This project evolved from a three-month residency in Shanghai in 2011, supported by Liverpool John Moores University, MacKinnon-Day made contact with a group called “Club Culture”. At their meetings middle-aged women perform dances to music whilst wearing traditional qipao dresses. Both the music and these colourful dresses represent a sharp contrast with the grey uniforms which they wore as young women at the time of the Cultural Revolution.


Following on from the Shanghai project MacKinnon-Day worked with women from Liverpool’s Chinese community at the Pagoda Arts Centre. Through interviews she explored social, historical and cultural factors pertaining to the transition from one cultural environment to another.

What had been the impact on the women who made the move? 

How has it affected future generations?

These are some of the questions to which we may hear the answers during the follow-up discussion.


10 Day Rehearsal combines archive and contemporary footage together with the qipao dance. The work explores ideas of lost youth and innocence as well as traditional Chinese ideas of beauty, sophistication and style. It juxtaposes two distinct periods of China’s history from the perspective of women who have lived through this time.