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Dance Figures

Dance Figures

2 January 2011

A summary of some dance industry news from recent months.

Sadler’s Wells announces a record year and an update on arts funding cuts

Sadler’s Wells, the UK’s leading dance house, announced its highest audience figures ever for 2009/10: a record 600,000 for 872 performances of 136 productions.

Achievements for the year 2009 – 2010 include:

  • A total of £13 million taken at the box office with 65% of turnover coming from ticket sales.
  • Total turnover for the year was £19.8 million. 39% of tickets were under £20.
  • There were nearly 3 million visitors to the website and online ticket sales accounted for 75% of total box office.
  • 22 new Sadler’s Wells productions were presented.
  • There were more offsite projects than ever before.
  • Awards included: Five 2010 Olivier Award Nominations, a 2009 South Bank Show Award Winner and a Ballettanz Production of the Year Award Winner.
  • Creation of the online Global Dance Contest, using YouTube to reach an international audience, aiming to seek out the next generation of dance talent. The first contest attracted 170 applications from 34 different countries.

Sadler's Wells has recently launched its Summer University, the first of its kind in the UK, directed by one of the most respected choreographers working in Europe today, Jonathan Burrows. It will be open to aspiring choreographers from a wide range of dance styles from Summer 2011. Aimed specifically at choreographers with around five years professional experience, the four year programme features a two-week intensive period every summer starting July 2011. It will be accessible through open applications of up to 15 students per year. Using workshops dedicated to the exploration of ideas about composition in dance, the programme will also feature sessions by guest artists from other disciplines including philosophy, the visual arts and music.

Photo shows Sadler's Wells auditorium. (Photo: Morley Von Sternburg.)


In October, the Chancellor announced that the DCMS would be cutting the Arts Council budget
by 29.6% which means the money they currently have to spend, £450m, will go down to £350m in real terms in 2014, with the cut in the first year (2011/2012) being around 14%. These cuts will inevitably have a significant impact on the cultural life of the UK.

ISTD Life President, Dame Beryl Grey DBE, has become the fourth president of the British Ballet Organisation. Dame Beryl Grey has historic links with the institution with whom she took her first Ballet examination back in 1932.

Claire Crowley, Deputy Director at Dance UK, is spending this year working with Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO) in Namibia as a VSO volunteer. Building on the cultural significance in Namibia of dance, drama and music, OYO strives to promote health and social well-being, using the arts to provide young people across the country with the knowledge to make informed choices about HIV and other life-threatening illnesses. Claire has joined the team to help build the capacity of the organisation for sustainable income generation. For more details visit http://ombetja.org. Look out for further news from Claire in a future issue of DANCE when we catch up with her on her return.

Skate at Somerset House has teamed up with Big Dance and English National Ballet this winter and are offering Big Ice Dance lunchtime workouts from 10th – 21st January featuring a dance warm-up session by a dancer from English National Ballet. London’s most beautiful seasonal ice rink is open until 23rd January 2011 – visit www.somersethouse.org.uk/ice_rink.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2010, Americans for the Arts is the leading non-profit organisation for advancing the arts in America. It is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts, and serves more than 150,000 members and stakeholders. A useful website – www.artsusa.org.


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