Leeds Beckett becomes part of innovative city dance map
The map, which can be viewed at www.cityofdance.co.uk, was launched in March 2014 with six original partners - Balbir Singh Dance Company, Northern Ballet, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Phoenix Dance Theatre, RJC Dance and Yorkshire Dance – has now been revised to include Leeds Beckett and Dance Action Zone Leeds (DAZL). The map’s purpose is to highlight the strength of dance in Leeds, its contribution to the local economy and its reach and influence on a national and international level.
The updated version of the map shows that in 2013/14 almost 300,000 people watched a live dance performance by one of the eight featured dance partners; almost 75,000 people took part in a dance workshop or project; around 600 people were employed on a full-time, part-time or freelance basis and income and investment generated by the partners exceeded £11.9 million. These statistics are just part of a much larger picture of people taking part in dance throughout the city.
Rachel Krische, Course Leader of BA (Hons) Dance at Leeds Beckett, said: “The Leeds City of Dance map highlights the sheer breadth of exceptional organisations offering unique artistic and pedagogic approaches to working in dance. It is a group of organisations which understand the value of mutual support and respect that comes from an open and shared passion and dialogue. At Leeds Beckett, our department is a dynamic community of practitioners who believe that a progressive and creative engagement with dance is a means to innovate thinking through choreographic research and practice. Our staff and students are excited that our dance practices, located within national and international Professional and Academic Research frameworks, will offer a valuable contribution to the Leeds Dance Hub, further evidencing the rigorous and vibrant work that is happening in the city.”
David Nixon OBE, Artistic Director of Northern Ballet, said: “Once again Leeds has demonstrated that, outside of London, it is the UK’s City of Dance. We are working together to build a Dance Hub for the North with Leeds at its core. Both Arts Council England and Leeds City Council have underlined their commitment to dance by continuing to support the dance organisations in the city and, as work takes place behind the scenes to develop plans to cement Leeds’ position as the dance hub for the North, we look forward to playing a major part in Leeds City Council’s bid for Capital of Culture 2023.”
Ian Rodley, Director of DAZL, added: “Young people and health are at the heart of what we do here at DAZL and the importance dance plays in the health of Leeds cannot be underestimated. We wanted to be a part of the City of Dance Map to highlight our work bridging the gap between professional companies and the cities most deprived communities, and the contribution it makes to a wider dance community in Leeds which is influencing dance on a national and international level.”
In February, Dance UK, the national voice for dance, launched the 2015 Dance Manifesto. With the title Dance: A Great British Success Story, it celebrates and highlights the extraordinary contribution dance has made to the UK over the past few years showcasing dance as a UK success story: https://www.danceuk.org/campaigning/dance-manifesto-2015/.