CriticalDance Forum

Dance Manifesto (UK)
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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Jul 11, 2006 5:13 am ]
Post subject:  Dance Manifesto (UK)


Dance Manifesto

London Monday 10 July, 2006

At 12.30pm today, Britain’s best-loved ballerina Darcey Bussell, Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips, and choreographer Jonzi D presented the new Dance Manifesto to the Minister for Culture, David Lammy MP.

They were joined by Alistair Spalding, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Sadler’s Wells and Chairman of Dance UK; Victoria Todd, Director of the National Campaign for the Arts and Caroline Miller, Director of Dance UK.

To produce the Dance Manifesto the National Campaign for the Arts (NCA) and Dance UK undertook a six month countrywide consultation process, talking to an extensive cross section of individuals and dance organisations. The four key ambitions as published in the Dance Manifesto are:

· Dance to be supported and developed as an art form

· Dance to be an integral part of every young person’s education

· Dance to be available and affordable for everyone to watch and participate in

· Dance to be a sustainable career with world class training

Following today’s hour-long meeting, ballerina, Darcey Bussell said: The creation of the Dance Manifesto is an important step forward in the development of dance in this country and I am proud to have been able to present it to the Government on behalf of the British dance industry.

Arlene Phillips: As we have seen with the massive viewer numbers that enjoyed Strictly Come Dancing and Strictly Dance Fever, the popularity of dance is on a real roll at the moment. The Dance Manifesto is a very positive move to help even more people to experience and enjoy this most brilliant of artforms.

Jonzi D: Dance is a unifying movement. It can enable all kinds of people, from all kinds of backgrounds to join together in a common language. The initiative of the Dance Manifesto is a positive step forward in promoting this powerful phenomenon.

Victoria Todd, Director of the National Campaign for the Arts:

The Dance Manifesto is the first time that the British dance industry has united in one voice in pushing for what is needed in order to safeguard and develop dance for the future.

Caroline Miller, Director of Dance UK: This is an important day for Dance and we look forward to working together to take the initiative forward.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Jul 11, 2006 5:31 am ]
Post subject: 

This is an interesting development. Recently, the UK dance community has been developing stronger links with government and Members of Parliament. Two years ago CriticalDance was one of the groups that submitted their thoughts about the future of UK dance to a Parliamentery Select Committee:

Now comes the latest important document - a "Dance Manifesto" directed to the UK Government and others looking at:

- the current position
- what needs to change
- reccommendations

Here is the link to the full manifesto: ... w_id=22558

It will be interesting to see what develops from this - as a minimum it makes the issues and concerns of the dance community known to some of those with the reins of power.

Could this approach be useful in other countries?

Author:  leftyvaldes [ Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:30 am ]
Post subject: 

I think that anything that can increase interest in dance, and other performing arts, is a positive. Just about any culture in the world has a native dance, at the very least! So dance is as universal as it gets!

I think we will have a tougher time over here getting the politicos and others to get behind any sort of dance initiative. With all of our problems, esp. the political warfare going on, along with the Katrina and the ongoing "war" on terrorism, we cannot even begin to address performing arts education funding increases and program ideas and startups.

What we probably have to do is to start a national grassroot campaign to get petitions and the like. But, this will probably take a minimum of 5-10 years!!!

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Jul 11, 2006 9:26 am ]
Post subject: 

Thanks for the input, lefty. One way to start is to get a concensus among the various dance forms andd organisations. Here is the list for the Dance Manifesto, which looks impressive to me.

The following organisations have fed into the Dance Manifesto:

Arts Council England
Ballet Independents' Group
Bournemouth Borough Council
Central Council of Physical
Central School of Ballet
Chinese Cultural Centre
Chisenhale Dance Space
Council for Dance Education
and Training
Dance 4
Dance South West
Dance Umbrella
Dancers' Career Development
Diversions, the Dance Company
of Wales
DV8 Physical Theatre
Elmhurst School for Dance
English Folk Dance and Song
English National Ballet
English National Ballet School
FolkArts England
Green Candle Dance Company
Greenwich Dance Agency
Independent Dance
Independent Dance Managers
Jasmin Vardimon Dance
Kadam, Asian Dance and
Music Ltd
Ludus Dance
Magpie Dance
National Dance Teachers
National Resource Centre
for Dance
Powys Dance
Rambert Dance Company
Royal Academy of Dance
Royal Ballet
Royal Ballet School
Royal Opera House
Sadler's Wells
Scottish Ballet
Shobana Jeyasingh Dance
Society for Dance Research
South Bank Centre
Tabula Rasa Dance Company
The Association of Dance of the
African Diaspora
The Lowry
The Place
Touchdown Dance
Youth Music
Youth Dance England

Author:  Article19-Michelle [ Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:29 pm ]
Post subject: 

We [Article19] have a Podcast interview with Alistair Spalding where we touch on some of the issues surrounding the Dance Manifesto;

What strikes you first of all about the document itself, all 24 full colour pages of it, is that it's more like a brochure. In these times it apparently would not do to simply had in a well crafted piece of writing and expect anyone to take it seriously.

"Dance has a great visual impact" explained Mr Spalding, "so we wanted to try and get people's attention [and] we're talking to people here who haven't got it on their agenda or on their radar so we had to kind of grab their attention. So that's the way in, is to give people images. I think there is a lot of detail in what we think should happen in each of the priority areas." ... odcast.php


Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:00 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks for the link and for taking the trouble to interview Alistair Spalding.

I see Mr Nesbit raises in the interview a date error on the DanceUK website, corrected by the time of the interview. Perhaps it would be a good idea to correct the significant error in Article19's introduction:

On July 10th 2006 Dance UK, the self described advocates for dance in the UK, handed the Culture Minister, David Lammy, the much anticipated Dance Manifesto...

In fact, the report was jointly prepared by DanceUK and The National Campaign for the Arts.

Author:  Article19-Michelle [ Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:15 pm ]
Post subject: 

Since it's a dance document we shall give Dance UK the lead on this (the press release stated that the actual document was handed over by Jonzi D and the NCA are mentioned by Mr Spalding in the interview.)

DanceUK only corrected the error regarding the pay research for dancers when Article19 contacted them about it, we can only speculate how long the research had been mis-labeled.

I would also point out that the NCA does a very good job of keeping itself quiet, considering their 'mission' is to be a voice for the arts.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:30 pm ]
Post subject: 

Sorry, Michelle, but to leave out the name of the joint publisher of the Manifesto in your 600-word article about the publication remains an error of omission, best corrected in print, even though Alistair does correct Mr Nesbit in the i-pod interview for those who download.

In passing, let me recommend Article19's very helpful piece about the wonders of skype (broadband phone links): ... e_voip.php

Author:  EsperanzaTM [ Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:49 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hello every body, Is there something new for the Dance Manifesto and the various dance forms and organisations ?

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