The Week August 4th - August 8th

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 the latest week in the arts. Summer time is normally quiet time but this week saw dancers revolting and selective reasoning stifling free expression at the EFF.

Out of Flanders

Flanders Today is reporting (no, seriously) that the Royal Ballet of Flanders has parted company with their new(ish) artistic director Assiss Carriero, the former head of Dance East in Ipswich.

After just two years in the post Ms Carriero was apparently shown the door after the company started to fall apart at the seams, literally.

"Over the last two years, the company has toured far less, giving dancers fewer opportunities to perform, and the level of physical condition decreased. That meant that the injuries suffered routinely by dancers took longer to heal. A dossier was put together containing "dozens" of complaints to be submitted to the committee charged with accident prevention and protection in the workplace."

When the company you work for is starting to compile "dossiers" of things that are going wrong then the writing is very much on the wall. Ms Carriero's appointment was baffling, to say the least, given that she was never a dancer or a choreographer in any capacity, ever. We, here in TheLab™, are not aware of any dance company in the UK where the AD is not a current or former professional dancer.

It's like asking the TheImp™ to manage Manchester United football team. It would be entertaining for sure but ultimately disastrous.

"She had little dance experience, unions complained, and mainly worked in co-ordinating roles. "She let it be known that she will not be attending rehearsals or auditions herself, but will bring in assistants and consultants to support her in those activities,"

Any choreographers or company AD's reading this will, at the time of reading, be cleaning coffee from their computer screens. How do you run a dance company, manage repertoire and hire dancers without being "in the room"?

Things apparently got worse at the Antwerp based ensemble when the dancers started revolting against the leadership with no confidence votes and by, literally, walking out in search of pastures new.

"Dancers wrote a letter to the organisation's board late last year citing that 69% of them had voted no confidence in the artistic director. Eventually, one-third of the company left - 15 dancers out of 45, including some of the more prominent names."

Royal Ballet of Flanders never did fully explain what they were thinking when they hired the former AD of Dance East to begin with. Dance companies need artistic directors to, you know, direct the art. You can't just sit in an office and run the whole show from afar using "consultants".

No word yet on a replacement but Filip van Huffel is "in country" and could possibly be persuaded to right the ship. We feel sure he would want to attend rehearsals, and auditions, and classes and performances.

[ Source: Flanders Today ]


Another success for childish fist thumping as The Scotsman reports on the withdrawal of Pola, an Israeli student dance company, from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival currently underway in the Scottish capital.

"The troupe, targeted by pro-Palestine campaigners because it is attached to the state-funded Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, were warned by the venue's producers last week of the risk of large-scale protests outside if their visit went ahead."

This follows the story from last week about the show by Israeli theatre company Incubator being forced to cancel their month long run because of the disruption caused by the protestors at their venue.

"Doubts over the group's visit to Edinburgh emerged on Friday hours after the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign vowed to step up its campaigning by trying to have Pola's show, La Karina, called as part of a "cultural boycott." However both the council and the venue insisted the decision to cancel the shows had been taken by the university company."

The protestors take issue with pretty much anything that is funded by the Israeli public (although they use phrases like "state sponsored").

What the protestors don't take issue with is any other publicly funded arts company from other countries that could be linked to the ongoing chaos in the Middle East.

The UK supplies weapon systems to the Israeli Defence Force for example so these guys should also be demonstrating outside any show funded by Arts Council England or Creative Scotland.

Perhaps the main difference is that the UK government is not run by Israelis? Make of that what you will.

[ Source: The Scotsman ]

The Week In Tweets

At Article19 we launched our first ever fundraising campaign for £3,000 so we can keep this whole thing on the internets and make more stuff for you, our dear readers.

And with that massively obvious piece of self promotion we wish you all a great weekend.

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