What would Brexit mean to dance? Many big hitters in dance were among the 300-plus arts people who signed last month’s public letter urging the UK to remain in the EU: the Royal Ballet’s director Kevin O’Hare, choreographer Akram Khan, Sadler’s Wells chief Alistair Spalding and Sir Matthew Bourne among them. I’ve asked some of them to spell out exactly would be altered by a Brexit.
First, dance structurally depends on maintaining large numbers of permanent employees, whose skills require long-running and continuing group schooling. Both of these givens imply structural costs far beyond those entailed by opera or theatre.
Also, as an artform, dance speaks international languages – ballet is a fusion of many countries’ traditions, contemporary dance emerges from many sources – and its companies recruit globally. British dance history is thus a story of world culture.