Programming Guidelines

Our Artistic Policy is founded on a commitment to: working with artists from all disciplines who respect each other, including professional and non professional dancers and artists; supporting artists whose work offers international perspectives of global issues, connecting us to the world, offering us new ideas and helping us understand the complex, rapidly changing world in which we live. We are committed to working with artists who want to encourage more people to take part in dance and enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits that dance can bring.

We want to create real and lasting change by placing diversity in its widest sense at the heart of all of our artistic decision making - from the artists we work with, to the audiences we work to attract, and the participants we seek to engage with.

In our launch year at The Dance Space we will commit to an Artistic Programme consisting entirely of work by women-led companies and dance artists who identify as women. 

Our offer is Artist led and we support artists who we believe can benefit from our support which includes advice, mentoring and seed funding  - whatever can achieve the most impact for the artist. 

We are particularly interested in working with artists who use public and digital spaces to take artistic risks and inspire people from all walks of life to engage with dance. 
We will support our audiences and artists to witness, and be surprised and challenged by, different nations and cultures, and to see how international artists and their communities respond to and represent their own unique place on the earth.

We will support high quality work that is:

  • Contemporary: we want the artists we work with to know their public and create work that resonates with them
  • Intriguing, carefully considered and impactful 
  • Relevant to our times: from the concepts behind it, to the way it’s created, and how it’s presented; work that offers audiences a different kind of experience
  • Reflective of artists’ perspectives from across geo-political boundaries 
  • Sustainable and considers environmental impact

We will support artists by:

  • Respecting artists that work with the community and artists who work with professional dancers as equal
  • Creating an international artist residency programme where global perspectives can be exchanged and shared with our community
  • Providing as much support as possible for UK artists to perform their work on a global stage
  • Ensuring those artists who are BAME, disabled and LGBTQI+ have equal opportunities to challenge their practice and realise their own ambitions for their work 
  • Creating a supportive environment that encourages them to take risks, experiment, accept failure and hope for success. In other words to venture into new terrain
  • Offering a safe place to celebrate the joy of dance, the rigour of movement practice, to share ideas, ambitions and challenges; and to listen and respond to artists’ needs

Our programme encompasses a range of ways for artists to take part – from performances, participatory projects and artist support programmes. We usually programme within the context of a festival; for example, Brighton Fringe, Brighton Digital Festival, our own festivals undisciplined, Autumn Statement, Dance on Screen as part of Cinecity festival and Our City Dances.

We work with artists and companies where the content and style of their work we feel is a good fit for our programme. We attend festivals and showcases, meet artists, listen to recommendations from other professionals and see as many individual performances as we can, all of which identify people making work or investigating ideas that we think is important to support.. If you want us to see your work live, which we will ultimately need to do if we are to programme your work, please do let us know where and when it is on, and give us at least two months’ notice so we can get it in the diary.

We prefer to work with artists and companies during the creation and development of work, which enables us to find ways of engaging audiences alongside the creative process, before presenting the final show. This means we rarely book a finished piece of work that we have not seen develop.

Ultimately, we present work we are passionate about, so there are exceptions to everything.

We will be opening a new home for dance in Brighton in early 2021, with three studios, one of which is a double height space that will convert into a performance space. As part of our new programme in the building we will be looking for artists and companies to partner with us to ensure that our performance and participation programme is diverse, inclusive and welcoming. Do get in touch with us if you think your work and approach could help us to ensure the new dance house will support everyone to take part in dance.

Our dance performance and participation programme is usually booked or at least in discussion around 12 months ahead. If you are an artist or company interested in being part of our programme, please do read about the three programme areas on our website to see how and where your work could contribute to the aims of our organisation. Do email details to at the earliest stage of developing your work. Tell us how you think it fits into our programme, and how your work can help us develop our audiences, and we will tell you whether it is something we can programme. We aim to respond to all artists’ emails within two weeks. Our programming meetings are monthly, and we hope to get back to you as soon as possible after this.

© Zoe Manders
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