Dance Base Scotland is grateful to Creative Scotland for the award of £256,200 from the Scottish Government's Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund. This will be utilised in support of Scottish dance artists, helping them to find new ways to connect with audiences amid the continuing uncertainty affecting communities across Scotland.
Dance Base Chief Executive, Jim Hollington welcomed the funding:
‘The cancellation of this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme at Dance Base has had a significant impact on the programming of contemporary dance in Scotland, depriving artists of important opportunities and risking declining audience interest.
‘We will use this funding to commission Scottish dance artists and their collaborators to deliver new projects over the next eight months, using Dance Base’s building as a canvas, working outdoors and with other partners, and on screens and smartphones.
‘In addition, major new residency opportunities in our Edinburgh centre will give artists from across Scotland time and space to develop new ideas, in collaboration with other creative practitioners and using Dance Base’s users and audiences to develop, critique and deliver the work.
We’ll be bringing in a range of collaborators’ voices to disseminate information and select recipients, and working with Scottish Dance Theatre and Tramway Glasgow to pool our resources to support delivery.’
The aim behind the commissioned works will be to enable artists to quickly realise ideas for their work in ways that are achievable during a period of social distancing restrictions, and to continue connecting with the loyal Dance Base audience, as well as with wider dance audiences nationally and internationally.
In an expanded programme of residencies and sharings, we will support artists with time, space, money and assistance to develop new work with other freelance creatives, encouraging them to connect with Dance Base audiences for the development and feedback stages of their process.
Through a process of professional development and exchange, and working collaboratively with Scottish Dance Theatre and Tramway Glasgow, we will seek to support experimentation among Scottish dance artists, working toward new understandings and innovative approaches to delivering work to physically distanced audiences. The intention is that that this will be immediately relevant to their work, and will have longer term benefits in improving connections between Scottish and international dance artists.
For the commissioning and residency strands, we will use this funding to develop the first stage of a new approach to the identification and selection of artists. We will engage paid collaborators who can help us to identify potential applicants beyond the places and the communities we have traditionally worked with, and to help design a selection process that includes a diverse range of skills and lived experience, paying those involved for their time and expertise.
This funding comes at a key moment for the Scottish dance sector and we are proud to be able to facilitate some of the next stages of artistic expression and experimentation – whether it is in response to, or in spite of, the difficult times we are all experiencing.