30 years in pictures: 1999-2000

30 years in pictures | 20 June 2023

30 years in pictures: 1999-2000. Learn to Dance. Three brochures from the late 1990s

In 1999 – 2000, new names appear in the listings of staff (Kate Marsh as coordinator and Helen Smart as General Manager) and gDA (as it became known) continued to grow and develop as an exceptional resource for dancers, companies and communities. 

Learn to Dance, the community class programme (offered with a new membership scheme in order to bring the community closer) continued to offer Egyptian, salsa, contemporary, Irish, yoga, flamenco and a range of children’s classes in addition to Sevillanas workshops, tea dances and Capoeira courses.  The Millennium also saw Greenwich Dance Agency launching Youth Dance Companies across the Borough (Plumstead, Eltham and the Borough Halls), a programme which has run in a similar format right up until 2023. 

Primary school teachers in the borough were offered a free INSET Exploding Words, led by Michael Platt and Rhian Robbins exploring ‘innovative approaches to linking dance and literacy’ and Ruth Cook offered Skills Auditing and Career Planning for professional dancers.  

Exploding Words. Free dance INSET for Primary teachers at Greenwich Dance Agency. Tuesday 9th February 1999.

Exploding Words

Barbara Mahler and Jeremy Nelson performed in solos With Windows open Wide (Mahler) and Untitled (Nelson). Jonathan Burrows Group offered an open rehearsal for a piece co-commissioned by gDA destined to be premiered at Kunstencentrum Vootuit in Ghent. The company also performed at gDA with Singing alongside solo performances from Molly Rabinowitz (Liquid Grip and Spiral Split Open). 

Maire Clerkin hosted an Irish Dance Extravaganza as part of GDIF which included performances by Linda Fryday School of Dance, her own Clerkinworks Irish Dance Theatre Company, concerts in the Minor Hall and a Ceilidh.  

Flyers for Jonathan Burrows' Singing and Irish Extravaganza

Flyers for Jonathan Burrows' Singing and Irish Dance Extravaganza

Professional class teachers included, alongside a selection of previously mentioned names, Maggie Morris, Deborah Saxon, Jamie Watton, Sean Feldman, Tracey Fitgerald, Yael Flexer, Phil Hill, Paula Hampson, Jeremy Nelson, Susan Klein, Barbara Mahler, Jayne Pope, Catherine Quinn, Rahel Vonmoos, Sacha Lee and Siobhan Davies Dance Company. In addition, Artists in Residence included Backstage – Gail Sneddon, Barriedale Opera House Initiations, Bubblegun, Clerkinworks – Maire Clerkin, Flamenco Express, Floormotions, Physical Recall under Artistic Direction of Jamie Watton, Retina Dance Company, Modusforum and Colin Poole. At that time, arts marketing freelance experts Ben and Clair Chamberlain were residents at the Borough Hall.  

Opportunities for professional dancers. Leaflets from 1999.

Flyers for professional artist development opportunities

Companies rehearsing at the Borough Hall, (some of the cheapest space in London… £9 an hour for the huge Borough Hall and £6 an hour for the Supper Room)  included Random Dance (Sulpher 16) , Charles Linehan (a triple bill destined for Spring Loaded ‘99 of Number Stations, The Secret and Preludes and Fuges), Ricochet (with Stephen Petronio’s Fetch Boy and Fox and 5IVE- Part One by Nigel Charnock) and Carol Brown- (Like a House on Fire/FLESH.TXT) also in preparation for performances as part of The Place’s Spring Loaded ‘99. In 2000 these included Ricochet Dance Company with a new piece by Russell Maliphant to be shown alongside Singles as part of Spring Loaded ‘00, Fin Walker’s Duet for 4 (which was also performed at gDA), Retina Dance Company’s Oxygenius and Yael Flexer’s Flexible and not so Flexible. Imlata Dance company and Sarah Goldfarb were also in the space creating new work.

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