terça-feira, 4 de julho de 2017

"What do a children's choir, birdsong and a piper have in common?
They're all part of Rosemary Lee's communal dance experience at Greenwich Borough Hall,
where a cast of professional and non-professional dancers are encouraged to 'soar, touch and find the sublime'"

 Greenwich Dance, Greenwich, London
 Greenwich Dance Team, statement following Arts Council England funding announcement 
 for NPO National Portfolio Organizations

"Greenwich Dance’s removal from the National Portfolio can only increase the levels of homogenisation in the artform. Not least in terms of the diversity of spaces for dance in the city.

There are a number of organisations doing great work for artists in London, but generally they’re in very similar looking buildings. White box studios. Black box theatres. There’s more on the way. They're brilliant spaces that serve a whole host of dance makers, but they're not for everyone.

Greenwich Dance is an alternative to this. A space which perhaps logic (and certainly one of the architects of all those other buildings) would tell you is not suitable for professional dance artists. It has no showers or changing rooms. It gets a bit cold in the winter. The two main spaces don’t have any windows. All the spaces are odd sizes, with wooden floors.

But artists love working there. The spaces have a warmth and friendliness to them, perhaps because of all the wood. Morning class in the Borough Hall with 40 other dancers is an experience unlike any other for professional dancers in the city. There are the ghosts in the walls of the tea dances that have happened there since the 30s. No-ones looking through the windows at you, because there aren’t any windows.

The space is cherished by dance artists, especially those in the independent sector. The dance artists who perhaps don’t want to follow the same path as others. Who might relish their independence. Or reject homogeneity. Sometimes they’re the ones who need and appreciate the listening and the nurturing the most. A diverse sector relies on diverse spaces for dance to be made or presented.


Those independent artists, those individuals without a company ‘home’ have created a home at Greenwich Dance. The scale of the spaces and the classes, the formats of performance, the connections to the organisation’s work with local communities – there’s a sense that this is a place where people come together. Where there can be a collective sense of home. Of belonging.


I am deeply saddened by what’s been lost to the portfolio. In fact I’m heartbroken. Partly because of the inevitable reduction in its work with artists and a whole host of other people across South East London. But more because it feels like all those qualities I value so deeply – listening, nurturing, responding to need, providing a home for those seeking one – were qualities I found at Greenwich Dance, more than any other organisation I have worked with. And it feels like those qualities that mean so much to me are not valued by the systems I work in anymore. Even though I know them to be deeply valued by the artists and others I work with every day."

Paul Burns
freelance consultant for arts development

in http://www.wechtie.com/blog/2017/7/3/on-development-dance-npo-things-and-urgh

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