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An Update from Brendan Keaney

19 Apr 2021

Dear Friends,

Without a doubt it has been a challenging 12 months, however, I hope you share the sense that things are about to start improving significantly.

On the subject of things improving, I am delighted to announce that DanceEast have been awarded £334,000 from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Arts-Based Learning Fund. This four-year funding package will allow DanceEast to continue developing an innovative digital programme in schools, supporting the ambition to enable children across the region and beyond access to the highest possible quality of dance teaching. This is yet another exciting development for DanceEast’s digital strategy and you can read more about it in our blog here.

I am equally delighted that DanceEast will also receive £34,000 from the Arts Council’s Cultural Recovery Fund. This will contribute to activity over the next three months including redesigning DanceEast’s artist development offer, class programme, and some outdoor activity. Obviously, the future plans remain flexible but I’m optimistic there’ll be a return to some exciting “on site” rather than “online” events soon.

In line with Government guidelines, the Jerwood DanceHouse has remained open for artists to create and rehearse work throughout the latest lockdown. Gradually, as restrictions are being lifted the building will become more populated – which will be a joy to witness. University of Suffolk BA Hons Dance Degree students and Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) students will be the first to continue their dance training in-person in a couple of weeks.

The plan to transition back to a full programme is now firmly in place and there are some really exciting things lined up that I can’t wait to share with you.

Spring/Summer 2021: DanceEast have two wonderful, streamed performances in April – on Friday 9th tune in for Jonathan Goddard and Lily McLeish’s While You are Here, followed by Jose Agudo’s preview of Carmen on Friday 23 April, which will be streamed live from the Studio Theatre – you can book your tickets here.

Digital classes and performance screenings will continue throughout the summer – but watch this space for more news of some lovely outdoor dance to enjoy over the summer as well!

Autumn 2021: A return to live performances in the Studio Theatre, with some very special things to enjoy, including Far from the Norm by BLKDG in September and Hofesh Shechter’s Political Mother Unplugged in November – an astonishing treat seen only by a few just before lockdown in March 2020! I am also delighted to announce the return of Jasmin Vardimon’s highly acclaimed Pinocchio in December – a special Christmas show to captivate children and adults alike!

I hope this little update gives you a flavour of what to expect over the coming months, with many other lovely things in the pipeline. As I mentioned, this is all subject to change depending on how the year unfolds – however, I am genuinely excited by the prospect of being able to welcome you back to the Jerwood DanceHouse and am hopeful that it really won’t be too long.

As always, if you share in my optimism and are able, please consider supporting DanceEast, here.

Take care and hopefully see you soon,