Ipswich’s DanceEast given £60,000 to create new digital suite

DanceEast's Centre For Advanced Training students in performance. The new digital suite will allow both students and professi...

DanceEast's Centre For Advanced Training students in performance. The new digital suite will allow both students and professionals to develop work in a virtual world. Picture: Rachel Cherry - Credit: Archant

Ipswich’s DanceEast studio has been given a £60,000 grant to create a new digital suite.

Capturing a virtual dance performance in the new 'green screen' studio inside the Jerwood DanceHouse Picture: Chris Nash

Capturing a virtual dance performance in the new 'green screen' studio inside the Jerwood DanceHouse Picture: Chris Nash - Credit: Archant

It believes the money from the Jerwood Foundation will help the the facility to extend its online provision of classes and courses - future-proofing it for years to come.

DanceEast first formed a relationship with the Jerwood Foundation ten years ago, when it provided a major part of the funding which allowed the company to move to its on the Ipswich Waterfront.

The latest award from the Jerwood Foundation will mean that DanceEast can be part of the ongoing development of a digital dance network in the UK.

Brendan Keaney, DanceEast artistic director, said that the new facilities will provide a vital facility for dancers, choreographers, artists and freelancers as they look to a future beyond the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.

Crafting a digital performance in Editing Suite 2 at the Jerwood DanceHouse Picture: DanceEast

Crafting a digital performance in Editing Suite 2 at the Jerwood DanceHouse Picture: DanceEast - Credit: Archant


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He said: “We are incredibly grateful to Jerwood Foundation for this funding to enable us to realise our ambition and position DanceEast at the centre of digital dance innovation in the UK.

“They understood the DanceEast vision then, to provide state of the art facilities here in Ipswich that would attract the world’s most renowned choreographers and artists – it seems only fitting now that The Jerwood Foundation have invested in the next chapter for this wonderful dance house, helping DanceEast and the sector move towards a brighter and more exciting future for dance.”

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He added that ten years on, DanceEast remains committed to its original ambition of creating and showcasing great dance.

“To this end, DanceEast has a mission to enhance the Jerwood DanceHouse, not only future-proofing it, but driving forward a new and exciting era for dance by creating a digitally friendly building,” he said.

Jerwood DanceHouse on Ipswich Waterfront Picture: David Parry

Jerwood DanceHouse on Ipswich Waterfront Picture: David Parry - Credit: Archant

Work carried out during lockdown has enabled them to install a flexible ‘green screen’ broadcast studio, with pre-production and post-production facilities.

This sector-leading facility will enable the organisation to offer dance artists a ‘high end’ research and development space to create new work for digital distribution.

Alan Grieve, chairman at the Jerwood Foundation, and Lara Wardle, executive director, said: “This grant reaffirms our longstanding relationship with DanceEast.

“We continue to admire their vision and are delighted to enable this future-facing and timely project to move ahead.”

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