ACE Blocks NDA Information Request

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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Arts Council England (ACE) has denied all requests made by Article19 under the Freedom of Information Act for yearly assessment reports of all National Dance Agencies in England (NDA's).

In particulcar Article19 was requesting the final evaluation by ACE of Dance City following the opening of their new £7.5million dance facility in Newcastle upon Tyne.

ACE has cited exemptions under both Section 36; " [providing the information would] Inhibit the free and frank provision of advice; Inhibit the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation; Prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs." and Section 43: "Disclosure of some of this documentation would prejudice or would be likely to prejudice commercial interests of any person."

The letter also states, more than once, that the information cannot be provided because;

"There is a public interest in full transparency of public authorities [and] There is a public interest in maintaining good relations with our funded organisations."

Article19 was seeking the information to prepare a feature piece on the general health of the NDA network throughout England. The network is funded to provide support services to professional dancers and community classes for the general public. ACE provides over £4million of public money to the network of nine NDA's.

The National Dance Agencies are; Dance East, The Place, Dance City, DanceXchange, South East Dance, Dance Northwest, Dance 4, Swindon Dance, Yorkshire Dance.

No representative from ACE was immediately available for comment. Article19 will appeal the decision with the Information Commissioner.

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