#LoveDanceScotland Commissions Call Out

Posted on 30 Sep 2020 in News, Performance

Deadline for Expressions of Interest: Thursday 22 October 2020. 5pm

Dance Base Scotland, Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre & Tramway are pleased to announce their collaboration on a new nation-wide commissioning project to support Scottish-based independent artists to develop and deliver a new work of scale under the banner of #LoveDanceScotland Commissions.

We want to support artists to sustain and develop their practice in these challenging times and this commission will provide artists with the time and space to create work that can engage with and respond to Scottish audiences.  Our collaboration seeks to support projects of ambition that allow artists to make a step-change in their artistic practice, where a connection with audiences is considered through both process and presentation of the final work.  
This commission is supported through the Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund which aims to reconnect artists, audiences, venues and communities and to celebrate the vibrancy of dance in Scotland, and the diverse array of voices that make it what it is.

The commissioning partners do not wish to pre-determine what ambition and step-change might mean for individual artists, so we are keeping the commission brief open and invite artists to respond to these ideas in a way that is relevant and meaningful for them. We also invite artists to consider the evolving performance landscape in Scotland and the challenges and opportunities to engage with audiences in a post-COVID reality. 
Each commission can be tailored to suit the needs and ambitions of the applicant. We are looking for artists who have an interest in working with these three dance organisations in Scotland and a desire to tap into their human and material resources. We imagine proposals may include (but not limited to): 
Work designed for Dance Base, Tramway or Dundee Rep’s performance spaces. This could be new work or an upscale of an existing idea
Hybrid or mixed media work that is still rooted in a dance/choreographic practice
Work set in outdoor or site responsive locations, outside of the venue-based context
Participatory or socially engaged work
Time based or durational works
A development process that could include a self-determined programme of continued professional development. For example, mentoring or training which would support the step-change in the work the artist is looking to achieve within the proposal
We are asking applicants to actively consider how their project (including its development process) will comply with social distancing and other Government guidelines that may be in place. We are looking for projects that are flexible and adaptable and artists who are able to respond to the changing nature of the current performing landscape. 
Whatever the proposal, we expect a form of public outcome that engages meaningfully with audiences in at least one of the partners’ locations before the end of March 2021. This should be an organic manifestation of this development period and could take the form of a complete performance, a sharing of work in progress or a different kind of event(s) proposed by the artist.

We are seeking proposals from independent dance artists and choreographers based in Scotland for commissioning strands encompassing one commission of £50k and one commission of £25k.  This will be complemented by the following in-kind venue support:

Approximately four non-consecutive weeks of Rehearsal and Development Studio Space at Dance Base and/or Tramway (exact number agreed in consultation with the artist and venue). Applicants may wish to increase studio time (by including external studio hire) or make provisions to work from home/a local studio (in response to COVID19 restrictions), these requirements can be articulated and budgeted for in their proposal.

One Production Development Week at Dundee Rep Theatre, including access to the stage and technical crew, as well as access to production workshops in advance. Please note that core costs for the production of scenery, props and costume must be covered from within the project’s budget as well as any hires of specialist lighting, sound, video etc. equipment not available from the stock of the three partners. Access to the theatre’s production resources will need to be agreed in advance and take into account the department’s changing capacity operating under changing constraints. (Production support for outdoor work can be provided where possible and in consultation with the venue – please note that access to equipment and staff support for outdoor work may be limited.)

In-House Technical and Producing Support from Commissioning Venues. Support from the partners will be available to advise and enhance the realisation of the commissioned projects. The projects will not be directly produced or production-managed by the venues and adequate consideration for managing project delivery should be included in the budget proposal (including producing, production and communication fees, travel, accommodation and subsistence costs, any relevant insurances, royalties, logistics etc.).

Marketing and Documentation Support from Commissioning Venues. Advice and support from venue organisations will be available but we ask applicants to prioritise adequate budgeting for core communication provision.

Performance Opportunities. Beyond its public outcome by the end of March 2021, the commissioned projects will be guaranteed a place in the programme at Tramway’s Dance International Glasgow Festival (8th – 23rd October 2021) and have priority programming opportunities at Dance Base’s Edinburgh Fringe Programme (August 2021), and Dundee Rep Theatre’s Autumn 2021 Programme (September - November 2021). 

The #LoveDanceScotland commissioning organisations will support the artist to broker conversations with other venue partners and promoters from an early stage. Partners and promoters will work with the artist to make sure the work they are developing is appropriate for the scale and audiences it is intending to reach and is aware of its potential marketplace to tour to different venues and contexts in Scotland. 

We are inviting applications from artists who are currently full-time residents in Scotland and who can demonstrate a sustained development of choreographic practice. Artists must have experience in producing and touring at least one live performance work. Formal dance or choreographic training is not a requirement. Please note, this opportunity is not open to Regularly Funded Organisations.
Artists will have an interest and enthusiasm for working across the three Scottish dance organisations.
Applicants must demonstrate a strong rationale for wanting to be part of this programme at this stage of their career, and a capacity to manage a project of this scale.
We ask applicants to actively consider how audiences are centred in their approach not just in presentation but in process. This could include artist talks, blogs or public facing sharings online or in person as part of the development process. We are seeking robust and innovative approaches to connecting with audiences in Scotland and encourage artists to consider the potential access needs of audience members.
We are looking for work that could also have a potential life after the commissioning process and demonstrates an understanding of the reality and challenges of the Scottish touring/presentation landscape. 

The #LoveDanceScotland partners recognise there are significant barriers to working in the dance sector and that these challenges are experienced more acutely by those facing marginalisation and deep-rooted systemic injustice. This includes people with protected characteristics as defined by the Equality Act 2010 across age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation alongside those with chronic illness, neurodiversity, parental/caring responsibilities, experience of the immigration system and people from working class backgrounds. 
We are committed to increasing the diversity of artists working in our sector and especially welcome applications from those who identify as having characteristics currently under-represented in our sector. 

We recognise that some application processes can be a barrier for some people and that there are a number of additional challenges in the present context. We would like to make the process as clear and accessible as possible and propose two stages of application:
Stage 1: Expression of Interest – Written or by Video
In Stage 1 of the application process, we are looking for a short Expression of Interest including the following key information:

A description of your idea for the project, an outline of key collaborators, the audiences you wish to reach, how you plan to engage with them and why you are keen to explore this.
How the opportunity will represent a step-change in your current practice.
An indication of whether you are applying for the £50k or £25k Commission.
An outline of how the project will be responsive to evolving public health guidelines.
A timescale of the research and development relative to the performance opportunities outlined above.

Expressions of Interest should be submitted in either a written (no longer than 800 words) or video (no longer than 5 mins and accessed via a password protected platform e.g. Vimeo) format. Visual quality, camera and editing skills will not be taken into consideration for filmed submissions. 

Please also include a link to more information about your practice - this could be a CV, personal statement or a link to your website.  We would also encourage you to tell us if you identify as sharing one or more of the prioritised characteristics outlined or experience any significant barriers accessing opportunities such as this.  

Deadline for submitting Expressions of Interest is 17:00 Thursday 22nd October 2020.  Applicants will be notified on the progression of their expression of interest by Friday 30th October.  

Please send your Expression of Interest to Laila Nobel, Assistant Producer at Dance Base, at Laila@dancebase.co.uk 

Stage 2: Shortlisting and Final Selection.  
We anticipate selecting 8 shortlisted applicants to progress to the Stage 2 Final Selection process.  Applicants will be invited to complete a more detailed proposal further outlining the idea, timeline, creative team, desired audience, production process, budget, access and reporting. The deadline for the Stage 2 detailed application will be 11:00 Friday 20th November, which will be followed by an online interview with the applicant to discuss the proposal on the 26th or 27th November.  
Shortlisted applicants will be paid a fee of £321 (2 days at ITC daily rate of £160.50) to complete the detailed proposal and attend the interview. Applicants will be notified of the outcome within one week of the interview.  We are committed to offing detailed feedback to all Stage 2 applicants on the decision-making process.  
The selection panel will be comprised of Morag Deyes (Dance Base), Joan Clevillé (Dundee Rep & Scottish Dance Theatre) and LJ Findlay-Walsh (Tramway Glasgow) and three external panellists (including practicing artists) based outside of Scotland that represent a wide demographic of lived experiences.

Should you wish to have a conversation about the application process, require this information in an alternative format, or have access requirements we need to meet to support you in making an application please contact: Kirsty Somerville, Programmes Manager at Dance Base on kirsty@dancebase.co.uk