Gallery: Dancers move in to new building

DANCERS had a first taste of their superb new waterfront studios at special sessions to show them the potential of the project.

Richard Cornwell

DANCERS had a first taste of their superb new waterfront studios at special sessions to show them the potential of the project.

When the �8.9 million Jerwood DanceHouse at Ipswich opens later this summer, it will enable DanceEast to double its work, launching many new courses and programmes.

Work on the project on the former Cranfields Mill site is well under way and should be complete by August.


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“It's a very exciting time for us and we were thrilled to have some dancers come along and see just what it is going to be like,” said DanceEast's marketing and communications officer Fiona Speed.

“A lot of the work is already done, floors are down, plastering is taking place and fittings are being put in, and we can't wait for it all to be finished.

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“When we move into the DanceHouse from September we will be more than doubling in size our programme with lunchtime sessions for workers, morning sessions and a variety of dance to suit everyone.

“The aim is 'access for all' - people of all ages and all abilities.”

Taking part in the sessions on Saturday were young members of the Tots and Co group for one to three year olds, the Spin Off dance group for adults with learning or physical disabilities, and some from various youth groups connected with the dance organisation.

The government-funded centre will comprise three dance studios, a 200-seater studio theatre, a waterfront caf�, a dance resource library, pilates and therapy suites, showers and changing rooms, creating a new cultural hub for the area.

Contractors Morgan Ashurst have already installed large concrete acoustic floors in each of the four dance studios and put up a steel structure in the large studio theatre to support the lighting and sound equipment for performances.

The dedicated ballet studio is to be called the Sir Frederick Ashton studio in honour of the Royal Ballet director who lived for some time in Eye.

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