Dance City Adrift

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

watch now

File this one under "making a drama out of a mundane non story". Dance City, one of the UK's National Dance Agencies (NDA), based in Newcastle upon Tyne is now sans one Artistic Director and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) following the resignation of Penny Rae after just 18 months (or thereabouts) in the job.

Dance City would provide no reason for Ms Rae's departure beyond citing "personal reasons" in a press release that was never actually released.

When asked if Ms Rae's departure was in any way related to a letter sent to both Dance City and Arts Council England by dance artists located in the region they declined to comment.

The letter, dated January 20th but received by ACE in July, sought clarity concerning Dance City's objectives under the new AD and in particular the fate of the "Dance Connect" program that provided support to professional artists.

When contacted on Thursday 20th of August to confirm the resignation of Ms Rae Dance City's communications people refused to do so citing that such confirmation needed to be "signed off' by the board. A press release was promised the following day. Nothing arrived.

It took a further five days and a bit of sleight of hand to get the resignation confirmed, by Arts Council North East not Dance City, before they finally let the cat out of the bag.

When asked why Ms Rae had not attended the performances of a visiting Japanese dance company more than a month ago Dance City told us at that point Ms Rae had already resigned. Ironically the former AD of Dance City and now Head of Dance Strategy for ACE, Janet Archer, did attend one of the performances.

For their part ACE North East had this to say;

"With reference to the letter received by Arts Council England, North East on 20 July 2009 (RE: Dance Artists Forum North East: request for information). Arts Council Officers are working closely with Dance City at their annual review, (scheduled for September 2009) to consider the points raised in this letter and make a full response.

On 6 August 2009, Arts Council England, North East responded to the letter informing the group that a full response would be generated.

The board of Dance City have appointed Ian McKeown, current Director of Finance and Operations as interim Director of Dance City until a new Artistic Director is appointed. The artistic programme at Dance City is in place and the board members and Ian will ensure the continued development of dance opportunities for communities in the north east."

Currently the DC facility, rebuilt a few years ago for £7.5Million and an ACE Regularly Funded Organsation to the tune of over £300,000 per annum, is without an Artistic Director or General Manager.

The current interim CEO is Ian McKeown, the organisations Finance Manager. Ms Rae's name has already been expunged from DC's website.

A letter, purportedly written by Mr McKeown, was posted on DC's website this past Friday thanking Ms Rae for her efforts. DC suggest it will take some five months to find a replacement who can last slightly longer than a year and a half.

blog comments powered by Disqus

"The" Dance House

Old Fish New Fish