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Emma Gladstone | Image: Hugo Glendinning

February 2024 | Remembering Emma Gladstone

Marking the life of Emma Gladstone, whose funeral took place on Friday 16 February.

Emma was Chair of the Board at Siobhan Davies Studios from December 2017 through till July 2022. She contributed enormously to the organisation over the years, and oversaw its very first leadership transition in 2021. Emma led with both efficiency and fun, she will be much missed across the dance sector and especially here.

From our founder, Siobhan Davies:

“The very wonderful, sparky, thoughtful, open hearted Emma has gone and the very many people who she had touched or worked with are in pain. She was too much to lose. In the last weeks I have heard so many of us say that this would be a good moment to remind ourselves to notice each other more, love each other more, tend to each other more because we can lose someone so quickly.

During the leadership transition period at SDS, Emma encouraged me to grow – to not feel diminished by loss but to learn through the process. She listened, she laughed, she was firm and she reminded me to keep my sense of self as well as a sense of what SDS could become without me but in the hands of wonderful others.

Emma embraced life and all of those involved in dance during her years are the better for knowing that she was nearby, would work hard for dance and that she cared.”

From our Co-Directors, Annie and Kat:

“We’ve been so moved by sharing our memories of Emma and hearing from peers and friends of how she worked and lived. Like so many, we had each known Emma since we began working in dance nearly 30 years ago. From honest interactions, warm approaches to great jumpers; showing us how family and dance could co-exist, to supporting dance to happen in new and varied spaces.

Together with a formidable panel Emma offered us the role here at SDS. On a zoom meeting, in the middle of lockdown, she delivered the news of our appointment in a characteristically joyful and straight-talking way. The delight she showed that day was followed by unequivocal support for what we were doing and an openness to listening, learning and shifting her perspective, all whilst geeking out on the detail with us. This transition was a layered and emotional time for all and the trust from Emma and Sue in what we imagined as the next chapter for the studios was encouraging and humbling. We also witnessed Emma step aside at an important time, believing in and making space for us and so many other artists, producers and directors.

Prioritising love and family alongside throwing yourself into work as she did resonates strongly. We will be trying our best. Thank you Emma – we hope there are great earrings and warm hugs where you are.”