Dance Pilot Network

We’re dipping our toes into dance theatre

house are piloting a programme which will offer support to venues in the South and South East to develop audiences for dance theatre, through opportunities, programming and expertise. This comes in response to growing enthusiasm from venues across the network.

It’s hoped that this pilot activity will become a permanent feature of house’s programming, widening the range of theatre that house presents on tour.

Most of all, it should give more venues the confidence to programme dance theatre, and more dance theatre-makers the skills to reach audiences.

We are proud to have support from The Place, London and Surf the Wave, Pavilion Dance South West and South East Dance.

Following an application process, eight venues were selected to be part of the pilot network. They are:

  • Mill Arts Centre (Banbury)
  • Hertford Theatre
  • Luton Culture
  • Norwich Playhouse
  • Old Fire Station (Oxford)
  • Guildhall Studio (Portsmouth)
  • The Curve (Slough)
  • Worthing Theatres

Activity so far…

On tour in 2020
We’ll be touring at least three dance theatre pieces in 2020. The first is Juliet and Romeo by Lost Dog, on tour from 20 March 2020. These will all be supported by dedicated audience development support from Rosie Neave of Roost Communications.

Pitch Up Dance, October 2019
In October 2019, we hosted a Pitch Up event specifically for dance theatre-makers and venues in the South East and East at the iconic The Place in London. It was hugely successful, with 10 theatre-makers pitching new ideas and 10 arts organisations pitching their ambitions and audiences.

Surf the Wave UK showcase, May 2019
With the support of Surf the Wave, we took programmers from the pilot network of venues to the UK Dance Showcase in May 2019. The opportunity allowed the group to grow their repertoire and knowledge of contemporary dance. Here’s a round up of the event from Mark Makin, house Touring Associate.

Rosie Neave, of Roost Communications, has devised a A Short Guide to Writing Copy for Dance Artists  for us.

Key objectives of the pilot network

  • Undertake activity that will allow and encourage venues to focus on developing audiences for dance in their local area
  • Develop skills and knowledge of touring small-scale dance regionally amongst venues and touring companies
  • Assess the existing appetite and challenges for touring small-scale dance theatre across the South East
  • Create connections and share knowledge and ambitions amongst venues, touring companies and the dance industry

We hope to achieve these by:

  • Establishing a network of venues across the South East with a shared interest in developing audiences for dance
  • Identifying and presenting high-quality, small-scale dance theatre for the network
  • Offering marketing and audience development expertise alongside the dance shows
  • Giving the venue programmers an opportunity to see more dance theatre
  • Delivering a training programme for dance artists interested in presenting work across the south east
  • Connecting venues and artists interested in creating new dance theatre regionally
  • Evaluating, researching and sharing findings with the network and other bodies, such as Arts Council England.