News: Coming soon - The Jerwood DanceHouse

Tuesday 21 July 2009

The Jerwood DanceHouse, a major new centre for dance – and the home of DanceEast is on target for its opening this Autumn, which incudes an open weekend from 9 – 11 October and a Gala evening featuring Sylvie Guillem, Tamara Rojo, Akram Khan, Richard Alston, Wayne McGregor, Mark Morris and Russell Maliphant, hosted by the Balletboyz on 7 November.

Situated at the heart of a £70 million redevelopment of the waterfront area in Ipswich, Suffolk, it will be the first new dance building in the UK to be opened in a comparatively rural setting – easily accessible by road and rail.

Assis Carreiro, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of DanceEast since 2000 and the driving force behind the development is confident that the state of the art facilities in the £8.9 million DanceHouse designed by John Lyall Architects, will be a magnet to dance artists who want to escape urban environments to make new work, as well as becoming a new cultural hub for the East of England. “We want the entire community to have ownership of this facility and to feel that it is theirs whether for a coffee or a class” she said. “The Jerwood DanceHouse will be beautiful, majestic, practical and comfortable; but most importantly it will be the people that inhabit its spaces that will make it come alive. Raising capital funds is one big challenge that we have now achieved. But, once our doors open, our biggest challenge will be to ensure this DanceHouse has a vibrancy that is infectious and captures everyone’s imagination.”

The Jerwood DanceHouse covers 2,500 square metres and includes four custom built dance studios including a 200 seat studio theatre with full production facilities, dressing rooms, therapy suites, green room, new headquarters offices for DanceEast, and a café and public courtyard, with views over the fast developing waterfront.

The opening season will include Inspired! an international symposium on dance training with performances and a project with Wayne McGregor| Random Dance in October. Mark Morris Dance Group will be in residence in November, with performances at Snape Maltings as part of a Dance Umbrella/Dance Consortium national tour. Developing and presenting dance theatre for families will be a priority in the new DanceHouse and at Christmas Italian company TPO, one of the world’s leading visual theatre companies for children will present their much admired production, Butterflies. Choreographer Will Tuckett will be in residence later in the year developing his new work for young audiences.

The Jerwood DanceHouse has been funded through a mix of private and public partnership, including a major Capital Lottery Grant from Arts Council England, East of England Development Agency, Wharfside Regeneration, Suffolk County Council, Ipswich Borough Council, the Jerwood Foundation, the Garfield Weston Foundation and many other trusts, foundations and individual donors.


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