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Dance faces its Question Time - theartsdesk to hold live debate | reviews, news & interviews

Dance faces its Question Time - theartsdesk to hold live debate

Dance faces its Question Time - theartsdesk to hold live debate

Arlene Phillips and ballerina Tamara Rojo to tackle audience worries on dance's future

On the panel: ballerina Tamara Rojo, theatre chief Alistair Spalding, TV judge Arlene Phillips, choreographer Rosie Kay

As great changes happen in the British arts economy, what lies ahead for dance? What are the questions to ask about what we will watch in future, what we will create for others to see, what we will perform, what we will pay for?

theartsdesk and the national dance lobby organisation Dance UK bring together seven leading arts figures for a unique and pioneering live debate on Friday, 4 November at 1.15pm at The Riflemaker Gallery in Soho. The event will be filmed and streamed on theartsdesk. UPDATE: Find the report and film of the debate here.

The panel will address the crucial issues that audiences and practitioners alike must face in a time of shrinking public subsidy for the arts. This is an unprecedented opportunity for all those who love dance to put the hardest questions to artists and experts representing areas from the West End to classical ballet to independent artists.

The panel is:

  • Alistair Spalding (artistic director & chief executive of Sadler's Wells Theatre)
  • Arlene Phillips OBE (Hot Gossip founder, West End choreographer & TV judge)
  • Caroline Miller (director of Dance UK)
  • Craig Hassall (managing director of English National Ballet)
  • Robert Noble (co-director of New Adventures with Matthew Bourne & deputy managing director Cameron Mackintosh Ltd)
  • Rosie Kay (choreographer & artistic director of Rosie Kay Dance Company)
  • Tamara Rojo (Royal Ballet principal dancer)
  • Val Bourne (founder & artistic director for 28 years of Dance Umbrella)
  • Chair: Ismene Brown (dance critic of theartsdesk)

The free event will be held before an audience of invited guests and members of the public, who are asked to submit questions beforehand which it's hoped will tease out the broadest possible representation of people's concerns, from aesthetic to industrial. We are all finding new ways to engage opinion on the issues that we hold dear. Dance UK and theartsdesk together hope to enable this to be a pivotal open discussion of the changes that face dance now and that may lie ahead.

If you would like to attend and/or pose a question, please email Ismene Brown with your contact information and question by noon on Wednesday, 2 November. There are limited places available and due to time considerations it may be necessary to select from the questions submitted.

Details: The Riflemaker Gallery, 79 Beak Street, Regent Street, London W1F 9SU, from 1.15pm to 2pm on Friday, 4 November. A glass of wine or mineral water will be offered, and though the event is free, a voluntary donation at the door would be gratefully received towards the costs.

The debate will be filmed for online transmission via

* theartsdesk is Britain’s first professional arts critics website, launched in 2009 and now embracing more than 60 established journalists in all the arts.

* Dance UK, “the national voice for dance”, was established in 1982 by dance professionals and specialises in advocacy on behalf of the dance profession.

* The Riflemaker Gallery is a contemporary art gallery opened in 2004 by Tot Taylor and Virginia Damtsa in the West End's oldest public building, a Georgian riflemaker's workshop dating from 1712.

For more information, please email Ismene Brown or Caroline Miller at Dance UK


When will this be streamed on

This sounds really interesting but how do we listen to it online? Am I missing something here...?

Sorry, we have a problem with our live steam. Please follow the action at our Twitter feed:



you can say that again dude! how about some technical testing beforehand, next time!

The video & transcript should be up this evening, fingers crossed. Sorry to disappoint lunchtime tuners, but it was first time out on this particular combo & glitches happen. And hey, it's good that you're impatient. It'll be worth waiting for.

Look forward to seeing this. I am just glad that that there are people around enough to care about the "Cinderella"of the arts scene!

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