A range of support has been agreed by the council this week to promote the credentials of Leeds as a world class city for dance.
This follows a meeting of Leeds City Council’s executive board on Wednesday, which saw senior councillors discuss how the authority could further add its weight to a campaign that saw six cultural organisations join forces earlier this year to spearhead the Leeds City of Dance campaign.
As part of the launch in March 2014, representatives of Balbir Singh Dance Company, Northern Ballet, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Phoenix Dance Theatre, RJC Dance and Yorkshire Dance visited Leeds Civic Hall, where after performing for councillors they made a deputation to a full meeting of council regarding a new City of Dance map.
The map not only celebrates the city’s rich heritage in performing arts, but also the reach, engagement and economic and social impact of dance in Leeds. Almost 300,000 people saw a performance by the six organisations in 2012/2013, and a key aim of the project is to encourage more people to take up dance and see a show.
As part of a number of recommendations agreed by councillors at the executive board, further support will now be provided by the council to promote both the City of Dance message and campaign, in a number of different ways. These include the council endorsing City of Dance on its website and other marketing material and working closely with external partners to both promote the concept and explore potential future funding opportunities for dance facilities in the city.
Coun Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills said: “The sheer number of world class dance organisations in Leeds is absolutely fantastic, and the aim of the ‘City of Dance’ concept is to spread this message even more loudly and proudly, not just nationally, but right around the world in the future. Currently we are looking at options around a potential European Capital of Culture bid for 2023, and there is no doubt that if we do decide to put our name forward, our city’s brilliant dance offer will have a very important role to play.
“With that in mind, we have looked as a council to see what we can do to add further support this campaign which I am pleased was backed by members of the executive board. This will include utilising our own communication and promotional channels, and working with external partners to not only promote City of Dance but also investigate further potential funding opportunities for dance organisations in the city.”