West London’s new theatre

A new theatre is set to open in west London in October this year, named the Playground Theatre. The venue was originally founded in 2001 as a space for artists to explore theatrical ideas, without being a fully-fledged venue. After much restoration and conversion to the physical site, the Playground Theatre will open as a venue. Utilising a budget of £270,000, the new theatre will boast a seating capacity of up to 200, with a flexible stage and two dressing rooms.

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Auditioning skills

For performers, auditions can be the hardest part of the industry and their work. Once the dancer has the job, the hardest parts is over, but first they must get through that competing stage. However, auditions can be largely prepared for – bar the taught content of the audition – and dancers can practice handling how they respond to stress in group situations.

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The bad side of ballet training

Research has suggested that ballet training may encourage young students to suppress negative emotions, demonstrating potential psychological harm of ballet. Whilst this is rather a bold statement, research has revealed that studying music, for example, promotes a variety of cognitive and emotional benefits, whereas the results are more mixed for dance training, ballet in particular.

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Sky Arts’ post-Brexit project

Sky Arts has recently launched a £1m fund that will commission 50 artworks to explore post-Brexit Britain, in partnership with Barbican, Sage Gateshead, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Storyvault Films. Named Art 50, this follows the triggering of Article 50 as a landmark project that will explore what it means to be British post-Brexit. It will be funded by the Sky Arts Amplify fund, which was set up to encourage arts organisations and production companies to collaborate on new ideas.

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English National Ballet’s Emerging Dancer

Now in its eighth year, English National Ballet’s Emerging Dancer competition will be held at Sadler’s Wells for the first time on Thursday (25th May 2017). Selected annually by their peers, six of the company’s most promising dancers perform at the event in front of an eminent panel of expert judges, before one receives the 2017 Emerging Dancer Award. Also revealed on the night will be the recipients of the People’s Choice Award as selected by members of the public, and the Corps de Ballet Award, acknowledging the work on and off-stage of a member of the Corps de Ballet.

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Investment in new Birmingham Dance Hub

Arts Council England are set to invest £5 million in a new Birmingham Dance Hub. A total of £3 million will be invested over the next three years into the development of production and administrative space for dance artists and organisations – which will include office spaces, a large studio and meeting rooms which will connect to studio, performance and social spaces within the wider complex – with the remaining £2 million supporting additional dance activity.

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Queensland Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s programme

Queensland Ballet recently joined 12 other international dance companies to showcase its Dance for Parkinson’s programme on a free online portal, created especially to celebrate the global World Dance for Parkinson’s Day on 29 April. Queensland Ballet’s home is the Thomas Dixon Centre down under in Brisbane, holding weekly Dance for Parkinson’s classes which are renowned as an important way for the company to connect with and enrich the local community and to actively contribute to research.

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Inactivity to be tackled by national dance bodies

A collaboration between One Dance UK (previously Dance UK) and People Dancing (previously Foundation for Community Dance) will aim to encourage primary schools to spend more money on high quality dance provision for their students. The national dance bodies aim to tackle inactivity through the partnership, working to improve health and well-being through dance.

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