Ace Propping Up ENB

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's (ACE) recent funding announcements for their spending plans over the next three years were notable for the funding giants description of having to make "hard choices" in the coming years. The Independent has revealed that some of these hard choices were whether or not to save English National Ballet (ENB) from oblivion.

While contemporary dance companies received modest increases in their funding for the next three years and a couple of companies lost their funding altogether the classical companies received substantial increases to their already well funded coffers.

It has now emerged that ACE has been propping up ENB for some time as the company suffers a drop in audience numbers and the recent loss of its artistic director Mats Skoog.

The Independent reports;

"For the past two years, the Arts Council has been quietly advancing £750,000-£800,000 of the following year's grant; ENB faced insolvency last year, and the ACE had to decide whether to let it go down or not. The £2.3 million package is a vote in ENB's future."

The £2.3million is from ACE's so-called "stabilisation fund" although many in the arts have another name for the scheme which at this hour of the day is un-publishable. The stabilisation fund was introduced years ago in a desperate attempt to save many large scale companies that were floundering. The scheme was heavily criticised for appearing to endorse poor management and incompetence in the large scale organisations in the UK almost all of which at the time had substantial deficits.

English National Opera and Royal Opera House have received substantial amounts of money from this fund in the past.

As we highlighted in our recent editorial on the ACE funding review, in the dance world they are pleading poverty whilst simultaneously providing large funding increases to big ballet and contemporary dance continues to struggle.

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