Dada’s Women

collaborative mixed-media works by composer Sonia Allori and artist Vaia Paziana based on 'Dada's Women' by Ruth Hemus



Dada’s Women is the title of a book authored by Ruth Hemus and published by Yale University Press in 2009. The result of Ruth’s PhD thesis, it outlines the cases of five artists, writers and performers who took part in and shaped the Dada movement of the early twentieth century. These remarkable women are: Emmy Hennings, Sophie Taeuber, Hannah Höch, Suzanne Duchamp and Céline Arnauld.

The creative team in full flight on day 2! -Royal Holloway: Egham, Surrey.

Ruth and Sonia Allori met as mature but tentative postgraduate students in a lecture hall at the University of Edinburgh in 2001. It was the start of a sincere friendship between a ‘words girl’ and a ‘music girl’ that has also taken rewarding creative turns. Our current project began with an e-mail from Sonia to Ruth in April 2014: “I have this notion to make a mixed-media theatre-work/opera called “Dada’s Women” with five central female roles according to the women you explore in your book.”

When Sonia has a notion, it is wise to act. Sonia’s encounter with the artist Vaia Paziana that same month (they were on tour with a new version of Brecht’s Threepenny Opera) was delightful chance: she had found the ‘images girl’ to complete our small creative team.

Our aim – to produce an accessible multimedia performance interpretation of Dada’s extradordinary pioneering women – was hastened by the centenary of Dada’s beginnings in Zurich in 1916. In our blogs (under the tab ‘milestones’ above) we gather our experiences, galvanise our creativity and garner support.

Our motto? “Jeder kann Dada!” (Anyone can do Dada!)


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