Green screen dance studio to be developed through LEP’s business recovery scheme

A leading-edge green screen studio for dancers and choreographers is to be made possible thanks to the LEP’s Business Resilience and Recovery Scheme.

DanceEast in Ipswich will augment one of its existing studios to develop the green screen facility, which will also be available to businesses wanting to improve the quality of their digital delivery.

Meanwhile, it will explore the use of the latest 5G technology to teach dancing in schools through a funding package via 5G Create, announced on 31 July by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

DanceEast will be part of a major collaborative project titled 5G Edge-XR, led by BT and working alongside the BT innovation team, BT Sport and a group of technology and academic partners. The project will involve working with 5G technology and seeing how it can be applied to the sport, entertainment and cultural sector.

The technology will be used to create a teaching model for schools using virtual and augmented reality, which will appear to place dance professionals in the school hall, enabling every child access to extraordinary interactive dance teaching of the highest quality.

DanceEast has been building its digital strategy for some time and the challenging circumstances created by COVID-19 have only accelerated plans. Through these exciting projects, the organisation is determined to not simply embrace the new circumstances but drive forward digital dance innovation.

Brendan Keaney, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of DanceEast, said: “The pandemic has created enormous challenges for the Arts and Cultural sector, but from day one we have tried to remain focused on what we can do rather than dwell on what is, at least for the time being, no longer possible. DanceEast has been experimenting with digital delivery in local schools since 2016 and the COVID-19 crisis has given this work a new sense of urgency and energy.

“We hope to be able to return to live dance at the Jerwood DanceHouse at some point soon. However, there can be no doubt that digital tools will be transforming future dance practice – whether it is in our studios, on stage or school halls. This is not simply about working through this crisis, it’s about how we take dance into the future.”

The Business Resilience and Recovery Scheme has been established to support businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic and during the economic recovery. It will provide grants to support short-term business resilience projects and longer-term recovery and diversification projects.

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