Liz Charman

Photographer: Pedro Machado
Photographer: Pedro Machado

Finance Manager

I’ve worked with Candoco for 12 years now, on a freelance basis at first before it was decided that a company of this size ought to have a finance manager. I look after the budgeting and financial reporting for the company, working closely with both the General Manager on the day-to-day finance administration and the Executive Director on longer term financial planning. It’s a part-time role, which allows me time to continue with some freelance finance and fundraising work for other, mostly dance, companies.

I’ve worked in dance for 20 years now. After graduating from Laban Centre, I did some academic research projects and dance journalism, alongside my first work in administration with Rambert Dance Company. It was here that I learnt the ancient art of double-entry book-keeping, which I have to say has held me in very good stead over the years! I stayed in my first ‘serious’ dance management job with Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company for 8 years, experiencing all the ups and downs of producing and touring a rapidly growing contemporary dance company. I then left to undertake freelance work. This was the time of the Arts For Everyone Awards, so lots of my work involved developing proposals for the scheme as well as other fundraising initiatives for organisations such as Greenwich Dance Agency, the Laban Centre and Yolande Snaith Theatre Dance.

Though I don’t work fulltime in dance any longer, I still get a thrill from the sheer physical impact of watching bodies move. I like work, for the most part, which deals with the stuff of dance – weight, speed, rhythm, velocity. I have a few seminal dance performances–Merce Cunningham Dance Company at Sadler’s Wells in 1987 (I think!), Siobhan Davies Dance Company’s Wyoming and White Man Sleeps at Riverside Dance Studios with its extraordinary cast of dancers, Javier de Frutos’ early mad-cap, musical and exquisite solos. And my favourite Candoco piece? Sour Milk, with its thrumming drumming and Pedro’s eccentric, impassioned solo.