DanceEast, based in Ipswich, acts as a catalyst in providing an
identifiable, creative and broad dance ecology for the East of England.
Founded in 1983, the beginnings of DanceEast are rooted in pioneering
community outreach and education work in Suffolk. In 1994, DanceEast
gained National Dance Agency (NDA) status from Arts Council England,
and today is one of England's leading dance organisations, strategically
set up to support artistic practice and access to dance through
a range of initiatives.
Building new audiences and advocates for dance, developing the
art form and supporting dance artists is fundamental to the work
of DanceEast. Under the Direction of Assis Carreiro, since January,
2000, DanceEast has, in recent years, undertaken a dynamic period
of growth and change.
Supporting innovation and the development of new dance work by
artists, whether it is training, creation or performance, is at
the heart of the work of DanceEast. For 2006/07 Associate Artists
include Maresa von Stockert and Random Dance. DanceEast is also
working with Artist in Residence Jean Abreu and in partnership with
Protein Dance and Sara Crow.
In 2001, DanceEast launched annual Village Hall Touring programme,
which brings professional performances to rural communities throughout
Suffolk. As a producer, DanceEast has initiated First Class Air
Male, an evening of men dancing that toured nationally, and 2 x
2 an evening of duets. In 2000, DanceEast launched Snape Dances,
a partnership with Aldeburgh Productions to present British and
international dance at Snape Maltings.
In 2003, DanceEast conceived the now internationally recognised
Rural Retreats - international think tanks looking at the future
of ballet. The first Retreat: Ballet into the 21st century was the
largest ever gathering of ballet directors from around the globe
and a second retreat took place in January, 2005. A third, the 21st
Century Dancer: Nurturing Talent, a partnership with the Prix de
Lausanne, brought together the Directors of professional ballet
schools and companies from around the globe in early 2006. In January,
2004, DanceEast hosted British Dance Edition 2004, a biennial celebration
of the best of British dance in Cambridge.
DanceEast's work in education and community outreach involves people
of all ages and abilities and takes dance to urban and rural communities.
In 2005/06, over 15,000 people took part in participatory activities
throughout Suffolk and the East of England. DanceEast has established
a comprehensive training programme of classes; workshops and courses;
youth dance groups; work in hospitals and with people with learning
and physical disabilities and the elderly.
DanceEast is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee
and receives support from Arts Council England East, Suffolk County
and District and Borough Councils and Ipswich Borough Council, trusts,
foundations, businesses and individuals.
DanceEast is currently in the midst of a large scale Capital Campaign
to build the East of England's first custom-build facilities for
dance. The new £7.9 million DanceHouse on the Ipswich waterfront,
is part of the largest urban regeneration project in the region
and is due for completion in 2008.