Chisenhale Dance Space - a brief history of its 20 years
Chisenhale Dance Space grew out of the X6 Dance collective. This was a group of five dance artists – Emilyn Claid, Jacky Lansley, Feargus Early, Medees Dupres, and Mary Prestidge - who wanted to work independently of any established company or organisation. At this time, 1976, this seemed a near impossibility as virtually no facilities or structures existed for dancers outside the mainstream of ballet and contemporary dance companies. In order to pursue their ideas and explore new developments in dance and movement they found their own space in which to work - a disused warehouse in Butlers Wharf, near Tower Bridge, which became known as X6 Dance Space.
After five years of activity, during which time X6 became the focus for the emerging ‘new dance’ scene and the only independent space in London, the Collective, along with a group of visual artists in Butlers Wharf, were forced to leave the building due to the commercial re-development of the Docklands area. The evicted artists formed the umbrella group Art Place Trust, which in 1980 found new premises at the Chisenhale Works in Bow. An expanded group of artists formed the Chisenhale Dance Space Collective and began developing the space as a vibrant centre for experimental work in the East End of London.
Chisenhale Dance Space shares the Chisenhale building with Chisenhale Art Place, a collective of 40 visual artists studios and Chisenhale Gallery, one of London's primary public spaces for contemporary art. The three organisations retain their separate identities but work closely together.