News: Rural Retreat for future leaders in dance

Friday 16 December 2011 by Carmel Smith

Robert Parker – new artistic director of Elmhurst School for Dance. Photo: Eric Richmond

The 25 emerging artistic leaders and producers who have been selected to take part in DanceEast’s Rural Retreat from 6 – 9 January next year will be hearing from leaders in advertising and sport, as well as well as influential figures in dance and theatre.

The organiser of the biennial Rural Retreats, DanceEast Director Assis Carreiro said: “The role of artistic director is the most highly coveted and yet is the position which has had little or no rigorous review. There is no training or preparation for the biggest job in dance. More often than not, former dancers and choreographers are handed the top job with no qualifications or previous directorial experience. Not even football managers get away with this. I am truly committed to changing this culture and the Rural Retreats are one step towards addressing these serious gaps.”

Amongst the speakers are Sir John Hegarty, Worldwide Creative Director and Founder of award winning advertising agency, Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Daniel Topolski, writer, broadcaster, world championship gold medallist rower and former Olympic coach.

Other guest speakers include: Alistair Spalding, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Sadler’s Wells; David McAllister, Artistic Director of Australian Ballet; Carrie Cracknel*l, co-Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre and *Kathleen Soriano, Director of Exhibitions, Royal Academy of Arts.

London based participants at the Rural Retreat which this year takes place near Woodbridge in Suffolk include Amanda Britton – Head of Academic Studies at Rambert School of Ballet & Contemporary Dance; Claire Cunningham – Independent Choreographer and rehearsal director; Joce Giles – Head of Learning & Participation, Rambert Dance Company, MA in Cultural Leadership; Steven McRae – The Royal Ballet, Principal Dancer and Business Management-Leadership undergraduate; Etta Murfitt – Associate Director, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures; Cameron McMillan – Independent Choreographer and Associate Artist, DanceEast; Viacheslav Samodurov – New Artistic Director of Ekaterinburg Ballet, Choreographer and Former Principal Dancer, The Royal Ballet; Alexander Whitley – Independent choreographer and dancer Wayne McGregor | Random Dance.

Christopher Hampson – choreographer and Artistic Director designate of Scottish Ballet and Robert Parker – the new artistic director of Elmhurst School for Dance were both accepted for the Retreat before their new appointments – as was Former Royal Ballet Principal Viacheslav Samodurov – the New Artistic Director of Ekaterinburg Ballet – indicating that the right artists are being selected for this vital opportunity to learn about leadership.
They are joined on Rural Retreat 2012 by

Nova Bhattacharya (Canada) – Artistic Director at Ipsita Nova Dance Projects
Mathias Bruehlman (Germany) – Ballet Master and Choreographic Assistant at Staatsoper Hannover
Daniela Cardim (Brazil) – Former Dutch National Ballet dancer, Independent Choreographer and BA Arts Management undergraduate
Robert Curran (Australia) – Australian Ballet, Principal Artist & Bachelor of Business Studies undergraduate
Gabor Kapin (Hungary/USA) – Carolina Ballet, Principal Dancer
Bastian Manders (The Netherlands) – former dancer and Theatre Production Management undergraduate
Jorden Morris (Canada) – Independent Choreographer
Matjash Mrozewski (Canada) – Independent Choreographer
Emily Molnar (Canada) – Artistic Director of Ballet British Columbia
Tamas Nagy (Holland/Hungary) – Dutch National Ballet, Principal Dancer
Christina Polychroniadou (Greece) – Cultural project manager
Keith Roberts (USA) – Former dancer with American Ballet Theater and Twyla Tharp
Clara Barberá Tomas (Spain) – Independent Choreographer, former Rambert Dance Company dancer
Beate Vollack (Germany) – Independent Choreographer and former Principal dancer Munich Ballet
Jessica Ward (UK) – Principal, Elmhurst School for Dance

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