Northern Area Dance Network
In November 2010 Vincent Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director Charlotte Vincent and Dave Edmunds, Director of DEP Arts, were invited by Arts Council England to facilitate the first Northern Area Dance Meeting (NADM) in Leeds. The first meeting was designed to enable individuals from dance sector to talk, network and discuss some of pressing issues facing practitioners who live and work in the North of England. Questions arose around whether the northern region is a place where dancers can study, train, perform, develop careers, produce work, practice community engagement, tour with confidence and make a living. The day was Amplified so that what was discussed at the meeting could be witnessed and engaged with by those unable to attend on the day.
In February 2012 Dave and Charlotte followed up the first NADM meeting with three intimate dinners in Liverpool, Newcastle and Leeds, inviting key people working across the North to further discuss ideas and issues raised in the initial meeting in 2010. Each dinner began with a commissioned provocation from a speaker (Matt Fenton Director from Nuffield Theatre Lancaster in Liverpool; Victoria Firth Director of Lawrence Batley Theatre Huddersfield in Newcastle; and Martin Wilson Director of Tin Arts Durham in Leeds. A series of lively and thought provoking discussions ensued with the invited independent dancers, artistic directors, producers, community practitioners, venue managers and dance agency representatives at each event. These dinners were also amplified and the issues raised were processed by Charlotte to form the agenda for the second larger sector wide meeting, which took place at Yorkshire Dance in March 2012.
The second larger meeting at Yorkshire Dance was again Amplified, and photos, soundclips and videos from the afternnon can be viewed here.
Identified at the meeting were some key principles / future strategies and a spontaneous Manifesto that the members of the meeting collaboratively agreed upon. Dave and Charlotte handed their tenure of responsibility for the development of the NADM network and its identified aims back to the sector at this meeting and a number of sub groups were formed to continue addressing the needs of the greater north. These included a Festival of the North sub Group, a Professional Development Group, a Touring Group, a Digital Network Group amongst others. It remains now to be seen how the NADM progresses from 2012 onwards.