Step by Step

Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen

Mother / daughter relationships explored through a dancing school in North Shields, documented between the early and mid-1980s.

In the early 1980s Amber Films made Keeping Time, an experimental drama growing out of Konttinen’s photographs of the Connell-Brown Dancing School in North Shields. She continued to document the story, leading to the exhibition in 1984 and then a book in 1987. Housing, unemployment, poverty, divorce, hard work, are interwoven with the fun and excitement of the dancing school. It is a celebration of the importance of the school as a female community, the women’s robust combination of romanticism and pragmatism.

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