Eastleigh's The Point theatre has received a grant of £115k to deliver an exciting new project that will give young dancers in the region unrivalled career and development opportunities.
Awarded by The Linbury Trust, the notable arts foundation founded by Lord and Lady Sainsbury, the cash injection will be used to build on the already outstanding dance training and support the Leigh Road-based venue offers to young performers and artists.
As part of the ambitious programme - Fuelling The Next Generation of Dance Artists - the theatre, which is supported by Eastleigh Borough Council, will set up links with the internationally-renowned Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance based in Twickenham. This unique partnership will provide enviable opportunities for young dancers from 14 to graduate level and will include performance platforms, specialist training, placements, mentoring by world-class artists and commissions, all intended to provide clear pathways towards their professional careers.
The Point’s Dance Development Manager Vicki Hargreaves said: “The Point’s ambition is to galvanise its commitment to giving young people and emerging artists extraordinary experiences in the development of their talent. We have identified significant gaps in provision leading to young people slipping away at crucial moments as the ladder of training is not available locally to them.
“With support from The Linbury Trust, we will now be able to build on our provision and provide a clear progression route in areas where it is lacking in the current landscape. It will help us support the development of young dancers in the early stages of their career through to potential world class artists.”
Eastleigh Borough Council’s Cabinet Lead for Economy Cllr Derek Pretty said: “It’s fantastic news that The Point has received this funding from The Linbury Trust. The Point has long been regarded as a trailblazer when it comes to the development of young artists and performers, with many of those who begin their training at the venue going on to have successful careers in their chosen creative field.
“Through its flagship Associate Programme that offers a first rung on the ladder with a toolkit to ensure sustainability for young artists to its strong creative learning programme, spanning dance and theatre, where the very youngest can enter the building and engage until Higher Education training calls, The Point’s commitment to the development of talent is second to none.
“I look forward to seeing the results of this exciting new programme - the next generation of dance artist, coming from Eastleigh, prepared to survive in a constant climate of change, armed with the skills to have a sustainable and successful career in the dance sector of the future.”
For more details of the scheme, visit www.thepointeastleigh.co.uk
Image: Hampshire Youth Dance Company are based at The Point. Photo by Chris Nash