Dance centre reveals opening celebrations

YEARS of effort to create an �8.9 million international centre of dance in Ipswich will come to fruition during a weekend-long programme of celebrations.

Annie Davidson

YEARS of effort to create an �8.9 million international centre of dance in Ipswich will come to fruition during a weekend-long programme of celebrations.

The long-awaited Jerwood DanceHouse, developed by DanceEast, will open its doors for the first time on October 9 to kick off three days of energetic activities.

The waterfront venue is situated in the former Cranfields Mill and boasts four custom built dance studios, a 200-seat studio theatre with full production facilities, dressing rooms, therapy suites, a green room, and the new headquarters for DanceEast.


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It will also have a caf� - known as the Danceeats.

The long-term project has been in the pipeline for almost ten years and forms one part of a �70 million redevelopment of the Ipswich waterfront.

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DanceEast was founded in 1983 and money for the new centre came from organisations including Arts Council England, the East of England Development Agency and Ipswich borough and Suffolk county councils.

Opening celebrations for the new centre will begin at the Jerwood DanceHouse on October 9 when there will be a salsa evening with classes and a party.

The next day, a dancing procession will make its way through Ipswich from the Corn Hill to the DanceHouse where there will be free taster sessions in all kinds of dance including jazz, street dance and adult tap.

In the afternoon, dance artists including the Royal Ballet, Bonachela Dance Company and Srishit, a south Asian dance company, will be performing.

Aching muscles can be soothed on the final day of the festivities when a wellbeing and family day will be hosted with free yoga and pilates classes.

Assis Carreiro, artistic director and chief executive of DanceEast, said: “For the first time in its 27 year history, DanceEast will be in control of its destiny.

“We will double the size of our current spaces and we will be able to present new work and develop new audiences.

“We want the entire community to have ownership of this facility and to feel that it is theirs whether for a coffee or a class.

“The Jerwood DanceHouse will be beautiful, majestic, practical and comfortable; but most importantly it will be the people that inhabit its spaces that will make it come alive.

“Raising capital funds is one big challenge that we have now achieved.

“But, once our doors open, our biggest challenge will be to ensure this DanceHouse has a vibrancy that is infectious and captures everyone's imagination.”

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