Dance of delight as grant is secured

Oxford Mail: Chameleon open the Dancin’ Oxford festival in 2012 Chameleon open the Dancin’ Oxford festival in 2012

DANCERS in Oxford will be jumping with delight after funding was guaranteed for the next three years.

Dancin’ Oxford has established itself as one of the leading dance festivals in the UK since it was launched in 2007.

Now Arts Council England has given the festival a vote of confidence by giving Oxford City Council a grant of £129,000 to secure its future until the end of 2016.

Dancin’ Oxford is run by a partnership body involving the council, Pegasus Theatre and Oxford Playhouse.

Since the festival was launched it has received financial backing from Arts Council England, but this is the first time the arts council has guaranteed its funding for more than a year.

Dancin’ Oxford festival director Claire Thompson said: “It’s absolutely fantastic.

“When the festival launched it got £57,000 from the Arts Council to cover the first two years and after that it received £40,000 a year.

“This year it was awarded £45,000.

“The festival costs about £110,000 a year to run and is funded by a mix of sources including sponsors and box office takings. The city council also gives a grant of £5,000 and I work four days a week to organise it.

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“This decision guarantees the festival’s future. We are already working on the 2014 programme.”

Hannah De Cancho, artistic director of Oxford-based dance company Sole Rebel Tap, said: “I have been involved in Dancin’ Oxford as performer, teacher, choreographer and audience member.

“It has something for all ages and as the artistic director of a dance company, I appreciate the support and platforms to show our work.”

Ms Thompson said the festival now features three key events each year, a spring dance festival, a summer outdoor event and family events in the autumn.

The news comes against a background of financial pressure on Arts Council England which suffered a 35 per cent cut in state funding between 2010 and 2015.

Arts Council England’s Nick Tapper said: “Dancin’ Oxford offers something for everyone from baby boogies to outdoor performances, from interactive dance encounters to a night ball in the town hall.” Dancin’ Oxford spring festival runs from February 28 to March 10.


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