Leeds pioneers dance partnership
Dance organisations from Leeds have set up a new partnership.
The Leeds Dance Partnership will include Northern Ballet, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, RJC, Balbir Singh Dance Company, DAZL and Leeds Beckett University.
They aim to put Leeds on the map as an international centre of excellence for dance and raise the profile of dance in the city in the run-up to the city’s application to be European City of Culture in 2023. The partnership will be open to all members of the dance community, from major dance companies through to emerging independent artists, as well as other cross sector agencies with an interest and engagement in dance. The Leeds Dance Partnership hopes to gain funding from Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence Fund.
Mark Skipper, chief executive of Northern Ballet and Chair of the Partnership Steering Group explained that the partnership would “create new resources and assets for the art form, develop more talent, create more great dance and develop artistic practice, increase access points for both participants and audiences and create more opportunities to attract the best in world class dance to Leeds.”
Chief Executive of the Arts Council, Darren Henley OBE welcomed the move saying, “When it comes to dance, Leeds is a hotbed of creative and artistic excellence. The Arts Council invests in a range of dance organisations across the city and I’m looking forward to seeing how the Leeds Dance Partnership will develop dance here.”
Sharon Watson, artistic director of Phoenix Dance Theatre and Chair of the Leeds 2023 Steering Group, said, “The development of the Leeds Dance Partnership is an integral part on Leeds’ journey to becoming European Capital of Culture in 2023. With its rich dance offer Leeds is absolutely the perfect city to move forward with this exciting new ambition for the art form.’