BDE 2010: Confusion Clarified

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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The programming process for the up and coming British Dance Edition 2010, hosted by DanceXchange in Birmingham, appears to be causing some confusion and/or consternation among applicants to the biennial festival.

Unlike other dance festivals BDE serves as a promotional platform for professional dance companies with the main emphasis on inviting dance promoters from around the world to see an intensive block of dance performances during a four day bun fight.

In an email sent out to "artist/company" applicants, but not intended for general release, DanceXchange explained the process behind choosing the companies that would ultimately present their work.

"David Massingham [Artistic Director of DanceXchange] is leading a BDE programming team, which has responsibility for developing the event and the performances within it. Final decisions for inclusion in the programme of BDE 2010 rest with this team and the curatorial approach as laid out by David."

DanceXchange today sought to clarify and expand on that comment when asked by Article19;

"The BDE programming team is three people..... and we have all been looking at work whether live or on DVD, we've undertaken this process together so there are some companies that David [Massingham] might not have seen but [the others] have seen and we're strongly advocating for them to be in the program or vice-versa. So it's very much a team approach but final decisions obviously rest with David because he's the Director of the NDA (National Dance Agency) that's producing the event.... but it's very much a team approach to the programming of the event."

Another line from the email raised a few eyebrows here in TheLabā„¢;

"Arts Council England has not nominated individual artists or companies. It does however expect English artists and companies to represent a significant element of BDE."

DanceXchange clarified that the reference to "English" companies was not related to the nationality of the dance maker in charge of said company but to the funding area that the company is located within. Since the UK is the confusing place that it is England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have separate funding bodies for the arts.

Both Scottish Arts Council and Arts Council Wales are providing funding to the festival. Arts Council Northern Ireland is not.

DanceXchange was keen to emphasise that there are no quotas in place and the final decision on participation in the festival rests with DanceXchange.

BDE 2010 runs from February 3rd to 6th 2010 in Birmingham.

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