Arts Council Ballet Policy Review

Aoife McGrath, Victoria O'Brien, Derek Purnell

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


    In May 2006 the Arts Council commissioned an independent review of the context and issues affecting professional ballet in Ireland. The findings were subsequently collated in a policy paper entitled Towards a Strategy of Support for Professional Ballet in Ireland, which was published in 2007 and adopted by the Council in the same year. The report acknowledged ballet as an integral part of cultural life and its importance to the development of many forms of professional dance. The document set forth a number of recommendations that have since formed the basis of art-form policy and funding relationships with ballet organisations.
    In parallel since then, a number of important changes have taken place within the ballet sector. Some of these changes are the inevitable consequences of these difficult financial times. However, despite these funding challenges, the sector has managed to retain its vibrancy and popularity with national audiences. While the sector continues to evolve, the limited financial resources available to the Council have become an obstacle to implementing the road map envisioned in 2007. Given its significance and popularity, ballet remains an extraordinarily underdeveloped art form in Ireland. A key weakness of the sector is that future development of ballet provision remains fundamentally uncertain and is still overly dependent on the personal and professional commitment of a few individuals.
    This review aims to analyse the current situation, discuss and consider how matters might be progressed and to propose a comprehensive framework for the development of ballet in Ireland. The purpose of the review is to provide an objective point of reference for the Arts Council‘s medium- term ballet policy and to inform and guide future public investment in the art form. The review also intends to progress the work undertaken since 2007 in response to the document Towards a Strategy of Support for Professional Ballet in Ireland.
    Within a wider perspective, the review is expected to provide compelling evidence of ballet's relevance to Irish cultural life. It will also create an opportunity for the Council to engage with relevant stakeholders with a view to addressing the challenge of how best to provide for ballet on a sustainable basis within the context of a changed financial environment and an evolving professional sector. There is reason to expect this review will also assist the sector in giving voice to its aspirations and needs. This would certainly assist the Council in garnering support for a blueprint for the consolidation of professional ballet practice and education in Ireland.
    It is envisioned the ballet policy review will be closely aligned to the Arts Council‘s own high-level objectives and will take account of developments that may arise from the broader process of strategic review the Council will undertake in 2014.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationDublin
    PublisherArts Council of Ireland
    Number of pages40
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


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