In a spectacular display of ignorance Arts Council England's, so-called, "Dance Mapping Study" has come to the conclusion the rest of the dance world came to 25 years ago that dancers don't get paid enough.
We should either celebrate that the funding monolith showed up to the party at all or march en-masse to their London offices, pitch forks and burning torches in hand, and chuck the whole lot of them in the Thames to see if **** really does float (snip, Ed!)
The Stage newspaper, bastions of all things understated, wrote;
"ACE fears that the low pay will affect the sustainability of careers, leadership and the ability for "potential dance champions to emerge"
What dancer's fear is that low pay will result in them not being able to buy food, pay for physio or live their lives like most normal people do and could probably care less about being the champion of anything.
Janet Archer, Director of National Dance Strategy (or variation thereof), is quoted;
"[Dance] artists and producers will often elect to work for nothing or very little, in order to get things done. It should not be acceptable for talented people to rely on passion alone to fuel their work."
This statement is suitably ironic considering that Ms Archer, as the AD of Dance City, one of the UK's National Dance Agencies, for more than 10 years, was responsible more than once for asking dancers to work for nothing during her tenure. Well, at least she speaks from experience!
So what does ACE intend to do to rectify this most egregious of problems? More funding? A strongly worded recommendation to the Department For Work and Pensions to enact laws stipulating minimum pay levels for professional dancers?
Not a bit of it. ACE will, as always, sit on its hands, have lots of meetings and, one presumes, spawn more spurious "studies" telling us things we already know. Up next week, ACE says Sadler's Wells really "is dance" or some such bullsh*t.
We'll have more on the Dance Mapping Study very soon.