The Grand joins Arts Council Portfolio!
It’s great news for the Grand Theatre Blackpool. The Grand is now to receive regular Arts Council funding as part of the National Portfolio! Earlier this year, in a bid supported by Blackpool Council, the Grand Theatre secured £120,000 per year over the next three years to become a regional centre of excellence for contemporary dance- which means plenty of dance will be coming our way! The award-winning 2Faced Dance, one of the UK’s leading all male urban contemporary dance companies, opened the programme on Sunday 3 June with a powerful performance of In The Dust.
A celebration will be held on Monday 1 October, featuring a very special one night only performance from Decadancetheatre. Since 2004, Brooklyn-based, Decadancetheatre has been re-defining the image of women in hip-hop. Through performances, workshops and creative commissions, Decadancetheatre has become a key ambassador of authentic, New York City hip-hop culture around the world. Led by artistic director Jennifer Weber, the company represents a global vision of hip-hop with an international roster of dancers from the US, UK, Norway, France and Japan. Decadancetheatre takes female dancers out of the background of music videos and into the forefront of theatrical performance. Blackpool is the world capital of ballroom dancing and has a vibrant variety and cabaret scene, but in recent years the main contemporary dance company tours have moved to Manchester and the Fylde has seen audiences for this genre decline. This regular funding will mean that local talent can be encouraged, and a new generation of audiences developed for contemporary dance.
As part of the Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde Dance Network, The Grand is working in partnership with Dance Initiative Greater Manchester, Ludus Dance and Blackpool Council’s Dance Development Officer, Sarah Hall, supporting the wider contemporary dance offer in Lancashire and the North West. Together the organisations are supporting artistic innovations across the region. The Grand is also attracting the very best contemporary dance companies to Blackpool to perform and run workshops for local performers and students. 2Faced Dance preceded their appearance at the beginning of June with a week of workshops, collaborating with local schools and performers.
2Faced Dance and the Grand Theatre also worked with Lancaster’s award winning youth company, Ludus Dance, who performed a curtain raiser (short piece) before the main performance of 2Faced’s In the Dust. Celine Wyatt, Creative Learning Manager for The Grand said, “We are delighted that the funding from the Arts Council will offer exciting new opportunities to support emerging young dancers, giving them the opportunity to work with national and international companies that perform work at the Grand Theatre.” Two more award-winning dance companies visit the Grand Theatre before the end of the year. David Hughes Dance’s Chinaski Sessions takes to the stage on Monday 22 October. Formed in 1996 as a solo platform David Hughes Dance was extended to a full ensemble in 2005. Boasting multi-disciplined performers, all recognised as being at the fore-front of their individual styles; ballet, contemporary, break, classical Indian and clowning/circus skills, the company creates compelling and entertaining work. With a wink at Charles Bukowski’s cult character Henry Chinaski, choreographer Kylie Walters coaxes six testosterone-crazed men to live through an evening of debauchery and revelation in Chinaski Sessions. Trapped in a rock-band’s home studio as they try to finish their.