opening new doors to the arts

Here at Blaize we think team work is very important and love to get together with other organisations when working on new projects. Here are some of projects that have benefited from this approach. Dance Across the North Dance Across the North was a project we are successfully managed thanks to ACE’s Strategic Touring funding, […]

Who we work with

Here at Blaize we think team work is very important and love to get together with other organisations when working on new projects. Here are some of projects that have benefited from this approach.

Dance Across the North

Dance Across the North was a project we are successfully managed thanks to ACE’s Strategic Touring funding, and was a joint enterprise with Balbir Singh Dance Company.

The year-long tour of dance around community centres, market places and small venues in the north is an example of how we plan to increase the number and range of people we work with.

Our ambition was not only to programme excellent dance and music performances and workshops with Balbir’s company but also to bring the work to an extended audience, some of whom may not have attended events before.

In addition to the public small scale events we worked with young people and linked flashmob events to public performances and the attendant workshops.

The project engaged with many people across the North and we reached out to people outside the ‘highly engaged’ segments as defined in the ACE’s research.

This project reported in 2017 and the film, short video, full evaluation report and summary report was shared extensively and contributed to the NRTF’s Rural Touring Dance Initiative 2.

Links to Canada and Touring Partners

Since 2000 Ellen Thorpe has worked with a group of touring scheme managers in a strategic alliance on joint projects, whereby we work co-operatively and share the responsibilities in order to benefit from the joint buying power to book artists that would otherwise be too expensive, thus sharing the workload and the risk.

We tend to do this with artists visiting from Canada and wherever it is appropriate to joint book and create projects.

Our on-going relationship with the Contact East showcasing event that rotates in the Maritime states of Canada is strong and mutually beneficial.

We take it in turns to co-ordinate the visiting company’s tour across the North and into Shropshire and Herefordshire which involves Skyping, emailing and generally making all arrangements with the 9 individual schemes including: Arts Alive; Spot On; Cheshire Rural Touring Arts; Arts Out West; Highlights; LiveLincs and ArtERYlive.

IETM

Blaize are members of IETM, an international network for contemporary performing arts whose mission is to stimulate quality, development and promote contemporary performing arts in a global environment.

IETM’s strength is in networking and communication.

This resonates with Blaize’s own aims and we benefit from the network in examining our own practice.

We actively engage with artists and companies within IETM who work in rural areas, leading sessions and delivering presentations.

Blaize has been a member since it was established and have attended Plenary Meetings in Slovakia; Slovenia; Lithuania; Germany; Denmark; Croatia, Ireland, Greece; France; Bulgaria; Italy; Hungary; Netherlands and Portugal.

Paula Horton Associate Artist is currently in discussion with companies from Italy and Sweden regarding prospects of joint project work.

We champion rural touring and have demonstrable expertise in the practice and the theory. Through IETM we have been invited to international gatherings as experts in UK rural arts practice, attending 2 cultural exchange conferences in France and Tandem, Community & Participation Partnership Forum, Rotterdam.

Blaize worked closely to develop a project with other European companies including Peer Group (NL), DasLetzte Kleinod (D) and 5eKwartier (NL), planning to develop a project with a strong rural agenda that will happen in all 3 countries.

Mike Bettison has been involved in all planning meetings and joint applications for funding European funding with partners.

With colleagues in the strategic alliance in the north we plan tours involving the best of artists from abroad, recently, New Zealand and Canada.

 

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