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31 Jul 2020

It was announced on Thursday 30 July that DanceEast will be one of the organisations that will directly benefit from the exciting new funding package from Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) via the 5G Create competition, working in partnership with BT’s Innovation Centre in Martlesham. This will see the development and application of cutting edge 5G technology to provide high quality dance teaching within schools. In addition to this, the organisation is announcing the creation of a 360’ Green Screen Studio, supported by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, through the Business Resilience and Recovery Grant Scheme.

As announced by DCMS, DanceEast are to be part of a major collaborative project titled 5G Edge-XR, led by BT and working alongside the BT innovation team, BT Sport and a group of technology and academic partners. The project will involve work with cutting edge 5G technology and explore how it can be applied to the sport, entertainment and cultural sector. DanceEast aims to use this technology to create a teaching model for schools using virtual and augmented reality, which will appear to place dance professionals in the school hall, enabling every child access to extraordinary interactive dance teaching of the highest quality.

DanceEast has been building its digital strategy for some time and the challenging circumstances created by COVID-19 have only accelerated plans. DanceEast are delighted to have been awarded part of the funding to augment one of the dance house’s studios into a Green Screen Studio supported by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, through the Business Resilience and Recovery Grant Scheme. This will provide an important facility for dance artists and choreographers to create work as well as the wider community, including businesses wanting to improve the quality of their digital delivery.

Through these exciting projects, DanceEast is determined to not simply embrace the new circumstances but, through working with partners across the country, drive forward digital dance innovation.

Brendan Keaney, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of DanceEast said; “The pandemic has created enormous challenges for the Arts and Cultural sector but from day one we have tried to remain focussed on what we can do rather than dwell on what is, at least for the time being, no longer possible. DanceEast has been experimenting with digital delivery in local schools since 2016 and the COVID-19 crisis has given this work a new sense of urgency and energy. We hope to be able to return to live dance at the Jerwood DanceHouse at some point soon however, there can be no doubt that digital tools will be transforming future dance practice – whether it is in our studios, on stage or school halls. This is not simply about working through this crisis, it’s about how we take dance into the future.”

DanceEast would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the support it has received from Arts Council England, Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk County Council during this period, to sustain the organisation while it has had to adjust its programme in response to COVID-19.


For press enquiries please contact:

Antonia Wiese | Marketing and Communications Manager

+44 (0)1473 295236 |