Greenwich Dance has unveiled it's innovative solution to safely produce and tour work in 2021 and kickstart the industry following the devastating impact of Covid-19.

'ArtsUnboxed' is a creative project which, funded by the Culture Recovery Fund, has commissioned six artists to develop new dance work which can be packaged up as a virtual blueprint and sold to venues, festivals and dance organisations across the country.

Those purchasing the works will then be able to deliver them using local artists, with a royalty going to the original creatives.

The Greenwich-based dance organisation, based at Charlton House, calls it "an innovative new way to safely create, produce and tour work in 2021," and says it will launch in spring.

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"Designed to kickstart creativity in dance following the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on the sector, ArtsUnboxed also offers a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way of touring ideas rather than people and creates more opportunities for cultural employment at a local level."

The funding for the project has come from the Culture Recovery Fund, administered by the Arts Council England to help arts organisations recover, retain staff and plan for the future despite desperately low income.

Greenwich Dance calls itself the home of dance in south east London, but, like the rest of its industry, has been relatively inactive for nearly a year now.

The creative arts industry has been devastated by the pandemic, with no end yet in sight, although the Greenwich organisation has still managed to put on a bit of a show, with a socially distanced doorstep tour for Black History Month, a podcast and wide range of online dance classes.

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Melanie Precious, chief executive officer of Greenwich Dance said: "At its most basic, ArtsUnboxed is a way for creatives to develop a recipe for new dance work that can be replicated by artists in local settings around the country.

"This ground-breaking initiative is the latest example of how we have continued to provide opportunities for artists to create and audiences to engage with dance work in a safe environment, while also supporting employment in the sector and offering hope for the future."  

Ms Precious explained that as they reimagined their performance programme last year, "patterns emerged" in the work they created.

"We could hear the heart-breaking voices of artists falling through the gap in Government support and knew we had to act. "

News Shopper: PHOTO by Avatara AyusoPHOTO by Avatara Ayuso

Following a call out at the end of last year, Greenwich Dance received over 70 applications to be part of the commission. The final six artists chosen through a rigorous selection process are; 

  • Joss Arnott of Joss Arnott Dance with producer Phil Hargreaves
  • Sarah Blanc working with Annie Hanauer and Vicky Malin as part of their collective AnnieVickySarah, with producer Emma Abbey
  • John Darvell - NOCTURN with producer Sarah Shead - Spin Arts
  • Temujin Gill - Grounded Movement with producer Kate Scanlan of Scanners Inc
  • Pervez - Live 2 Break, with producer Kate Scanlan of Scanners Inc
  • Anna Williams & Tom Roden of Anatomical with producer Claire Summerfield of Tandem Works

To deliver the programme, the artist and producer pairs are being supported by a team of freelance specialists including project manager Rajpal Pardesi, Dramaturg Lou Cope and Access and Inclusion Consultant Alex Covell.

The project also sees performer Annie Edwards take on a paid shadowing position, mentored by Alex, to help support her professional career development.

ArtsUnboxed will launch in Spring 2021.