What Brexit means for dance

A report published by One Dance UK claims that Brexit will have a detrimental effect on dance in the UK without the right safeguards in place. The report, titled Movement Beyond Borders – The UK Dance Sector Outlook on Brexit, is the result of research, conversations and discussions with One Dance UK members and stakeholders that have taken place since the June 2016 EU Referendum, and it draws on insights gained through a recent survey of major dance organisations and individual dance artists.

The report found that 96% of dance sector survey respondents expect Brexit to have an impact on future touring work within the EU, with 86% of respondents anticipating Brexit to affect their UK-based work and productions, for example by reducing their ability to bring artists and organisations into the UK. The report considers the impact on the entire lifecycle of dance – from education and training, the creative process and conception of new work, through to its creation, production, performance and sharing, and sets out key learnings and recommendations of how to safeguard the conditions that will allow the UK dance sector to continue to thrive after the UK leaves the EU.

A lack of clarity about future arrangements post-Brexit is already having a direct impact on dance artists’ and major organisations’ ability and confidence to plan future work and productions, recruit and establish partnerships. One Dance UK and arts and cultural sector representatives must be part of the discussions in future negotiations on new international partnerships in a post-Brexit world, where the sector is concerned.

The dance world ultimately relies on free movement of creatives — dancers, choreographers, designers and technicians. The resources to deal with more visas each year are just not available. If the right safeguards are not put in place, it anticipates a huge impact on the UK dance sector, including on dance artists, companies and the art form itself, and predicts that the UK dance sector will not continue to thrive. An end to ease of movement could result in increased costs of more than £130,000 per year for some major UK dance companies – equivalent to almost 10% of annual turnover for some.