Greenwich Dance Announces Legacy Plans

News | 18 December 2023

Summer in the Park

Greenwich Dance today announces plans for the continuation of its activity that supports communities and artists, through other organisations.

In addition to these plans, part of Greenwich Dance’s legacy has been to raise the issues facing small arts organisations among key decision makers, including the Culture Secretary, Shadow Culture Secretary, local councillors, and Arts Council England, to advocate for reform in the funding of arts and culture in the country.

Following the sad news of Greenwich Dance’s forthcoming closure earlier this autumn, the company has been in talks with other like-minded organisations about taking on responsibility for some of its programmes, so its long-standing beneficiaries can continue to participate in its work.

Greenwich Dance’s popular outdoor class and events programme, presented in partnership with The Royal Parks in Greenwich Park over the summer months, will now be delivered by Arts Trust Productions. Full details will be confirmed shortly, with participants and interested parties encouraged to sign up to Arts Trusts’ mailing list for further information.

Greenwich Dance is also in conversations about who will take on responsibility of Summer in the Park. Presented in partnership with Arts Trust, this festival series animates popular and lesser-known public spaces across South East London with a range of dance performances, workshops, roller-skate jams and other family friendly activities. This year’s Summer in the Park saw a combination of live and digital audiences exceeding 7500, engaged over 200 artists and over 50 local businesses.

Since the start of the pandemic, Greenwich Dance has delivered a Dance for Wellbeing series of classes that aim to enhance people’s physical and mental health, while also offering an inclusive space for people to come together and dance. Positive conversations are ongoing with a local dance organisation about taking on the delivery of this strand of work, that would see the continued delivery of classes across the local area.

The organisation’s Adult Performance Company known as GD Collective, which brings people together to share creative ideas and movement material and offers annual performance opportunities, will now be taken on by its Artistic Director Maria da Luz Ghoumrassi, with a year of studio hire costs provided by Greenwich Dance to help ease financial risk. Maria will further be supported to develop her own artistic practice with a number of free studio hours generously provided by Peabody.

Initially launched in direct response to the pandemic, ArtsUnboxed, will now be hosted by People Dancing. Designed to create a sustainable and cost-effective way to supply venues and audiences with access to performances and participatory experiences, ArtsUnboxed is a revolutionary model for creating and sharing dance across the country.

Talking Moves, a podcast all about dance, will be kept available for people to listen and download by Woolwich based podcast production studio Creative Kin. Since launching in 2020, Talking Moves has welcomed over 60 artists to discuss an array of topics across 31 episodes of lively discussion. With over 7,000 downloads to date in 28 countries worldwide, the podcast gives a unique insight into the industry, putting artists at the centre of the debate and providing an opportunity for their voices and ideas to be heard.

Following Greenwich Dance’s closure, its website will host a digital archive of the organisation’s 30-year history, with C-DaRE (Centre for Dance Research at Coventry University) taking an archive of printed materials. Greenwich Dance’s website will also become a resource centre that will include a list of local dance artists and organisations providing dance activities available across South East London so people can find ways to continue participating and enjoying dance long into the future.

Melanie Precious, CEO and Creative Director of Greenwich Dance said: “It means so much to me that we can find ways to continue to support artists and communities despite our closure. It takes some of the pain away of having had to go through this deeply sad process. I want to thank the Royal Parks, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, City Bridge Trust, Peabody, and the National Lottery Community Fund for being so open to ideas about how to continue the work. Their flexibility and support has been incredible. I’d also like to thank the many organisations and individuals who have been exploring alongside us the various ways of supporting both the work and us, personally, as a team during this hard time. We were so touched by the number of people reaching out and offering help.”

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