News: Adzido Dance

Thursday 7 October 2004

Adzido Dance has had its £1m funding from Arts Council England withdrawn. As from the start of 2005 the company will close its offices and studio.

Arts Council England has decided to withdraw its revenue funding for Adzido from April 2005. The company had been working with ACE under its recovery programme to rebuild the Company’s financial sustainability and to re-vitalise its artistic vision, but it was felt that a viable business model could not be found. The current level of funding to March 2005 is £1,011,555.

Adzido was founded by George Dzikunu in 1984 as Adzido Pan-African Dance Ensemble. It gained regular funding from the Arts Council in 1991 to support a large full time contract company of dancers and musicians with a remit to tour Britain and overseas. Adzido has been the UK’s only large-scale black dance company and its many successes including Chesa Chesa and Yaa Asantewaa. However, during the late 1990s the Company became beset with deep-rooted financial problems. The company is now considering its future. Full time contracts for the dancers, musicians and management will be ended and the Company’s offices will be closed.

Adzido will continue its charitable activities; in particular the Board plans to continue its community and education work and to explore touring opportunities for its two new pieces Silk by Greg Maqoma and Footsteps of Africa by Zenzi Mbuli (creator of Gumboots), both of which premiered earlier this year. They’ll present this exciting new work to an invited London audience at the Linbury Studio Royal Opera House on Thursday 25 November 2004. It is hoped that the performance at the Royal Opera House will mark the launch of the Company’s new initiative, which will support the professional development of dancers, with particular emphasis on those working in the traditional African dance forms and their derivatives.

Sarah Weir, Executive Director of Arts Council England said that the decision to cease funding Adzido had been made “with regret” and re-iterated the organisations commitment to the art form.

“The development of African People’s Dance remains a key priority for us. The £1 million in revenue funding for Adzido in 2005/06 (as set out in our Spending Plan) will now be invested to support and develop new artists and companies within the African People’s dance sector across England”.


Clarie Middleton, interim artistic director for Adzido Dance, explains,

“We will end up on December 31 with a lot of money in the bank and that will be used to seed funding for the new tours… We are hoping some trusts and funders will come in for our community and education work. We can’t keep our office and studio, but Adzido will keep going.”

Read the full article, Jeremy Austin, The Stage, 7 Oct.04

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