History of Danceworks
Danceworks - Positioning
Contemporary Dance has now been established in the South Yorkshire region for almost two decades initially creating a base of dedicated small scale dance attenders. In 1992 Sheffield Theatres, with support from a three year Arts Council development grant, enhanced the existing provision of small scale programmes with a highly successful May festival of middle/large scale national and international companies .
In the Autumn of 1993 with support and recognition from Yorkshire and Humberside Arts the South Yorkshire Dance Consortium (S.Y.D.C.) was created to develop the growth and provision of dance in South Yorkshire under the umbrella of Danceworks.
The S.Y.D.C Consortium (1994 - 1997)
Stephen Barry - Chief Executive Sheffield Theatres
Antony Waller -Sheffield and Rotherham Dance Project
Penny Hargreaves -Senior Dance Lecturer Sheffield College
Annabel Dunbar -Marketing Officer Sheffield Theatres
Sarah Wilsden -Independent Dance Programmer
S.Y.D.C's first initiative was to produce a high quality brochure encompassing all performances, educational workshops and residences for the 1994 Danceworks season which ran from January to June. Danceworks evolved into a festival of new works, exhibitions, a film season, commissioned premieres and international work - link to archive of events
In Spring 1995 with further support from YHAB and ACE the consortium expanded their use of venues to support the small scale touring network in the region (Sheffield and Rotherham) to include The Merlin Theatre, The Mappin Art Gallery, The Oasis in Meadowhall Shopping Centre and Sheffield College, Norton. Negotiations were undertaken to expand further into the South Yorkshire region but due to lack of funding as well as a dedicated paid co-ordinator the expansion was put on hold.
1995 also saw a partnership between the Strategic Arts Marketing Initiative (S.A.M.I.) and Danceworks (Sheffield Theatres). To produce proposals for the strategic development of audiences for the Danceworks season in Sheffield and Rotherham by Elizabeth Owen MA, BA (Hons) and Simon Shibli BSc, funded by Yorkshire and Humberside Arts and the Arts Council of England.
"The research confirms the success of the Danceworks season in building a committed audience for contemporary dance in the region and provides recommendations for the development of new audiences in the future" S.A.M.I.
Despite an extremely successful 1995 season, an application to ACE for the1996 small scale programme was unfortunately unsuccessful. With a small amount of funding from YHAB, SYDC created (with financial and human resource commitment from Sheffield Theatres ) what was to become a magnificent but reduced season.