Dancer and Artistic Director Urja Desai Thakore's funding experience is a small but powerful example of how the Arts Council has nurtured talent right from the beginning. Urja, who works …
National portfolio funding
Find out more about dance and the National portfolio.
Dance covers a wide range of aesthetics and styles. We want to widen understanding and appreciation of the many and varied kinds of dance, influenced by the social and demographic richness of British society, and other artforms.
We fund touring companies, development agencies and festivals as well as individual artists and producers. Our role focuses on supporting talent, production and distribution and encouraging audience development and participation.
The dance portfolio includes specialist dance houses. Dance increasingly also takes place in theatre, visual arts and combined arts contexts, responding to a growing audience interest in work anchored in physical expression and choreography.
Dance will contribute to our Great art and culture for everyone goals and priorities by:
- supporting world class choreographers and dancers to push boundaries and explore a mix of artistic, cultural and aesthetically diverse practices that offer audiences rich and meaningful experiences. Contemporary artists in the National portfolio include Hofesh Shechter, Akram Khan, Wayne McGregor and Charlotte Vincent
- continuing to fund ballet both to present heritage work and to innovate and re-imagine the form for the future
- increasing opportunities for research and talent development, recognising that high quality dance production requires extended periods of time working with dancers in appropriately equipped spaces
- supporting beacon organisations as catalysts for regional dance development. Nearly all of the dance houses, such as Dance East and Dance City have received an increase in funding to widen their strategic development roles
- building a more diverse confident public for dance and ballet able to make informed choices and be more adventurous as participants. Sadler's Wells is a leader in this area of work. Other organisations building audiences include DanceXchange and Dance Consortium
- funding and developing producers to grow new markets and increase opportunities for people to value and enjoy dance. Support platforms like British Dance Edition to increase opportunities for promoters to understand dance
- supporting artists and organisations to understand and realise digital opportunities
- encouraging more grassroots participation. Organisations working in areas of low arts engagement include Kala Sangam in Bradford and Attik Dance in Plymouth
- supporting the development of entrepreneurial skills to ensure that companies, artists and producers have a deeper sense of their markets and how to position themselves
- growing stronger dance organisations by encouraging strategic collaboration and better knowledge and resource sharing between leaders
- encouraging young people both to dance and see dance. Organisations working in this area include ACE Dance and Music, balletLORENT, Protein,Tavaziva Dance Company and agencies such as Swindon Dance, Dance South West and Yorkshire Dance
- increasing dance skills and the quality of choreography made for and by young people. Encouraging the improvement of standards in dance teaching through partnerships such as the Dance Training and Accreditation Partnership (DTAP)