This is the first time South Somerset District Council run Octagon has received an award from the Arts Council.
The funding is awarded to a two year dance project developed in partnership by The Octagon and Take Art. The project will see an increase in dance performances with bosses promising an ‘exciting and diverse’ range of leading dance companies visiting The Octagon.
The project will also provide opportunities for people to take part in workshops, master classes, summer schools and other participatory events with leading dance companies, support dance companies and encourage them to create work in Somerset. There will be audience development work and a new job created with additional hours for some existing roles.
Arts & Entertainment Manager, Adam Burgan, said he was ‘delighted’ with the award. He said, “This is a significant step forward for The Octagon as an organisation and an exciting development for our guests and patrons. The funding opens up huge possibilities for exciting performances and opportunities for people to engage with dance like never before.”
Cath James, Co-Director for Dance with Take Art said, “Take Art are delighted to be part of the Octagon’s dance development programme and to be working with our South Somerset District Council colleagues to bring bolder and better dance to the region. We welcome the prospect of offering a wider range of opportunities for our community to take part in some great dance activities and get involved with what is one of the fastest growing art forms in the country.”
Arts Council England supports arts and culture using public money from the government and the National Lottery. In recent years The Octagon Theatre has welcomed high profile dance companies including Birmingham Royal Ballet, Flawless and Richard Alston Dance Company.
Councillor Sylvia Seal, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture added, “This is great news for the Octagon Theatre, its guests and patrons. We look forward to working with Take Art to bring better dance to South Somerset. The grant awarded gives a greater opportunity for people to come and get involved in dance and enjoy themselves with the new workshops, classes or summer schools at The Octagon Theatre. Guests and patrons will also see an increase in the number of dance performances which will add more to an already jam-packed number of shows.”
For more information on The Octagon Theatre visit: www.octagon-theatre.co.uk