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 Post subject: Seminar - Paying for the Privilige
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2001 9:01 am 
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<B>Paying for the Privilege?</B><P>Debate hosted by Dance UK and Dance Umbrella. <BR>Chaired by Deborah Bull<BR> <BR>Speakers:<BR>Evan Davies, BBC Economics Editor <BR>Gerard Lemos, partner Lemos&Crane<BR>Emma Gladstone, Associate Producer, The Place Theatre <BR> <BR>Monday 15 October 2001; 4.30 to 6.30pm<BR> <BR>Chelsfield Room, Royal Festival Hall, South Bank, London<BR>Contact Dance UK on 020 7228 4990 to reserve places. Admission free.<P>Dancing seems a glamorous career, dancers are exhilarating in performance and stylish off-stage. Yet the reality for many dancers is a portfolio career of short-term contracts, the costs of continual training and fitness regimes and low income levels. Increasingly dancers are setting out with student debt, heading for a profession that rarely pays a living wage and a pension that will not be fully provided by the state. <P>Paying for the Privilege aims to put this situation in a wider economic and cultural context. What are the causes and the implications of low pay? Are dancers alone in paying for the privilege of pursuing their talent? Why do they do it? Is the situation sustainable? What are the ways forward?<P>Jeanette Siddall, Director of Dance UK said:<BR>Dance UK works with and on behalf of dance. We recognise the need for better income levels in order to support longer-lasting careers for dancers, and to encourage dancers to remain in the wider dance profession once they cease performing. This seminal debate will increase understanding and contribute to the realisation of this goal.<BR>End<P><BR><B>Dance UK</B> is an industry lead body for dance. It works to promote a robust, dynamic and vital future for dance professionals and the art form of dance. It promotes the Healthier Dancer Programme, the professional development of choreographers and dance managers, provokes debate and lobbies for change.<BR> <BR>Contact: Jeanette Siddall, Director<BR>tel: 020 7228 4990 <BR>email: danceuk@easynet.co.uk<BR>web: <A HREF="http://www.danceuk.org" TARGET=_blank>www.danceuk.org</A> <BR> <P><B>Dance Umbrella</B> was founded in 1978 with the aim of reflecting and encouraging the burgeoning interest in contemporary dance in Britain. From modest beginnings as a showcase for emerging choreographers, Dance Umbrella's annual London festival now ranks highly among Europe's leading international dance festivals and the organisation is recognised as one of Britain's most adventurous dance promoters.<P>dance umbrella 2001<BR>3 0ct - 10 Nov<BR>London's 23rd annual festival of contemporary dance<P>email: mail@danceumbrella.co.uk<BR>web: <A HREF="http://www.danceumbrella.co.uk" TARGET=_blank>www.danceumbrella.co.uk</A> <BR> <P><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Seminar - Paying for the Privilige
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2001 2:18 am 
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Here's the link to the Dance Umbrella website page on the seminar. Ring Dance UK on the number given in the post above to book as some 40 out of the 60 places have already gone.<P> <A HREF="http://www.danceumbrella.co.uk/pay2001/index.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.danceumbrella.co.uk/pay2001/index.htm</A> <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited October 12, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Seminar - Paying for the Privilige
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2001 10:31 am 
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<B>Paying for the Privilege?</B><BR>15 October 2001, South Bank Centre, London<P><B>Background documents</B><P>Dance UK has drawn together some statistics about pay levels in preparation for the Seminar and also provided CVs for the panel members. Here is the link to the <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum13/HTML/000419.html" TARGET=_blank><B>hand-out information</B></A>.<P>The Dance UK hand-out also tells the invitees:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>Continuing the debate</B><P>The Criticaldance website is running review and discussion forums in conjunction with Dance Umbrella. This includes a special topic on Paying for the Privilege?<BR>The address is - <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/danceumbrella" TARGET=_blank>http://www.criticaldance.com/danceumbrella</A><HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P><BR><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited October 12, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Seminar - Paying for the Privilige
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2001 5:33 am 
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We hope to have a summary of the seminar and the key areas for discussion available in a few days. In the mean time if anyone who was at the seminar wants to expand on some of the points raised or bring up new ones, please feel free.


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 Post subject: Re: Seminar - Paying for the Privilige
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2001 11:09 am 
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Here is the summary of the debate - which was informative, challenging, provocative and entertaining! Comments on the proposed ways forward, or any of the points raised are welcome.<P><BR>Deborah Bull (dancer, writer and broadcaster). Chair for the debate. Deborah described the wide-ranging importance of the issue, and this opportunity to think differently about it.<P>Evan Davies (Economics Editor, BBC), offered three economic causes of low pay:<BR> Supply - is robust and healthy because the job provides rewards other than money. The fact that you want to do the job can be a real disadvantage in the labour market. <BR> Demand - There is not enough money in the profession to pay adequately. Staff shortages would mean more money to pay the rest, but low salaries will arrange that - people will leave the profession, just as people have left nursing.<BR> Distribution - there is growing inequality in pay between and within professions, with a few being very highly paid and most receiving very little. This is unlikely to be the case in dance.<BR>The solution has to lie in increasing revenues. Dance is cool, there is a basic appreciation of the profession and there is money available. It may need dance to tap into outputs other than the traditional performance. <P>Gerard Lemos (social researcher, partner Lemos and Crane), began by looking at changing definitions of work. Dance is physically taxing, poorly remunerated and reliant on public subsidy because of high overheads. We need to increase arts funding - the benefits of quite small increases are enormous. The arts impact on the national mood, but they cannot be defined as a process to improve education and promote social inclusion.<P>The arts funding system promotes financial adolescence: if you ever actually make any money you're taxed at 100%. Other streams of government funding need to be explored, as well as opportunities in the corporate and commercial sector. Information on the internet about sources and how to tap into them would help. A range of funders would also encourage greater assertiveness with the arts funding system. Artists act as witnesses to social change. Proper remuneration will need to role of 'witness' to be turned into 'work'.<P>Emma Gladstone (Producer and programmer for The Place and freelance), had spoken to a number of dance artists. On average, their maximum income from all sources was £14,000, including those at the top of the independent dance profession. The positive attributes include the love of dancing, the power to move audiences and social relationships with fellow dancers. Minor benefits include earning so little that you don't need to worry about savings accounts, ISAs, or mortgage rates, getting the car serviced or the dishwasher fixed. The initiative, courage, optimism and self-reliance needed are invaluable ‘transferable skills’. <P>It is a cumulative sacrifice. Years without pension payments mount up, and for many women it is a stark financial choice between dancing and having a family. There is no recognition of experience in pay levels, beyond the few large-scale companies. Undoubtedly, the longer you stay the more you pay.<P>Talent and experience is being lost, and the social and cultural range of people entering and staying in the profession is restricted. Dance is a volatile, ever changing medium that reflects the age in which we live. We need all sorts of people to give an honest reflection.<P>Emma made a number of practical suggestions for ways forward. Some of these were developed in discussion and the key points are summarised below.<P>Ways forward<BR>We need to work together to achieve two main objectives: to raise the minimum acceptable level of pay and to bring more money into the profession. Specifically we should:<P> Cost the 'dance deficit', which is probably not as great as funders fear. Quantifying the extent of the problem, and considering the relative priority we should give to salaries over, say, the number of new productions, could offer a way forward.<P> Lobby funders, boards and managers to stop using minimum rates as maximums, to reward experience and excellence, to encourage holiday pay and pension contributions.<P> Develop guidance on rates for freelance people, based on those established by the Year of the Artist. Raise pay rates in a planned and managed way over time.<P> Change attitudes that allow and promote exploitation. Break the cycle that perpetuates low expectation. Encourage dancers to be more assertive, and change our interaction with funders and employers.<P> Work to promote artist-friendly changes to the social security system. These would be beneficial to all freelance workers. Examples would include flexibility to encourage part-time and occasional employment without loss of disproportionate benefits, and possibly special artist status as in Belgium.<P> Tap into different dance outputs to maximise revenues. Increase the possibility of choice for all those working in dance - to compromise a little or remain pure and poor.<P> Find ways of translating the essential attributes of dance for a wider range of customers. Examples might include taking dance to where people are rather than expecting them to come to us. <P> Develop resources to encourage greater use of other government funding and commercial sources.<P> Consider issues of distribution and the sharing of resources. Better funded organisations may be able to diversify their income sources, but don't feel the need to do so.<P> Encourage increased political awareness among students and dancers. <P> Increase enthusiasm for dance across society generally. <P>For the full report, visit <A HREF="http://www.danceuk.org" TARGET=_blank>www.danceuk.org</A> <BR>

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Jeanette


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 Post subject: Re: Seminar - Paying for the Privilige
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2001 2:31 am 
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I really wish that I could have made it to this event, because it does raise some critical issues in dance.<P>I've always thought that dance should be treated like a vocation and not like a 'lifestyle choice'. In my experience the dancers who manage to stay in the practise tend to be predominately middle-class women and can afford to live on under 14,000 pounds a year because somewhere there is a net to catch them (supportive parents, partners, etc.). But what does this say about the diversity of dance? If things keep on the way they are with funding, lack of governmental support, and increased marginalisation, I think we run the danger of a very homogenous and at worst elitist group of people who get the opportunity to dance and make dances.


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 Post subject: Re: Seminar - Paying for the Privilige
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2001 8:53 am 
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Here is a link to our thread about a US article on the poor pay that US designers of various types receive:<BR> <A HREF="http://www.tcg.org/am_theatre/at_web1101_bottomline.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.tcg.org/am_theatre/at_web1101_bottomline.html</A> <P>


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 Post subject: Re: Seminar - Paying for the Privilige
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2001 2:09 pm 
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Jeanette Siddall, director of DanceUK has sent this update out to members :<P>***********************<P>I wanted to provide you with a brief update on happenings since the Paying for the Privilege debate.<BR> <BR>I wrote to the Chief Executives of the RAB to ask whether it is their policy to permit Equity minimum budgets, the basis on which they would find it acceptable to fund a higher level of salary, and the average salary paid to dancers on funded projects over the last year.<BR> <BR>We have just had our first real response - from East Midlands Arts. They are currently working on a document about rates of pay, it will include sessional and annual rates, and scales that reflect experience. In part this work has been prompted by Year of the Artist experience, and in part by knowing the difficulties artists face in negotiating fees and salaries. Well done EMA!<BR> <BR>The best quotes from the debate will be in the next issue of Dance UK News. The summary and full text are available on <A HREF="http://www.danceuk.org" TARGET=_blank>www.danceuk.org</A> <BR> <BR>I will be talking to Arts & Business in a week or so, with a view to taking forward the notion of aiming to get more money into the sector - any thoughts, views, ideas would be welcome!<BR> <BR>Thanks, and have a great week-end<BR>Bests<BR>Jeanette<BR> <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited November 16, 2001).]


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