Arts & Culture

Artists Throw Fundraiser for Annual DIY Dance Performance

When it comes to ladyfestCLT, Megan Payne and Sarah Ingel are the duo that do it all.

As two artists who have been working together in Charlotte for five years, the duo has hosted a night of performance exclusively featuring female choreographers, dancers and directors called ladyfestCLT since 2015.

It was once called Women’s Showcase, but due to their punk-like riot grrrl nature, the ladies landed on a name that was more informal. Ingel and Payne have now put to use their longtime connections in the dance community to host a fundraiser on Dec. 15 at Goodyear Arts in the lead up to ladyfestCLT to help fund this year’s event.

Costs for ladyfestCLT include seating, supplies, videographers and photographers. For dance performers, it’s critical to have a visual documentation of their work.

Sarah Ingel (left) and Megan Payne, the organizers of the 5th annual ladyfestCLT showcase. (Photo by Nick Blankenship)

“When you have something that’s a visual art that you create, you still take pictures of it to be able to show it,” Ingel said. “It’s something that’s especially important for dance work because you aren’t able to be a performance.”

Ingel and Payne bring in local photographers and videographers to document the showcase, and always ensure that they are paid. 

“We also try to raise as much money as [possible] so that all of our ticket sales and whatever we have left goes to the artists,” Payne concluded. “So we divide it up among choreographers.”

But what about the need a ladyfestCLT?

The female dance community is stronger together than they are divided, Ingel said.

Artist Mindy Rawlinson. (Photo by Taylor Jones)

“We started doing it as a way to create a community that was supportive of each other, and a way that we could have a performance … and really create more community by having us share some of the burdens of creating art [like] money and space and time and audience.”

Sharing resources and promoting the work of other female dance artists and choreographers is important, especially in the wake of flutist Elizabeth Rowe’s lawsuit filed against the Boston Symphony Orchestra after discovering she was being paid $70,000 less than her male oboist counterpart.

“The reason for it being all female choreographers is that we were noticing that a lot of strong work that was happening was being made by women,” Ingel said. “By saying this is all work that’s being made through the female lens, how do we talk about that? How do we address women’s issues or approach things from the unique advantage point of being a woman?

“We wanted to also address the things that happen in the dance community. Which you find that there are a lot of women that are in dance or are as dancers but you don’t necessarily see a lot of women in charge.”

The ladyfestCLT fundraiser is a dance party meant to help attendees shake off the stress of the holidays. It will feature costume sales and a costume contest wherein first place will receive a prize. But the true prize could be supporting the female dance community.


DANCE Party: Fundraiser for ladyfestCLT

$5; Dec. 15; 8-10 p.m.; Goodyear Arts, 1720 Statesville Ave.;

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