Review: 2017 Dance Enterprise Ideas Summit, East London Dance, Stratford Circus

Performance: 31 March 2017
Reviewed by Rachel Nouchi - Saturday 1 April 2017

ELD Ideas Summit 2016. Photo: Jeremy Freedman.

Industry conferences and uplifting inspirational energy are not likely bedfellows, but at this year’s 2017 Dance Enterprise Ideas Summit, hosted by East London Dance at Stratford Circus Arts Centre, the talent and passion for creating dance fused with the desire to ‘get the work out there,’ no matter how zany, was so palpable, it bounced off the walls and into the laps of six outstanding creative dance makers in the form of a cheque from the The Dance Enterprise Ideas Fund.

Bursaries totalling more than £20,000, with a further four projects offered in-kind support, were battled and won in a series of ‘Dragons’ Den’ style pitches to The Dance Enterprise Ideas Fund voting panel, where contestants had three minutes to sell their innovative dance projects in the form of imaginative presentations. Requests ran from a lively plea to expand an after school hoop club to combat obesity to a proposal to launch a black dancers in Classical Ballet website.

As part of a joint presentation from new dance organisations arriving in East London, Rebecca Marshall, Executive Director, Wayne McGregor, announced Studio Wayne McGregor pledged to give away 5,000 hours of rehearsal time for free at its new studios every year to address the “overwhelming need” for affordable dance space. In return for each week of free studio space, artists must contribute one day of engagement or learning and activity for communities to experience at no cost.

Whilst Alistair Spalding, CBE, Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Sadler’s Wells, talked through a five year plan for the future of Sadler’s Wells in East London including a new 550 seat theatre, a Hip Hop Academy and the launch of a choreographic school.

In an energetic exchange of ideas, “World Café” offered small groups of participants the opportunity to fire questions to industry experts from sustainable business experts to PR specialists in small round table groups similar to a speed-dating concept. Experts offered 5 minutes to discuss practical measures to launch creative practice. Topics ranging from marketing an idea without selling out to finding international funding provided useful and energetic material in a time where many voiced concerns about the future of funding.

The Dance Enterprise Ideas Fund
Rashmi Becker / Step Change Studios
Project: Step Change Studios
Awarded £4720 and in-kind support from One Dance UK to launch London’s first Dance Company dedicated to inclusive Latin and ballroom dance, including providing disabled and non-disabled people the chance to learn in an inclusive environment and to have opportunities to perform and compete.

Sharon Davis / JazzMAD – Jazz Music And Dance Co.
Project: Untitled
Awarded £1440 to support research and workshop concepts for a dance production featuring authentic swing and jazz dancing in East London in 2018, and to produce a short film capturing the results of this process in order to promote authentic jazz dances. | @jazzmadlondon

Mars El Brogy / Salah El Brogy Company
Project: Organic Entity
Awarded £3000 to support the rehearsal and production of a pilot event focused on a triple bill of new works by three dance artists working as a pop-up collective, individually exploring the topical subjects of mind, body and transcendence. | @melbrogy

Emma Houston / Emma Houston Dance Company
Project: Breaking & Vogue: The Purple Jigsaw
Awarded £1500 and in-kind support from One Dance UK to research the development of a piece of breaking and vogueing dance theatre work into an educational resource for young people at risk from isolation and mental health and sexuality and or identity issues.

Jo Rhodes
Project: Challenge 59
Awarded £5000 to create an educational resource to support a schools-based collaborative digital dance project bringing together dance, film, education and health sectors to help raise awareness of healthy living amongst children in East London.

Tom Rowlands-Rees / Cinema Kpatakpata
Project: Boiled Heads
Awarded £5000 to begin building a grass roots platform for dance battles that elevates the artform with a promotional focus on the dancers’ personalities to ultimately bring both the professional and grassroots dancer community to a wider audience. | | @tomrrees | @clintsinclair

In-kind Support Winners

Carolina Adewale
Project: Where are the black dancers in classic ballet?
In-kind support offered by English National Ballet
The project looks to prepare and establish an online platform for the entire dance community, but especially black dancers from all around the world to access information about black practitioners and black audience engagement with classical ballet.

Lisa Hood / Avant Garde Dance Company
Project: Untitled
In-kind support offered by University of East London
The project looks to test technology and participation programme ideas in support of a new dance project exploring themes of social inequality, political and societal structures, and how they affect the values and interactions of different communities, in person and online. | @AvantGardeDance

Joe Garbett / Joe Garbett Dance
Project: doubles – Ping Pong vs Dance
In-kind support offered by Studio Wayne McGregor and Redbridge Drama Centre
The project looks to research, develop and test a site specific dance theatre performance based around community concrete ping pong tables, involving bats, balls and four dancers, to encourage communities to come together to enjoy art, sport and healthy living. | @joegarbettdance

Jessica Wright & Morgann Runacre-Temple / Jess and Morgs Films
Project: Digital Dance Resource Pack
In-kind support offered by English National Ballet
The project looks to create and develop an education resource for young people to make dance films, getting those both with and without prior dance engagement thinking creatively and using the language of dance to get inspired about filmmaking. | @jess_and_morgs

Supported by Foundation for FutureLondon, the Dance Enterprise Ideas Fund was established in 2016 to enable dance creatives to research, test and/or launch new artistic and entrepreneurial ideas. The Fund offers an award of up to £5,000 plus in-kind support from its supporting partners.

Rachel Nouchi is an artist and writer and has recently completed an MA in Movement Direction: Teaching, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

The Dance Enterprise Ideas Summit is an annual event offering artists, producers, venues and organisations from East London and beyond the opportunity to share and exchange enterprising ideas in dance.

The Dance Enterprise Ideas Fund voting panel representing the funding partners: Ruby Baker from East London Dance, Ellen Chambers from Dancers’ Career Development, Fleur Derbyshire-Fox and Patrick Harrison from English National Ballet, Pooja Ghai from Theatre Royal Stratford East, Eva Martinez from Sadler’s Wells and Jonny Siddall from Redbridge Drama Centre. They were joined by non-voting panellists from the supporting partners: Andrew Hurst from One Dance UK, Carla Trim-Vamben from University of East London and Jasmine Wilson from Studio Wayne McGregor.

Dance Organisations arriving in East London:
Rebecca Marshall, Executive Director, Studio Wayne McGregor
Patrick Harrison. Executive Director, English National Ballet
Alistar Spalding CBE, Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Sadlers Wells.

To read about 2016 Dance Enterprise Ideas Summit, please click here

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