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Studio Wayne McGregor Supports Freelance Dancers With New Programme

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RESET 2020 is being hosted at Delancey's Here East, London's fastest-growing innovation campus.

Studio Wayne McGregor has developed and launched a series of unique initiatives - RESET 2020 - to support professional freelance dancers in the wake of the disruption caused by COVID-19.

RESET 2020 is being hosted at Delancey's Here East, London's fastest-growing innovation campus and launchpad for the capital's most impactful businesses, technologies and creatives. Here East is the East London home to the creative engine for renowned choreographer and director Wayne McGregor CBE and has provided the studio space for free.

The aim of the initiative - the only one of its kind across the UK - is to ensure that a generation of professional dancers is not set back or lost completely due to the effects of the pandemic.

RESET 2020 also demonstrates the importance of cross-sector collaboration and generosity in ensuring the creative industries can thrive.

The programme is being delivered by Company Wayne McGregor dancers and teachers drawn from its world-class company, and diverse pool of teachers and trainers.

Commencing in August 2020, RESET 2020 offers three different training programmes in accordance with experience levels. The initiative also encompasses mentoring support from peers, and access to talks on various aspects of being a freelance artist, including finance, tax, marketing, fundraising, producing, health and wellbeing and nutrition.

The creative industries have been particularly hit hard by COVID-19, especially the performing arts sector which has suffered dramatically due to the closure of theatres and music venues. Despite the announcement of a £1.5bn support package from the government in July, there are still fears from the industry that long-established cultural institutions - theatres, venues, and dance companies - are not receiving the funding they need to survive this period. Furthermore, the impact on employment is set to be felt twice as hard by creative freelancers with 287,000 freelance roles expected to be terminated by the end of 2020.

When it comes to collaboration and generosity across industries, Studio Wayne McGregor has received support from Arts Council England and The Garrick Charitable Trust, making the initiative possible. Here East has provided the space for the programme for free on campus, while Sadler's Wells, Harlequin Floors and The Royal Ballet have donated specialist equipment needed to kit out the space.

For example, Harlequin Floors has provided their new dancefloor, Harlequin Cascade with BioCote Antimicrobial Protection, for the project. This will ensure a higher level of safety and enable dancers to perform floorwork- an important aspect of contemporary dance - with confidence that their health is a priority.

Gavin Poole, CEO of Here East, comments, "The vision for Here East was to create a space that enabled collaboration and innovation across the industries, and to support the development of a diverse array of careers. Studio Wayne McGregor's work brings this approach to life. We are incredibly proud to be home to such a leading light in the arts and creative industries."

"The versatility of the Here East campus infrastructure means we can offer space to meet the needs of our tenants, from scaling and growth, to putting in place programmes and initiatives in reaction to the rapidly-changing world around us."

Wayne McGregor, founder of Studio Wayne McGregor, comments, "There was an urgent need for RESET 2020! Not only a bespoke programme to re energise our own company of dancers after months of lonely training at home but also as a way to champion Independent dance artists by sharing our resources with the wider freelance community who have been so badly affected by the pandemic and lockdown.

"Nothing can replace the experience of training in a studio alongside other fantastic talents and we have developed a programme that offers technique classes with world class teachers alongside professional development talks and workshops to inspire."

"We now need to ensure that this critical maintenance and professional development series continues throughout the Covid crisis and allow all of our elite athletes access to this art form specific nourishment. Without the dancer there is no dance."

Steve Green, Harlequin Group Marketing Director, comments, "COVID-19 has disrupted the dance industry significantly. In these difficult times, it is more important than ever to focus on improving hygiene in the dance studio, so we are launching our new Harlequin Cascade with built-in antibacterial protection.

"In the current climate we need to work together to ensure we support and champion the artists within the dance community. We are delighted to be able to play a part in this through our involvement in Studio Wayne McGregor's RESET 2020 programme at Here East."

Here East is designed to foster collaboration, allowing its community to scale and grow at pace. Tenants include BT Sport, Plexal, Fiit.tv, Sports Interactive, Ford Smart Mobility, Matchesfashion and The Trampery, who provide 21 studios for local artists, businesses and designers on the Gantry.

With 75 per cent of the campus let to companies spanning startups, academic institutions and global corporates, Here East, and the onsite innovation centre Plexal, has become London's fastest-growing cluster for esports, micro-mobility and the creative industries. The campus is now home to a community of 4,500 people working and studying on the campus, and attracted 95,678 visitors over the last 12 months.


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