First disabled arts champ named

First disabled arts champ named

The arts producer and strategist Andrew Miller has been appointed the first champion for the disabled in arts and culture.

New reports show how Brexit will hit the arts

New reports show how Brexit will hit the arts

English cultural organisations stand to lose £40m a year with Brexit, with 64% oif them currently working inside the European Union. The report from EUCLID, commissioned by Arts Council England, shows that between 2007 and 2016 the EU contributed £345m to England’s arts, museums and creative industries, or £40m a year.

Boost for Banbury Museum expansion

Councillors have agreed plans to double the size of Banbury’s museum in a £5m expansion scheme.

Creative Scotland apology over funding row

Creative Scotland apology over funding row

Archer promises review of funding process

Books by the Ocean

Books by the Ocean

A ‘crazy’ notion to bring a literary festival to Sri Lanka has proved an astounding success. Patrick Kelly reports

Cultural kids' programme reaching out

Cultural kids' programme reaching out

An Arts Council programme devised to help young children from deprived areas through involvement in the arts is working, according to an evaluation report published today.

Call for arts support in Northern Ireland

Call for arts support in Northern Ireland

Arts sector representatives and tourist companies in Northern Ireland have called on politicians to recognise the important role the arts plays in the economy of the region.

Music venues survey shows third ‘under threat’

Music venues survey shows third ‘under threat’

But Scotland embraces ‘Agent of Change’ principle.

Hockney is critics' choice

Hockney is critics' choice

David Hockney is to receive the Critics’ Circle Award for 2017, only the second time a visual artist has been selected for the prestigious prize in the Circle’s 105-year history.

Photojournalism's art gallery

Photojournalism's art gallery

A new website at last gives Fleet Street’s photographers a showcase for their work as art. Simon Tait spoke to its founders, Fleet Street veterans Alan Sparrow and Bret Painter-Spanyol

Museums' collecting frozen by funding cuts

Museums' collecting frozen by funding cuts

Britain’s museums are being increasingly excluded from the art market by cuts in funding, stifling the acquisitions that are the life force for public collections.

Creative industries on track to create 1m local jobs - Nesta

The creative industries are driving the UK’s economic growth, expanding twice as fast as any other sector, according to new research by Nesta.

BAFTA/BFI set harassment zero-tolerance rules

BAFTA/BFI set harassment zero-tolerance rules

Film and television organisations led by BAFT and the BFI have set a series of principles and guidelines to deal with bullying and sexual harassment in the industry.

Tax deal takes early Freuds back to Lakes

Tax deal takes early Freuds back to Lakes

Two really portraits by Lucian Freud have been left to the nation in lieu of tax and allocated to the Abbott Hall Gallery in Kendal.

Mary Beard to front Front Row

Mary Beard to front Front Row

The classics professor Mary Beard is to anchor the revamped television version of the arts review magazine Front Row when it returns in the spring.

17c mystery painting still baffling experts

17c mystery painting still baffling experts

This large picture of 1665 by an anonymous artist is one of the great mysteries of the art world, and is the centerpiece of a forthcoming major Norwich Castle Museum exhibition.

London goes Underground

London goes Underground

Photographs of some faces and places associated with the capital go on display at five London Tube stations this week.

British Art Fair goes to the Saatchi

British Art Fair goes to the Saatchi

Celebrating its 30th birthday this year, the 20/21 British Art Fair has changed ownership and will move to the Saatchi Gallery.

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

 

 

 

 

Print Email