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Rural Retreat

Over the last weekend, 5-8 January 2017, Artistic Directors from the world’s leading dance companies met in Ipswich to discuss major global leadership challenges, focusing specifically on audiences. The event was hosted and organised by DanceEast and brought together leaders from the across the USA, Australia, Asia and Europe.

Devised and originated in 2003 by DanceEast to support and create a world-wide community of Artistic Directors, Rural Retreats have become a key event in the dance calendar, providing unique opportunities for both established,  emerging and young leaders from within the sector to come together, share experiences and ambitions for the future of dance globally.

This was the tenth Rural Retreat and took place at DanceEast’s home, the Jerwood DanceHouse in Ipswich, the perfect setting to take time out; a creative environment, stimulating and provoking creative thinking, and Snape Maltings Concert Hall where the first Rural Retreat was delivered in 2003.

After a positive weekend of discussions during which delegates shared experiences and heard presentations by guest speakers Jennifer Curry (Executive Director, Dancers’ Career Development), Ann Wixley (Creative Director of OMDUK, former Principal Ballet Dancer of PACT and CAPAB in South Africa) and Roger Wright CBE (Chief Executive, Aldeburgh Music, former BBC Radio 3 Controller & Director of BBC Proms), the Directors made the following group statement:

“This 2017 Rural Retreat has again seen we Artistic Directors from dance companies from across the globe gather together to exchange and explore ideas. Being the 10th Retreat over a period of 14 years, it was exciting to see the impact that DanceEast’s programme of Retreats has had on the evolution of artistic leadership in dance.”

Brendan Keaney, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of DanceEast, said,

“DanceEast is immensely proud to have hosted its 10th Rural Retreat this weekend. The knowledge and energy that each Director contributed, together with their collective spirit of openness and enquiry, has been quite extraordinary.”

The Retreat discussions were facilitated by Isabel Mortimer, personal and executive coach, established leader and fellow of the Clore Leadership Programme, and Jo Wright, Facilitator and Coach, Licensed Practitioner of Insights Discovery and Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming tools.  

Accommodation was generously supported by the Salthouse Harbour Hotel. DanceEast is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

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Grapevine Editor
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