McPhee’s unforgettable Orgreave images

McPhee’s unforgettable Orgreave images

Today is the 34thanniversary of the Battle of Orgreave, the confrontation between police and pickets at the Orgreave coking plant in South Yorkshire and a pivotal event in the miners’ strike of 1984-85.

Great art in the classroom

Great art in the classroom

More than 70,000 schoolchildren from 125 schools are to get world class works of art in their classrooms as part of the largest ever sculpture project undertaken in Britain.

TaitMail       Bilbao’s King Gugg

TaitMail Bilbao’s King Gugg

It’s almost 21 years since the Guggenheim Bilbao opened, controversially and changing museum aspiration for ever. It was paid for by the Basque government, looked like nothing anyone had ever seen before, and after it opened every city wanted one.

Summer Flight

Summer Flight

Peckham artist Remi Rough has created a new public art installation to welcome visitors to the transformed Wembley Park this summer www.wembleypark.com.

Producer Winter switches West End for Tunbridge Wells

Producer Winter switches West End for Tunbridge Wells

Carole Winter, the West End and Broadway producer with more than 30 shows to her name, is to be the permanent producer at Tunbridge Wells’s Assembly Hall Theatre.

Opera festival’s moving Hope for Grenfell gala

Opera festival’s moving Hope for Grenfell gala

Gareth Malone led a choir of almost 200 children and local residents and celebrities last night in a moving memorial concert at Investec Opera Holland Park to mark the first anniversary of the Grenfell disaster.

Ed Vaizey and Tom Watson to be Achates judges

The third Achates Philanthropy Prize, awarded for first-time cultural giving in the UYK,is to have former culture minister Ed Vaizey and shadow culture secretary Tom Watson as judges.

Guide for museums to diversify visitors

Arts Council England and the Museums Association have launched a new ‘how-to’ guide to help museums increase visitor diversity

Ireland launches international culture strategy

Ireland launches international culture strategy

Seven year programme promises to double arts spend

Murdoch arts charity launches regional artists scheme

Murdoch arts charity launches regional artists scheme

Freelands Foundation will invest £1.5 million

Belfast backs arts funding campaign

Belfast backs arts funding campaign

Councillors support increase in government cash

Top Scottish arts organisation in shock closure

Top Scottish arts organisation in shock closure

NVA blames loss of funding and strains of ambitious restoration plan

Sadiq’s £1.1b cultural vision for Olympic Park

Sadiq’s £1.1b cultural vision for Olympic Park

The Mayor of London has set out plans for East Bank, the new cultural sector in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in the East End, with the BBC being added to the mix.

Museums dependent on blockbusters

Worldwide figures show Louvre back on top

Lost Donizetti opera gets world premiere

Lost Donizetti opera gets world premiere

On July 18, Opera Rara and the Royal Opera House will present the first ever performance of an opera by the great Italian composer, 179 years after it was written. Simon Tait reports

Eureka! plans second site in Liverpool

Eureka! plans second site in Liverpool

Childrens’ museum also to expand original Halifax venue

ACE backs fundraisers scheme

Arts Council England and the Institute of Fundraising have joined forces to develop more arts fundraisers in the sector.

Ludus dance promotes Briggs

Ludus dance promotes Briggs

Artistic director takes on ceo role

MY STORY Growing the art form, step by step

The new chair of trustees of one of our leading contemporary dance companies, Siobhan Davies Dance, is Emma Gladstone, a former dancer and now the artistic director and chief executive of London’s international dance festival Dance Umbrella

You have done practically all there is to do in contemporary dance, and in October you will be running your fourth Dance Umbrella. Why is this the right time to take on a new post? Any decision to take on something new is based on my excitement about the people involved, their ideas,
and whether I think I can make a difference. Running an organisation over the past few years has inevitably meant I have learnt more about raising funds, strategic planning,
and realising artistic ambitions, so when I was approached Sue and I talked a lot about how she wanted
to move things forward. She and
her team have a clear vision about their direction of travel, both in and outside of their amazing building, and I felt I had the experience and enthusiasm to contribute to that journey.

Siobhan Davies is one of the great innovators, not just through her choreography but her studios in Elephant & Castle which have become a cross-disciplinary arts centre. What can you bring to her artist-led set up? One of the things I believe I can bring is that, while working regularly
with a range of creators, I am not
an artist. Much of my job is talking with choreographers to find the best way their work can be framed and shared with audiences, and - having worked in dance slightly longer than I care to remember - I also know the scene and its networks here
and abroad well. Of course, having watched Sue’s body of work over many years I hope that history will lead to useful conversations about her plans for the future in a slightly more formal way. We both share a passion for artist development, and connecting with other art forms,
so there too I hope to bring ideas, suggestions and questions to the table. Combined with the strategic elements mentioned earlier, my strong desire is to work with Sue and the board to make the most of their ambitions and my learnings over the next few years.

Dance is traditionally the Cinderella of subsidy-funding. Is that still the case, and if so in this time of mixed private-public funding in the arts does it matter? It’s such a funny phrase, isn’t 
it? Especially for those of us working in the modern world. Dance continues to grow apace, including how many companies and organisations are funded through ACE - just look at the latest round of NPO announcements - and there is not a company or choreographer I know who is not working, like everyone else, in a mixed economy of raised funds, earned income, sponsorship, donations, Theatre Tax Relief, gift aid, and all the rest.

Has the dance audience changed since you were a dancer?
 Luckily when I was dancing I
was concentrating on doing just that, so would nd it hard to comment. Now, as a rather sadly obsessive audience watcher for 20 years, and having more comparisons to make, I would say that even in numbers alone, yes, it’s changed hugely. Over 500,000 go to Sadler’s Wells each year now, an undreamt of figure even 15 years ago. The range of styles including the growth of hip hop, the spread of venues programming dance, the levels
of high quality participatory work, the popularity of Strictly, means on pretty much every front I would say the audience has changed. Whether this will continue given the depressing news of decline in arts subjects being studied in the recent Education Policy Institute Report is hard to say.

Street arts are a growing form
 now, in everything from theatre to circus. Is site specific choreography going to replace theatre-based contemporary dances?
 Don’t think this needs to be an either/or situation, actually. The freedom to present work wherever the artists’ imaginations take us is great for us as audience members, and there is clearly an interest in shows performed in a variety of spaces. There is no question some choreography shines in the quiet concentration of a theatre, or needs nuanced lighting to fully reveal
its power. But recognising this doesn’t detract from those creators who are energised by using public spaces or outdoor locations to share their work. Audiences find their way through the richness of what is on offer, which is as it should be. The liberation from theatrical presentation as the sole way to experience art does not mean the death of it.

There have been announcements lately of measures to redress the gender inequality in theatre – 50-50 casts at the Globe, a whole season of female directors at the RSC. Is there a male hegemony in dance now too, or is it the other way around? There have been many debates, protest letters, summits, articles, pro- active commissioning programmes and more raging for the last few years around this topic in dance. Patriarchy is not art form specific. At Dance Umbrella this is something we are very aware of and try to work on throughout our programming. I’m happy that this year we have 12 women choreographing pieces in
the festival (which is 2/3rds of the programme).

Should there be a national theatre of dance, as Sadler’s Wells once had ambitions to be, featuring all dance disciplines, and if so would you like to run it?Mmn. If Sadler’s Wells (ACE investment currently £2.5m) was supported to the same level at the NT (ACE investment currently £17.2m) how interesting that story would be. And thanks for asking, but running DU and having the honour of becoming Chair at Siobhan Davies Dance this autumn, I am very happy where I am.

Dance Umbrella 2017 runs across London from 11 – 28 October www. danceumbrella.co.uk

 

 

 

 

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