public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:51 pm

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 28 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: New Inquiry - Dance (UK House of Commons)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2004 6:03 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
CULTURE MEDIA AND SPORT COMMITTEE

HOUSE OF COMMONS C SESSION 2003-04

1 July 2004 No 30

Publication of Sixth Report:

<big>Arts development: dance</big>

The Committee examined the current state of the dance economy; the effect of public investment on the dance sector; and dance and young people in relation to education and opportunities for progression within the sector. The Committee's key findings are summarised below:

Government strategy for dance
· we believe that it is imperative that the Government sets out a clear, overarching policy on dance which sets out how it proposes to achieve its implicit objectives of "excellence, access and a contribution to healthy living". (Paragraphs 79 & 117)

· We ask the Minister, within three months, to set out for the Committee the specific action taken to create a Government strategy for dance. (Paragraph 79)

· We believe that the Arts Council England should set out clearly how it proposes to achieve its objectives. This would be advantageous, not only to help it to achieve its goals, but also for the sector to know the priorities of the body which is its main source of public funding. (Paragraph 90)

· DCMS should carry out a review of the processes used to allocated Grants for the Arts. We believe that, wherever possible, complete transparency of decision-making processes should be put in place. (Paragraph 91)

Young people and dance
· The Committee recommend that the Department for Education and Skills carry out a policy review relating to the place of dance within the National Curriculum. (Paragraph 106)

· We agree with the view of the Ballet Association and others, that "much more needs to be done to promote inclusion and progression at all levels." The Government has a role to play in this in a number of ways but, specifically, by providing improved access to private lessons for those talented individuals who cannot afford to pay. (Paragraph 54)

· DCMS and DfES should pay close attention to the work of Youth Dance England and take action wherever necessary to ensure that the youth sector is able to thrive and produce the dancers of the future. (Paragraph 101)

Benefits of dance
· The Committee recommends that the Government should investigate further how it can increase the number of people gaining health benefits through participation in dance. (Paragraph 46)

· The industry should to continue to reach out to those who currently do not participate or go to watch dance, in order to increase the depth of the dance sector, as well as its size. (Paragraph 68)

· More research should be carried out into the possible benefits of dance in reducing crime rates and increasing social inclusiveness. (Paragraph 81)

Built environment for dance
· We hope that the National Lottery will be able to continue to make funding contributions towards new facilities for dance, along with the ACE, local authorities, regional development agencies and private donors, all of whom have already contributed to the enhancement of the physical infrastructure of dance. (Paragraph 96)

· DCMS should engage in a dialogue with the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to ensure that spaces for dance and other art forms are considered within the planning for new settlements. (Paragraph 99)

Dancers' pay and conditions
· We hope to see a commitment to increased pay level for dancers from all of those involved in the sector, aided by growth and diversification of funding sources. We especially wish to see ACE leading by example and improving the scope for appropriate salary levels from within the grant allocations which it makes. (Paragraph 110)

· We believe that it is imperative that dancers are paid sufficient amounts to cover any training costs, or that support should be given to them to enable participation in development courses so that their future careers are not hindered. (Paragraph 62)

Contact

House of Commons Committee Office, 7 Millbank, SW1P 3JA

Tel: 020B7219B6188 (fax - 2031) E-mail: cmscom@parliament.uk

<small>[ 01 July 2004, 11:13 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Inquiry - Dance (UK House of Commons)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2004 6:10 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
The press launch of the Select Committee Report on Dance was very positive and hopefully will provide a blueprint for Government activity in the sector for many years to come.

Best feature of the morning was Wayne McGregor's site-specific work "Series", performed around the two long rectangular fountans in the Portcullis House atrium, providing MPs and their staff a chance to see a unique presentation of state of the art dance.

The morning was a celebration of the achievements of UK dance and the associated infrastructure with clear pointers for the future, including the need for better pay and work conditions. I came out on a high that still hasn't gone away.

<small>[ 01 July 2004, 08:12 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Inquiry - Dance (UK House of Commons)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2004 8:50 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
The full report is now available online. Here is the Summary and Recommendations:

Summary

Dance is a small, but rapidly growing, sector in the UK that employs approximately 30,000 people. As an art form it is performed regularly, and appreciated by many, at locations throughout the country. As a physical or social activity, it is enjoyed by many participants every week. It is also experienced by school children through its inclusion within the National Curriculum. Since the creation of the Arts Council England (ACE) dance department in 1979, the sector has benefited greatly from continued public sector support. In 2004, the department provides regular funding for 40 dance organisations and occasional support for many others.

In order to continue the growth that has been experienced over the last few decades, and to ensure this growth is sustainable, the sector must overcome a number of challenges. The industry must work to reduce the dependency it has on public sector funding (this currently constitutes 43% of all funding it receives), through trying to increase commercial income and income from sponsorship. It must also work, in concert with DCMS, to attract funding from alternative sources within the Government by promoting the ability of dance to contribute to the Government's objectives in relation to healthy lifestyles, and possibly crime reduction and social inclusion.

Historically, working conditions for dancers have been poor. In recent years, this has been improved by significant Lottery and ACE investment in the physical infrastructure for dance. More still needs to be done to improve many rehearsal and performance venues. We hope that investment in the built environment will continue and that consideration will be given to including plans for dance facilities at the planning stage of new towns and settlements.

Evidence we have received suggests that dance is one of those vocational industries in which very talented people are prepared to work for very little money. Historically, dancers have not been able to command large salaries because of pressure on the funding, from all sources, received by the sector. The problem of low salaries is recognised by the whole dance industry. We hope that, as the sector develops, overall available resources will increase and the existing culture of low pay will be tackled effectively. We wish to see ACE leading by example and improving the scope for appropriate salary levels from within the grant allocations which it makes.

We believe that it is very important for the Government to set out a clear, overarching policy for dance, writing down the implicit objectives which the Arts Minister seemingly devised in preparation for oral evidence to us. These were: excellence, access and contribution to healthy living. It is very important that the profile of dance, and its potential to contribute to different policy areas, is raised throughout Government and beyond. We believe that this can only be achieved through the creation of a clear strategy for dance by the Government.

Conclusions and recommendations

1. Thus, it is believed that the lasting memory of dance for many children may not be a positive one. The dance sector vehemently argues that this has to be changed. If the decision-makers and policy-formers of the future continue to have bad experiences of dance, ACE told us that this "is actually not a very useful kind of experience on which to start building that change that we want to bring about." We sympathise with this and agree that in order to change attitudes, the sector has to start changing attitudes to dance at all levels, starting with school children. (Paragraph 41)

2. We recommend that the Government should investigate further how it can increase the number of people gaining health benefits through participation in dance. (Paragraph 46)

3. We agree with the view of the Ballet Association and others, that "much more needs to be done to promote inclusion and progression at all levels." The Government has a role to play in this in a number of ways but, specifically, by providing improved access to private lessons for those talented individuals who cannot afford to pay. (Paragraph 54)

4. We believe that it is imperative that dancers are paid sufficient amounts to cover any training costs, or that support should be given to them to enable participation in development courses so that their future careers are not hindered. (Paragraph 62)

5. We would like to encourage the industry to continue to reach out to those who currently do not participate or go to watch dance, in order to increase the depth of the dance sector, as well as the size of it. (Paragraph 68)

6. We recommend that in response to this Report the Minister for the Arts (in consultation with DfES, ACE, YDE and Sport England) creates a comprehensive written Government policy for dance aimed at fostering greater understanding of and better coordinated support for dance, including regional and national dance within the UK. We welcome the positive attitude the Minister showed when she gave evidence to the Committee in the course of this inquiry and we ask her, within three months, to set out for the Committee the specific action taken. (Paragraph 79)

7. We recommend that more research is carried out into the possible benefits of dance in reducing crime rates and increasing social inclusiveness. (Paragraph 81)

8. In order to ensure that the Arts Council fulfils its objectives for supporting dance as an art form in the future, we believe that it should set out clearly a strategy of how it proposes to achieve them. This would be advantageous, not only to help it to achieve its priorities, but also for the sector to know the priorities and objectives of the body which provides the main source of public funding for dance. (Paragraph 90)

9. We recommend that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport carry out a review of the processes used to allocated Grants for the Arts. We believe that, wherever possible, complete transparency of decision-making processes should be put in place. (Paragraph 91)

10. We hope that the National Lottery will be able to continue to make funding contributions towards new facilities for dance, along with the ACE, local authorities, regional development agencies and private donors, all of whom have already contributed to the enhancement of the physical infrastructure of dance. (Paragraph 96)

11. We recommend that DCMS engage in a dialogue with the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to ensure that spaces for dance and other art forms are provided for within the planning for new settlements. (Paragraph 99)

12. We recommend that both DCMS and DfES pay close attention to the work of YDE and take action wherever necessary to ensure that the youth sector is able to thrive and produce the dancers of the future. (Paragraph 101)

13. We recommend that the Department for Education and Skills carry out a policy review relating to the place of dance within the National Curriculum. (Paragraph 106)

14. As we have already stated, we believe that as part of this, it is imperative that the Government sets out a clear, overarching policy on dance which states how it proposes to achieve "excellence, access and the contribution to healthy living" that it desires in relation to dance. (Paragraph 117)

***************************

Click here for the full report and, at the bottom, the individual submissions, including the one from CriticalDance (see above).

Just for the record, the CriticalDance submission is quoted twice in the Select Committee report.

<small>[ 01 July 2004, 11:28 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Inquiry - Dance (UK House of Commons)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2004 10:11 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
A quick skim through some of the written submissions makes interesting reading:

- The Ballet Association covers a wide range of issues and clearly struck a chord with the Select Committee, as they are quoted six times.

Similarly, Gill Clarke, one of the most outstanding dancers of her generation argues cogently over a range of issues and is quoted several times.

Val Bourne also writes on the problems facing the art form in a powerful way.

- Of the venues, The Place and the South Bank confront the issues of artists, companies and venues, rather than just about the merits of their own organisations.

- Of the ballet companies, Northern Ballet Theatre also go for a general approach, but use their own experience in Leeds as examples. The Royal Ballet submission is disappointing as it is concerned entirely with....the Royal Ballet and makes no attempt to look at the wider sphere of dance in the UK.

- Of the smaller companies, the one from Akram Khan Company makes many cogent points, including the relative slowness of the Arts Council to give regular finance to young, exceptional artists and a slowness to address the problem of those who are no longer achieving the highest standards.

There is some fascinating and disturbing information. In the latter category, from Rambert: "The top dancer salary is low: £23,000." Ouch!

<small>[ 07 July 2004, 07:45 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Inquiry - Dance (UK House of Commons)
PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2004 1:56 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
MPs tell Morris to lead merry dance
By Dalya Alberge, Arts Correspondent for The Times

THE Arts Minister Estelle Morris was given three months yesterday to report back to the all-party Culture Select Committee with a government strategy for dance.

click for more

**************************

Fancy footwork with the plodding jargon
By Simon Hoggart for The Guardian


For the first time in history, a dance group appeared on House of Commons premises yesterday to perform a specially commissioned routine.
The hoofers, members of a troupe called Random Dance, and choreographed by the celebrated Wayne McGregor, were marking the publication of a select committee report entitled Arts Development: Dance.

Usually select committee reports are written in plodding jargon, and of course this is no exception ("increasing the depth of the dance sector"; "transparency of the decision-making process"; "engaging in dialogue"; "clear, overarching policy", and so on).

click for more

**************************

Commons sketch
By Andrew Gimson for The Daily Telegraph

Ritual dance around politics of food hygiene

Few things fill the average Englishman with a greater sense of doom than the prospect of having to dance, but in days gone by he at least knew there were certain places where he would be safe. There was, for example, no danger if he spent the day at the House of Commons.

Sir Gerald Kaufman (Lab, Manchester Gorton) yesterday set out to destroy this last refuge. He did so in the most blatant way, by presiding over a performance by Random Dance company in the atrium of Portcullis House, across the road from Big Ben.

click for more

***************************

Dance 'needs strategy for future'
From the BBC website


Wages for professional dancers must be improved, the review says
The dance industry needs a government strategy for the future if it is to carry on growing and be accessible to more people, says a new report.
Dance has become too reliant on public funding, the Culture, Media and Sport Committee argued, and must do more to raise sponsorship and box office cash.

It should be promoted as a physical activity to access new funding and bring in more people, the review said.

click for more

***************************

<small>[ 02 July 2004, 03:59 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Inquiry - Dance (UK House of Commons)
PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2004 1:59 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Lift and spin: dancing to the music of Tim
By Ann Treneman for The Times


THE day began with a clarion call from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee for the Government to develop a national dance strategy.

“I don’t think the Government fully appreciates dance,” said the Labour MP Frank Doran. I could not believe my ears. For this is the Government that gave us spin and is not spin just another word for pirouette? Get serious, pliés! (Sorry about that: it won’t happen again for at least a paragraph.)

click for more


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Inquiry - Dance (UK House of Commons)
PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 12:20 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
My dance manifesto
By Wayne Sleep for The Guardian

People think dance is elitist and difficult, but this couldn't be less true. Everyone dances, whether they're out until five in the morning clubbing or dancing at their own wedding.
The real problem with dance in this country is that it's not part of our education. It needs to become central to the curriculum. Dance classes would be a great way for all kids to get fit, but for gifted students, who otherwise have to attend lessons after school, they are essential. These children are exhausted and are treated as oddities, particularly the boys.

click for more


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Inquiry - Dance (UK House of Commons)
PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 8:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
On ballet.co Simonetta Dixon has posted a good write-up of the press launch of the Select Committee report:

http://www.ballet.co.uk/dcforum/DCForumID7/46.html

<small>[ 07 July 2004, 10:02 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Inquiry - Dance (UK House of Commons)
PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 10:58 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Government strategy for dance demanded
by Jeremy Austin

Government involvement in the development of dance needs to range from ensuring fair pay and conditions for professionals to investigating the social, educational and health benefits of the field, a parliamentary report has found.

The document, Arts Development - Dance, has been published by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport select committee.

It looks at the current state of the dance economy, the effect of public investment on the dance sector, and education and career opportunities for young people within the sector.

click for more


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Inquiry - Dance (UK House of Commons)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 3:03 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 294
Location: Italy and UK
This is a great step forward for Dance in the UK. Dance has enormous potentials as a sport and an art form. I do see it as a sport in that it is a physical activity and in mass culture sometimes it is seen purely as a way to improve one'own physical condition. It is an art form as it does not pursue a goal outside its own practice (in football the body is trined in function of a skill acquisition with a ball), it is seen to express human creativity.

As a migrant between Italy and England I do see this important Government focus on Dance as a turning point in English Dance History. Dance deserves more attention on all levels because it may play an important role at a wider level as a dynamic (in both its literal and metaphorical sense) force. In this sense I speak as a dance correspondent (mainly of criticaldance) and dance researcher and lecturer.

To improve its own impact on society, it is necessary to avoid relating to dance as an exclusively physical (even if artistic) art form. Surroinding its physical core there are numerous other activities that are as important: dance journalism, dnace history, dance theory... I wonder if the Commettee has taken this aspect into account. I also think dance requires a more interdisciplinary approach with other art forms and cultural activities. Dialogue between the arts is usually an important key to widen audience awareness.

I do hope this initiative will assure dance a more stable role within English culture and set the example for other countires to invest on this everchanging art.

_________________
Rosella Simonari


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Inquiry - Dance (UK House of Commons)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 3:19 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Many thanks Rosella for your perspective as someone familiar with the UK and Italian dance scenes.

It would be very interesting to have some comment from our N. American friends - so much so that I am adding this thought to the topic title.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Inquiry - Dance (UK House of Commons)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 12:22 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 17
Location: London
I feel very positive about the progress this discussion has taken - many important factors have been highlighted and have hopefully come to the public’s attention.

Dance has had many battles to fight to be recognized as a high art form. In the last few years, the London dance scene has been flourishing with many companies producing highly professional and culturally varied work.
In conjunction with schools, companies and dance organisations have elevated dance though their outreach programmes. Popular culture has also seen a big comeback for dance in the form of hip hop.

In an educational and social aspect, dance can be a liberating experience, furthering inclusion, individual expression and creativity. It is high time that this is acknowledged by the government and as such promoted in our society.

For dancers living and working in London, unless you are lucky and get accepted into one of the bigger companies, life is tough. Most projects are unpaid and even when they are paid, wages are very low. Short-term contracts on a freelance basis often mean no health insurance and other benefits that most professions enjoy. Emerging choreographers have to rely on the good will of their dancers, as they are in no position to pay. Until they have had outside recognition for their work, they are most likely not being given any funding. Dancers and choreographers have to therefore often sacrifice a normal life for their art form. If we want new talent to emerge, new funding structures and help offered by organisations such as ‘The Place Artist Development' are crucial.

Let's hope that this government review will be another step to give dance the recognition it deserves as a social, educational and artistic asset to society.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Inquiry - Dance (UK House of Commons)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 12:33 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Thanks a lot for your thoughts Julia and I agree entirely that the terms and conditions of working for dancers, especially outside of the majors, is a key consideration.

<small>[ 09 August 2004, 05:21 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 28 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
The messages in this forum are posted by members of the general public and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of CriticalDance or its staff.
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group