After 11 years serving on the Board and 7 as Chair, Anthony Hilton is stepping down. At the same time, the organisation is delighted to welcome Shreela Ghosh, who takes over as Chair, joined by two new trustees, Margaret Holder and Isis Clunie – three impressive champions at an intensely exciting time for DanceEast.
DanceEast is incredibly grateful to Anthony for his commitment and dedication – particularly for guiding the organisation through the pandemic over the past year, towards a brighter future.
Brendan Keaney, DanceEast Artistic Director and Chief Executive said, ‘Anthony has been a truly wonderful Chair – his enabling stewardship has supported the organisation during an intense period of growth in the artistic, community and participation programmes. We are now thrilled to welcome Shreela Ghosh, who brings a wealth of experience to lead the organisation through the next phase of its development – as DanceEast establishes its position as a leader in digital dance innovation.’
Shreela is passionate about the arts and her career has spanned over 30 years in the creative industries. Her first love was dance, and as a teen her life revolved around Bharatanatyam training and performances at weekends. There was little or no infrastructure for South Asian Dance at the time, so in 1980 Shreela found herself pursuing a career in acting with a lead part in a BBC Play for Today, The Garland, working with the celebrated Director, Horace Ove. Following a successful acting career on stage and TV, in 1989 Shreela made the decision to focus on the producing side of the business and has since held a broad range of leadership, governance and creative roles across Dance, Visual Arts and Literature – including senior executive roles for funding bodies and policy-making institutions, such Arts Council England, British Council and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. More recently Shreela has been working as a freelance consultant and launched the Culture In Flux consultancy in 2019 – working with a range of organisations to support sustainability. At the same time she has led on independent projects, including a recent commission from Leeds 2023, to report on the development of Black and Asian Theatre in Britain.
Shreela says ‘I am so delighted to take up the role of Chair of the wonderful DanceEast at such an incredibly exciting time for the organisation. It is an honour to have been chosen to follow Anthony Hilton – he has done so much to support DanceEast during his tenure. When I started out on my career there were limited pathways and progression routes into professional dance – as a result my life took a different turn towards acting, with its more established infrastructure. I am proud to be part of an organisation that does so much to support artists at all stages of their careers and brings the world’s finest dance to Ipswich.’
DanceEast also welcomes two new Trustees – Margaret Holder and its new Young Board Member, Isis Clunie.
Margaret has had a long career in education and youth work, in both formal teaching and community participation contexts. Her involvement in dance goes back many years – this has included working with Suffolk Dance (the precursor to DanceEast), organising workshops, and through her experience as a parent to her two daughters, who both have extensive dance training and careers in dance. She is delighted to be making connections with dance again and is hoping to bring her extensive experience of community participation and formal education to her role as a Trustee.
Isis is a dancer currently studying at the London Contemporary Dance School. Growing up in Suffolk and Cambridge she attended the DanceEast Centre for Advanced Training Scheme and went on to join the National Youth Dance Company at 16.
Isis says ‘I’m incredibly excited, and honoured, to contribute to an organisation that has played such a huge role in my dance training and experience and hope as a young Board Member I can bring my own experience to bear to advocate for other young artists.’
Shreela Ghosh – DanceEast’s new Chair of the Board Photography by George Torode