Playing the Numbers

panta rei dans lullaby

Video - Panta Rei Danseteater 'Lullaby'

Norwegian dance company Panta Rei Danseteater, late last year, conducted a little experiment whereby three dance makers created two pieces with the same name based on the same idea, featuring three male dancers and two musicians, to see what the outcome was.

June 2nd, 2016

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by Article19

We begin a detailed analysis of dance funding over the last 12 months and then some with a look at Article19’s local region (the North East of England) covered by Arts Council England North East (ACE NE). Reading press releases, hyperbole and gushing praise from the high and mighty in the arts world you would think that there has never been a better time to work in this hobbled profession.

Nothing brings out the truth better than cold hard figures however and ACE NE were good enough to provide us with this information in record time (less than 24 hours).

Information has been requested from each of the ACE offices around the country and a comprehensive analysis will take place when those figures come in. Although ACE is just one organisation now there are still regional offices that focus on providing funding to artists within their operational area.

The amounts awarded vary from under £600 (bringing an Afro Caribbean drummer to Newcastle Upon Tyne) to £140,000 for touring by Sakoba Dance Theatre, a dance company that is apparently based in this region but you wouldn’t know it unless you looked very very hard.

Overall you could break the funding down into a few categories (very loose categories) ranging from touring, production of new work, professional development to providing education programmes to any number or category of people.

Let's look at the numbers first then we'll have some analysis; The figures represent the financial year 2005/2006 which runs from April 1st of each year.

Categories are as follows; (P) Production of new work - (E) Education - (T) Training - (R&D) Research and Development - (D) Development.

Name
Type
Year
Amount (GBP)
F
Tim Rowley
E
05/06
562
Riverside Community Health Project
P
05/06
1,075
Peter Challoner
P
05/06
1,125
Geoffrey Hopson
T
05/06
1,475
good stuff
Sangini
P
05/06
1,500
Chinese Arts Association
P
05/06
1,994
Imagine8 Dance
E
05/06
2,242
Tamara Ashley
R&D
05/06
2,400
Fiona Wright
P
05/06
2,479
Crook Community Samba Arts
E
05/06
2,500
Garner Harris
T
05/06
2,780
The Gala Theatre
D
05/06
3,000
Simon Williams
P
05/06
3,300
Alnwick Gardens
P
05/06
3,500
Xue Yang
D
05/06
3,655
Caroline Bowditch
P
05/06
3,720
Helen Williams-Longo
T
05/06
3,800
Joy Packard
T
05/06
4,500
Nicole Vivien Watson
P
05/06
4,970
Karas
T
05/06
4,999
Garner Harris
P
05/06
5,000
Falling Cat
E
05/06
5,000
good stuff
Victoria Mateu Simeon
P
05/06
6,775
Fathom Project
P
05/06
9,450
Dora Frankel
E
05/06
9,825
No Limits Theatre Company
P
05/06
14,000
Vicky Mateu Simeon
P
05/06
14,065
Stephen Wright
P
05/06
21,825
warning
University of Sunderland
D
05/06
25,170
Stephen Wright
P
05/06
30,000
warning
Tees Valley Dance
P/E
05/06
30,000
Tin Productions
D
05/06
35,329
Ballet Lorent
P/E
05/06
74,870
good stuff
Sakoba
P
05/06
140,000
Total for 05/06
523,385

[ some figures have been rounded down to the nearest pound for clarity ]

How Generous Are We?

On the face of it spending over £500,000 per year on the dance sector for a single region may sound rather generous. Currently the population of the North East of England stands at approximately 2.5million (2001 figures from the National Statistics Office) which means a per head spend of just 20p per person on providing dance activity to the region by way of independent artists and companies.

£369,648 of that money was spent on either creating new work or a combination of creating, touring and education projects. The vast majority of spending on production and touring (£214,870) is given to Sakoba and Ballet Lorent, both of whom receive core funding from ACE Central. This brings us down to about 14p per head of population in the North East of England.

From the information we were supplied with we could roughly determine that just £20,129 was spent on specific education projects with dance as the main element.

Of course the regions of the UK are not surrounded by walls and companies and artists freely move in and out of the region from all over the country delivering performances, education projects and other artistic projects for the general public. These artists may be funded by other ACE offices or ACE Central.

It is very likely however that funding given by a regional office is being used to provide artistic activity that will primarily take place within a particular region.

Dance City, the regions National Dance Agency, is also not included in this list. ACE NE, according to their own figures, have not granted Dance CIty any additional money beyond what they get from ACE Central as part of their fixed term funding.

According to ACE Central, Dance City will receive £355,900 in core funding for their operations this financial year. Funding from other sources, sponsors, local councils, european funding and so on is much more difficult to collate.

Over the next few weeks we will be bringing together spending details from across England and Scotland to try and build a picture of just how much money is spent on dance per region and where that money is going.

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