So, who are the Plymouth Dance team?
We currently have 7 Directors: Adam Benjamin, Sarah Cobley, Jules Laville, Maryam Pourian, Mandy Precious, Kevin Heathorn and Ruth Way. We also have a Steering Committee that includes Sophie Colthurst, Ben Dunks, Chris Gilchrist and Paula Hocking.
The Directors and Steering Committee meet 3 to 4 times a year and the Directors meet additionally to discuss and make specific financial or strategic decisions. If you would like to be considered to join the Steering Committee, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a covering letter and CV.
The Plymouth Dance Management Team is led by myself as the Coordinating Producer and the team expands and contracts, depending on the number of projects that we are working on. So, currently, Claire Summers is the Senior Project Coordinator, Laura Henry is the Corporate Development Coordinator, Gemma Ward is the Volunteer Training Programme Coordinator, Heather Walrond is the International Projects Project Coordinator and Hannah Rimes is our Apprentice. Sarah Cobley is our Communications Coordinator and Anne Marie Clark is our PR & Media Consultant. We all work on a freelance basis and work part time (varying from 1 day a month to 4 days a week).
What have we been doing since U.Dance 2015?
Well, we have spent 6 months researching the provision of Dance for people over 50 in the city, as well as designing and developing a professional development programme for Dance Practitioners wishing to specialise in working with people with Parkinson’s and Dementia. This phase of our ‘Cultural Shifts’ Arts Council funded project will culminate in 3 x monthly events – ‘Tea Dances with a Twist!’
The other elements of ‘Cultural Shifts’ included a Choreographic Commission in partnership with Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery, funded by The Art Fund. Charlotte Eatock choreographed a solo for dancer, Jane Castree, in response to the Gerhard Richter Exhibition, as part of the Tate’s Artists Rooms project.
Charlotte and Jane also created a film and Jane delivered a weekend Youth Dance Choreographic Residency that also resulted in a performance at the Plymouth Museum and a film.
With regard to professional development and in addition to the Dance and Health programme, we have been fortunate to be able to host workshops and Masterclasses by James Wilton and the Hofesh Shechter Company, as well as support Stephen Hodkinson and Paula Hocking via the CPD Dance Card Bursary scheme in partnership with Hall for Cornwall and Dance in Devon.
Also, since September 2015, Plymouth has been visited by companies including 2Faced Dance, C-scape, Rambert, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Hofesh Shechter Company and NDT2. Local choreographers that have presented their work include Heather Walrond, Richard Chappell and Olivia Lockwood.
Prior to our 10th Anniversary year (2017), we commissioned Mary Schwarz and Sue Kay to undertake a public ‘Perceptions and Possibilities’ review of Plymouth Dance. This review has informed our next project – ‘Shifting Sands’ – that will commence in September 2016 (subject to funding).
During the next couple of months, we are working with Richard Rhodes of Vickery Holman Surveyors and Paul Read of POP Ideas (Iridescent Ideas) to deliver a Feasibility Study that will prove whether or not it is viable to convert the top floor of the iconic Tinside Lido building into a Cultural and Creative Hub. This project has been funded by Plymouth City Council‘s Social Enterprise Investment Fund, so watch this space…
June Gamble, Coordinating Producer Plymouth Dance