The Week August 11th - August 15th

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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Welcome dear readers to another weekly round up of the arts in the news from the barbed fingers of our elite link gathering team.

Running Scared

We can't remember a week when we didn't report on people in the arts targeting other people in the arts because of their associations with Israel.

This week (as reported by the Guardian) it's the Tricycle Theatre in London "banning" the 'Jewish Film Festival' thanks to a £1,400 donation from the Israeli Embassy.

So tainted is the money, in the eyes of the board of the Tricycle, that they couldn't bring themselves to be associated with an event that has been running for years.

"However, Indhu Rubasingham, artistic director of the Tricycle, said due to the sensitivity of the ongoing Israeli-Palestine conflict, the theatre's board had taken the decision not to host the festival under its current sponsorship arrangement.

She said: "The festival receives funding from the Israeli embassy and, given the current conflict in Israel and Gaza, we feel it is inappropriate to accept financial support from any government agency involved."

The obvious irony here is that the Tricycle theatre receives money from Arts Council England and the UK government is involved, at any one time, in about a dozen armed conflicts around the world in one way or another.

UK Inc™ also supplies weapons to the Israelis and as Nick Cohen from The Spectator points out;

"The grant did not come with political conditions attached, any more than an Arts Council grant from the British state comes with insistence that artists promote the policies of the British government. The organisers were not desperate for the money, particularly after the Tricycle offered to cover the loss. (Or rather offered to cover it with taxpayers' money from its £725,000 Arts Council grant.) The organisers refused to comply nevertheless."

You know things are getting rough in the wide world of the arts when Article19 is in agreement with a writer from The Spectator.

No word yet on whether or not the Tricycle will be banning Israeli citizens from their venue because, ultimately, they are the ones, through their taxes, who fund the Israeli government and given the "sensitivity" of the current situation letting them through the door would probably not be appropriate... right?

Arts Council England, in a statement, said they were not going to do anything about such a blatantly political decision on the part of the Tricycle, stating;

"If the question arises as to whether the Arts Council should intervene in funded organisations we consider three things: whether the organisation is in breach of their funding agreement with the Arts Council, whether it is clear that they have broken the law, and whether they are in breach of the regulations monitored and enforced by the Charity Commission. In this case we are confident that the Tricycle is not in breach of these tests."

Nick Cohen again however disagrees;

"If it were an honourable organisation, the Arts Council would resolve the double standard by withdrawing funding. Its policy documents state: 'Our definition of diversity encompasses responding to issues around race, ethnicity, faith, disability, age, gender, sexuality, class and economic disadvantage and any social and institutional barriers that prevent people from creating, participating or enjoying the arts.' The closure of Britain's leading Jewish film festival surely prevents 'people from creating, participating or enjoying the arts.' "

This blatantly prejudicial nonsense should remind us all the the arts institutions of this country, the publicly funded ones at least, are not the play things of those in charge of them. Arts leaders in the UK are mostly silent on the internal politics and policies that effect millions of people in the UK and damage the UK's cultural landscape.

When it comes to bullying student dance companies, Israeli theatre companies or the Jewish Film Festival though too many are willing to give voice to their small minded and thoroughly subjective thinking with little or no consequence to their privileged positions.

[ Source: The Guardian ]
[ Source: The Spectator ]

Ramp it Up

There's trouble in the north reports the Yorkshire Post as local artists gear up to protest an exhibition by Greyson Perry not because of the content but because of the lack of accessibility of the venue to disabled people.

"Turner Prize-winning Perry, who is also famed for cross-dressing, will have a series of contemporary tapestries displayed in the South Wing of Temple Newsam House, in east Leeds, in his exhibition 'The Vanity of Small Differences' from August 23 to December 7 but the main exhibition space is accessible only by stairs."

Apparently the bitter north has not discovered the wonder of the ramp or expanded their technological horizons to the discovery of the lift (a device apparently invented in 287 BC, all hail Wikipedia for that one).

A spokesman fro Leeds City Council, who may or may not have been eating a pie at the time, said;

"...the level of accessibility at the Perry exhibition is "not what we would wish it to be", adding that one tapestry will be on show in a fully accessible area and a virtual tour and interactive downloadable app has been created."

So they can do "apps" but they can't do ramps or lifts... got it!

Here in TheLab™ we feel sure there is some sort of law about making buildings accessible to people with disabilities so the "leaders" [cough] of Leeds City Council will surely be hauled in for questioning by end of business today.

[ Source: Yorkshire Post ]
[ Via: Arts Professional ]

The Week In Tweets

On The Twitter a discussion developed about how best the illustrate our very own EvilImp™ in a dance piece. To which we responded with a video clip.

Have a nice weekend and if you feel so inclined please donate to our Kickstarter campaign.

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