News, gossip and opinion
Arts council keeps dance on its toes
Sector on the up despite Scottish Ballet woes. Words: Kelly Apter
‘ ance in Scotland is enjoying a period of change and D growth.‘ So says the Scottish Arts Council in a new five-
year dance strategy. revealed earlier this month. Hard to believe when the national press features almost daily tales of woe from the stables of Scottish Ballet.
But while the veritable slanging match between our national ballet company and the Scottish exeCUtive rages on. it is fair to say that dance in general is on the up. An inorease in the amount of venues showmg dance and the number of peeple turning up to watch it. combined With better training facilities for both professional dancers and the general public Suggest that dance in Scotland is as close to a boom time as it's ever likely to get.
Both ballet and contemporary dance have always had a loyal followmg, with viSiting companies such as Rambert. Nederlands Dans Theater and New York City Ballet pulling in impresswe crowds. albeit largely in the central belt. Where the SAC is hoping the strategy Will have real impact. however, is indigenous dance: helping choreographers based in Scotland create works and build up a solid audience in venues across the country.
In the past. those with career aspirations were forced to head s0uth both for training and any real prospect of joining a company. Now. with the new improved facilities at the Scottish School For
File Gillian under ‘director’
4THF. 71-“ my)?
Centemporary Dance in Dundee and the increased possibility of apprenticeships at Scottish Dance Theatre and Scottish Ballet. London won't necessarily be calling all young Scottish dancers.
Similarly, as only three Scottish companies receive cere funding from the SAC's dance budget (Scottish Ballet.
Scottish Dance Theatre and X-Factor), the strategy aims to suppOrt the large number of freelance dancers and choreographers working in relative isolation by continuing to fund the various dance centres dotted around the ceiintry and develop the
netw0rk of dance promoters.
As ever. money continues to be a problem. The SAC's dance allocation ($33.5m: 6.5% of its total income. compared with 24% for leSIC) is frozen for next year. So for the moment, much of the strategy
Now London won’t necessarily be calling all young Scottish dancers
will remain visionary. but the hopes and dreams of
SAC head of dance Cindy Sughrue. chair Joanna
Baker and the 70 other dance speCialists who contributed to the dOCument will slowly be phased in over the next five years. Whether the strategy can save Scottish Ballet from hanging itself and help Create a contempOrary dance audience large enough to keep the re- branded company afloat remains to be seen.
the directing game is Christina Ricci. Her debut The Speed Queen is described as a dark comedy about a Midwestern girl caught up in a deadly and outlandish chase . . . And even Gillian Anderson is getting in on the act. Speed Of Light is expected to start shooting once she has finished up on series nine of The X- Fi/es . . . On the back of
Coming quite soon . . .
It's nice to help out a mate in need once in a while. So. Brad Pitt and Matt Damon have agreed to appear in rookie director George Clooney's Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind. Already. Julia Roberts has signed up to the movie about a game show impresario who leads a double life as a government assassin . . . Another actor turning to
Popstars and Pop ratiinity for details . . . Idol comes the chance And finally. Victoria for budding baritones Beckham is reported and tenaCious tenors to to be releasing her next get their tonsils flexed Single. ‘Mind Of its
for Operatunity. Own“. in French. Channel 4's search for Apparently ‘tvlon Coeiir the next Pavarotti or Suivra' is her attempt at Garrett. A Glasgow cracking the rising audition is set for March European market.
but the organisers need Considering that we
to get tapes in their haven't been able to hands for mid-January. understand a word
Call 020 785:3 Til/17 ()r she's littered for years. log on to it's not geing to make \«vwi.v.(;liannel-teem ope much difference.