14 April 2015
From the section Entertainment & Arts
Farooq Chaudhry is a producer at the Akram Khan Company
Farooq Chaudhry has stepped down as chairman of industry body Dance UK after he derided the “declining standards” of UK dance training.
Chaudhry’s remarks were included in last week’s statement from leading choreographers Akram Khan, Hofesh Schechter and DV8’s Lloyd Newson.
They said UK students “lack rigour and technique” and were often “outclassed”, forcing them to recruit from abroad.
Chaudhry questioned whether UK dance schools were “serving their students”.
He said the country’s “teaching methods have fallen behind the needs of the market”.
Chaudhry has since admitted that his comments – made as a producer for the Akram Khan Company, rather than in his Dance UK capacity – had “created public confusion”.
“As chair of Dance UK I was meant to be neutral – I’m Mr Switzerland – but as a producer I have strong opinions,” Chaudhry told The Times.
“Clearly some people felt it was a betrayal of them and that’s absolutely not the case.”
‘Not sufficient calibre’
Khan claimed last week that just four of the 51 dancers his company had employed since 2000 were UK trained.
All of the choreographers said they had struggled to find dancers “of sufficient calibre” and had decided to “go public” to encourage the industry to work together to “level the playing field”.
The statement also claimed that less than 35% of graduates at the three main contemporary dance schools – the London School of Contemporary Dance, Trinity Laban and the Northern School of Contemporary Dance – go on to work as dancers or choreographers.
However the dance schools all disputed the figures and defended UK standards – with Kenneth Tharp, the chief executive of The Place at LSCD, demanding Chaudhry’s resignation in an open letter.
LSCD principal Veronica Lewis said the figure was closer to …read more
Source:: BBC Entertainment