ website/ audience development.rnrnMost recently I have been the Producer for their London tour of ‘How Happy We Would Be’.rnrnCorali is a performance company that creates and tours original performance work mostly in London. Corali makes work in collaboration with performers, dancers and artists that have learning disabilities and those that do not. Corali has a core company of artists and it also runs education and outreach work. Performance and education are equally important to them.rnrnCorali is best known for its site-specific work (in settings like shop windows, lift lobby’s and foyer spaces) and for its partnerships with high profile London venues such as Tate Modern, Whitechapel Art Gallery and Sadler’s Wells Theatre.rnrnThe experience of the artistic team ensures the quality of Corali’s education and performance practice and makes for a rich and varied exchange. rn

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