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Greenwich Dance launches ArtsUnboxed

Posted on February 18, 2021

Sarah Blanc of Annie Vicky Sarah

This spring, Greenwich Dance launches ArtsUnboxed, a new way to safely create, produce and tour work in 2021. Funded by the Culture Recovery Fund, administered by Arts Council England, Greenwich Dance has commissioned six artists to develop new dance work that can be packaged as a virtual blueprint and sold to venues, festivals and dance organisations across the country. Those purchasing the works will then be able to deliver them using local artists, with a royalty going to the original creatives. For more information, visit greenwichdance.org.uk.

Designed to kickstart creativity in dance following the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on the sector, ArtsUnboxed also offers a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly way of touring ideas rather than people and creates more opportunities for cultural employment at a local level.

Melanie Precious, chief executive officer of Greenwich Dance, said: “As we reimagined our performance programme last year, we could see patterns emerging in the work we created as well as that of other organisations. We could hear the heart-breaking voices of artists falling through the gap in Government support and knew we had to act.

“At its most basic, ArtsUnboxed is a way for creatives to develop a recipe for new dance work that can be replicated by artists in local settings around the country. This ground-breaking initiative is the latest example of how we have continued to provide opportunities for artists to create and audiences to engage with dance work in a safe environment, while also supporting employment in the sector and offering hope for the future.”

Following a call-out at the end of last year, Greenwich Dance received more than 70 applications to be part of the commission. The final six artists chosen are: Joss Arnott of Joss Arnott Dance, with producer Phil Hargreaves; Sarah Blanc working with Annie Hanauer and Vicky Malin as part of their collective Annie Vicky Sarah, with producer Emma Abbey; John Darvell, of NOCTURN, with producer Sarah Shead, of Spin Arts; Temujin Gill, of Grounded Movement, with producer Kate Scanlan, of Scanners Inc; Pervez, of Live 2 Break, with producer Kate Scanlan of Scanners Inc; Anna Williams and Tom Roden, of Anatomical, with producer Claire Summerfield of Tandem Works.

To deliver the programme, the artist and producer pairs are supported by a team of freelance specialists including project manager Rajpal Pardesi, dramaturg Lou Cope and access and inclusion consultant Alex Covell. The project also sees performer Annie Edwards take on a paid shadowing position, mentored by Alex, to help support her professional career development.

ArtsUnboxed will launch in spring 2021. For more information, visit greenwichdance.org.uk.

Pictured: Sarah Blanc of Annie Vicky Sarah. Photograph courtesy of Greenwich Dance. 

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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