The Week July 28th - August 1st

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 return, once again, of the week that was in the arts where we churn through the big stories from the week, add a touch of blistering sarcasm and maybe a few jokes all for your reading pleasure!

Bad Actors

We commented last week on the protests being orchestrated against an Israeli theatre company that was set to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year. The protesters, many of whom are artists, wanted the show cancelled.

Incubator Theatre, who combine opera with hip-hop apparently, were on at the Underbelly venue that combines a large number of performance spaces around one complex. According to the Independent the protestors have gotten their way if only temporarily.

"An Israeli show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has been cancelled following disruptions from pro-Palestinian demonstrators over the situation in Gaza, with another production set to face similar protests when it arrives next week."

Not only were the protestors disrupting Incubator Theatre's piece but a lot of other shows as well;

"Dozens of members of the Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign showed up to picket the performance, demonstrating against Israel's policies in Gaza. It is understood that up to 15 other shows were affected by the noise from the protests with some forced to offer refunds"

The theatre company have some hope though as the organisers and promoters of the show try to find an alternative venue for the show to take place;

"The City was due to run until 25 August. The organisers are searching for another location to stage the show where there will not be a similar level of disruption to other venues, but are set to refund tickets to the forthcoming performances of the show."

It was widely reported in the media, following the shows cancellation, that the current problems in the middle east immediately evaporated into thin air for no other reason than a small theatre company had been hounded out of a performance venue.

We might be making that up though.

[ Source: The Independent ]
[ "Reductio ad Absurdum" on Article19 ]

Bad Teacher

The Stage is reporting (stop laughing at the back) that the National Association of Dance Teachers (NADT) is not at all happy about the way the dance GCSE will be assessed in the future.

Apparently there will be a significant drop in the amount of practical work being done. As you can imagine dance is almost 100% practical, at this level at least.

"Currently, a maximum of 80% of assessment for dance and music GCSEs can be through non-examination. The government has proposed to reduce this to 60%.
Similarly, for AS and A Level qualifications, the government plans to decrease practical assessment for dance - from 60% to 50% - and for music, from 70% to 60%.
The National Dance Teachers Association said the reforms would force teachers to spend a larger amount of time preparing students for theoretical examination."

So instead of learning to dance, learning technique, learning choreography, learning to work with others the young folk of this country will be literally "learning" about dance in the academic sense but not so much the practical sense.

Hats off to the Department of Education (DfE), they really know how to educate... or not as the case may be.

Instead of storming the barricades with pitch forks and torches and setting about those responsible the NADT is going to write a "response" and then give the DfE some detention or make them sit on the naughty step, whichever is more appropriate.

Nothing says "we're serious" like a strongly worded letter.

[ Source: The Stage ]

Dance Not So United

A tale of woe from the dance sector as London based Dance United is set to close its doors to the masses as reported in this very publication in this very paragraph on this very day.

Dance United specialises in working with young people on various kinds of dance projects. Think of them as a special forces unit for dance in education.

In a statement on their website the group said;

"It is with great regret that on Wednesday 24 July 2014, the Trustees of London-based operation, Dance United - generally acknowledged to be one the most innovative and successful contemporary dance companies working with young people in Britain - found they had no alternative but to decide to cease trading as the company, in its current form, cannot any longer create enough funds to meet its liabilities."

There is no ACE funding logo on their website so it's not clear if they ever applied for funding but given some of the inexplicable funding boosts given to companies like Akram Khan and Random in the latest NPO round you have to wonder if £100,000 per year wasn't available to support what they do.

We should point out once again that the National Youth Dance Company is in receipt of £400,000 a year from ACE and the DfE for no particular reason that we can think of.

Hope remains though since Dance United Yorkshire, which has become a, sort of, splinter group, is a recently anointed NPO in the wide world of dance so northern young folk will have somebody fighting their corner.

They just have to hang on until April next year.

[ Source: Dance United ]

The Week in Tweets

Most dance company Twitter feeds need a serious injection of personality and a big reduction on the marketing. We've long argued for handing over the reigns to the dancers and Luka Owen, dancer from Motionhouse Dance Theatre (who deal with social media better than most), shows us why!

Have a nice weekend.

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