In discussion 1, am looking forward to hearing the companies articulate and expand on their role in the corporate arts strategy that is represented by UK NPO’s; now heavily, and increasingly, linked to governmental cultural tourism outputs, as outlined by ACE.
Some of my burning questions after receiving no information from three recent FOI requests to three different organisations are:
Who is actually funding the proposed Hip Hop Academy at Sadler’s Wells East that is due to open in 2021 (is it still happening?)
Will it follow a Contemporary Dance Conservatoire model based on P.A.R.T.S in Belgium, as has been written by some?
Will it be free access or based on student fees and debt? Will it be certificated and if so, by which body?
In a rapidly gentrifying, (socially cleansing) capital that increasingly denies access to housing, transport, health and other basic needs to many citizens, including hip hop dance/theatre artists? How do the NPO’s feel about the dangers of hip hop dance/theatre’s implicit or explicit role in ‘Artwashing’?
Does the threat of periodic funding cuts (being dropped as an NPO) affect their output?
Did/do they find themselves linked to a series (or triptych) of monolithic, legitimising, venues in their journey to becoming an NPO, for instance Sadler’s Well’s, The Barbican and The Place?
Do artists/companies see anything problematic in regularly re-staging/re-imagining classical Western narratives? Bearing in mind bell hooks comment that:
“The Eurocentric perspective/gaze see and values only those aspects that mimic familiar white Western artistic traditions."
and Danny Hoch’s statement about the use Western theatrical narratives in Hip Hop Theatre where classic texts such as Sondheim, Dickens and Shakespeare often dominate:
[I]t sends a message that the hip-hop generation have no stories of its own and that in order for hip-hop to qualify as theatre it must attach itself to such certified texts (…) The feeling that results is of watching a hip-hop minstrel show.”
In discussion 2, I am looking forward to hearing the artists talk about what ‘break through’ represents. Is its a financial proposition, is is being legitimised by certain venues, is it being allowed access and agency and what does ‘within our community” mean to them?
Please try to get along and support the event.