In March 2016 East London Dance brought together an eclectic mix of creative and commercial organisations to invest in the Dance Enterprise Ideas Fund: Canary Wharf Arts and Events, English National Ballet, Foundation for FutureLondon, Redbridge Drama Centre, Rich Mix and Sadler’s Wells.
The Dance Enterprise Ideas Fund awarded bursaries totalling £25,000 to eight outstanding dance creatives who successfully pitched their ideas at the Dance Enterprise Ideas Summit a day-long event hosted by East London Dance at Stratford Circus Arts Centre.
In the intervening time the projects have been gathering speed and are starting to come to fruition. To celebrate these fantastic ideas, we have brought together a quick guide to the winning pitches.
Jade Shaw / Parkour Dance Company – Sacred Sons (Awarded £4,910)
Sacred Sons is a life transforming parkour-dance project that encompasses a 12-week course aimed at young men with emotional behavioural difficulties, family workshops aimed at male bonding and a site specific parkour-dance performance. The performance element of this project takes place on Sun 28th August at the Olympic Park. This dynamic but sensitive piece draws on aspects of parkour, tricking (acro-martial arts), physical theatre and contact contemporary dance to question modern masculinity, investigate humanity and explore brotherhood and ‘rite of passage’.
@ParkourDance | parkourdance.co.uk
Lanre Malaolu / Protocol Dance Company – I Can’t Breathe (Awarded £2,260)
I Can’t Breathe is a dance theatre production inspired by cases of police brutality towards black men in America and the UK. Put in what has been described as a “chokehold” by an arresting Staten Island police officer on July 17, 2014, middle aged black man Eric Garner, exhaled “I can’t breathe” 14 times before dying from compressions to his neck. Eric was unarmed and not committing any crime. The police officer did not receive any criminal charges. A fusion of text, hip-hop & contemporary dance and physical theatre, the piece will take an in depth look at racism in our society.
@LanreMalaolu | protocoldance.co.uk
Lee Griffiths / The Company – Artists 4 Artists (Awarded £5,000)
Artists 4 Artists was born out of a conversation between Lee Griffiths (The Company), Joseph Toonga (Just Us Dance) and Greenwich Dance Artistic Director Kat Bridge, concerning the lack of information, support and opportunities for hip hop theatre artists at all stages of their careers. It has therefore been created to upskill and champion the hip hop theatre community, enable peer to peer support and encourage independent artists. Artists 4 Artists will host three evenings of performance, sharings, discussions and workshops from 13 – 15 October 2016 at Redbridge Drama Centre, that will help bring hip hop artists together to share experiences and ideas.
@LeeNgriff | @The_Companytc
Cathy Waller / Cathy Waller Company – The Sensory Sound Project (Awarded £1,470)
Cathy Waller Company are changing the way deaf audiences and deaf dancers can access, watch and enjoy dance. Over the course of The Sensory Sound Project, and with the collaboration of a multitude of deaf artists, organisations and engineers, the creation of brand new sensory devices will close the access gap between dance and deafness. Key technological ideas have been created, extensive relationships with organisations, venues and deaf artists cemented and, following a UK wide survey to gather vital information from people with deafness and hearing loss, a prototype will be launched in November 2016.
@CathyWaller | cathywaller.com
Wayne Parsons / Wayne Parsons Dance – Vestige (Awarded £5,000)
Vestige is a 40-minute dance-theatre work that explores posthumous fame. In Vestige we meet three characters who all share stories of Livia, a celebrity they all knew. They talk of how they’ve captured her essence through different media – a portrait, a biography, and an archive of her belongings. Their contrasting accounts of Livia jostle for authenticity as Vestige exposes how little control we have of the narratives of our lives once we’ve passed. Vestige will be created between December 2016 and February 2017 supported by Cambridge Junction, English National Ballet, DanceEast and The Place with the first full performance at Rich Mix on 25 February 2017. Vestige is a collaboration with Writer Ankur Bahl, and Associate Director at Theatre Royal Stratford East, Pooja Ghai who will act as Dramaturg.
@wp_dance | wayneparsonsdance.com
Cindy Claes – The Dance Backpackers talk and documentary TV show (Awarded £2,425)
Cindy Claes’ Dance Documentary and TV Talk Show is based on 1000 Pieces Puzzle, her international dance exchange of emerging artists. Created to enable diverse voices to be heard, the program nurtures leadership within varying street dance communities as participants go through an intensive leadership program whilst expanding their skills as dance theatre makers. The pilot TV show will document the exchange process in February 2017 and be completed by March 2017.
@dancebackpacker | cindyclaes.com
Anna Buonomo – Water Under the Bridge (Awarded £2,950)
Aiming to promote well-being, intergenerational dialogue and to reduce isolation in the elderly Water Under the Bridge is a text and movement-based outdoor promenade project devised by young professionals working with older community dancers to be performed near a body of water. A 4-week programme of creative movement workshops for participants aged 60 and over will take the project title – referring to something which has happened in the past but which no longer matters – as a starting point to explore the physical qualities of water and its human associations with emotion and memory, culminating in an informal sharing which will take place in February 2017.
@bulletnb | annabuonomo.com
Jo Rhodes – Challenge 59 (Awarded £985)
A fast food restaurant in Shanghai promises to serve customers within 59 seconds. With obesity, mental health issues and time spent on media all on the rise within our child population, Challenge 59 asks what else could be done in 59 seconds to empower young people to take responsibility for their health and lifestyle choices. Challenge 59 gives teachers, pupils and community groups access to a Digital Dance Education resource which empowers them to create their own 59 second dance-based health films to share with their communities online. They will also be challenged to submit a dance film storyboard to be created with professional film artists. The project is aiming for a September 2017 launch.
The Dance Enterprise Ideas Fund was established in 2015 to enable dance creatives to research, test and/or launch new artistic and entrepreneurial ideas. These projects were pitched to a panel of dance experts consisting of Polly Risbridger from East London Dance, Sian Astrop from Canary Wharf Arts + Events, Fleur Derbyshire-Fox from English National Ballet, Jonny Sidall from Redbridge Drama Centre, Rhiannon Wilkins from Rich Mix and Eva Martinez from Sadler’s Wells on 21 March, 2016. The fund offers an award of up to £5,000 plus in-kind support from its supporting partners: Hoxton Hall, Studio Wayne McGregor and the University of East London. The Dance Enterprise Ideas Fund is presented as part of the Dance Enterprise Hub – a programme of skills development, creative incubation for new ideas, start-up funding and mentoring to enable dance artists to establish sustainable and successful creative businesses and/or careers. It is supported by Foundation for FutureLondon.