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ARTS CUTS: Featherstonehaughs/Cholmondeleys to close




11.08.2011 / Arts funding / 0 Comments

Dance companies are biggest casualty of cuts


The contemporary dance companies the Featherstonehaughs and the Cholmondeleys are to close after more than 25 years of touring the British Isles, after losing all their Arts Council subsidy.

The companies – the former exclusively male dancers and the latter female, whose award-winning work has been critically acclaimed throughout their careers – are the biggest casualties of the ACE cuts. Their joint funding had been reduced from £362,224, last year to £337,230 in 2011-12, and have lost all their funding after this year.

The Featherstonehaughs will fulfill their final British tour this autumn, starting at Eastleigh in Hampshire on October 5, and both companies will close after their last performance at London's Riverside Studios on November 26.

The reason, founder, choreographer and artistic director Lea Anderson told AI, is that they could not fit into the Arts Council’s new model of funding in which national portfolio organisations have to show that they can match ACE funding with equal amounts of box office earnings and raised income.

“We couldn’t do it” she said.  We can’t manage to operate without Arts Council funding, and with our kind of work we are unable to find private money, We’re not attractive, for some reason, for that kind of money.

“We considered trying to make a version of what we do, but it would be so far away from our vision that it’s a lot clearer to close the companies down” she said.

“I don’t want to be rude or disparaging about what is being funded, but I think it’s a terrible shame that the work of the Cholmondeleys and the  Featherstonehaughs is ending because I feel it’s been very much about the development of dance as a broad movement form, and a sophisticated formn but that there’s no rom for us in the funding portfolio despite everyone agreeing that the work we’re doing is very important, the work of the companies is very popular. I just think it’s a shame that there’s no room for us.”



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