It is sometimes so hard to work in this sector that you feel like rather going to work in a shop and doing something you don't care about. Conversations with Georgina Thomson, who has managed Dance Umbrella since it began (and developed it into one of the most significant and certainly fantastic annual arts programmes in South Africa) have been lessons in how to turn despair into stamina. Les Perkes of artatwork says "We could not believe it when we heard that Dance Umbrella had lost its major funder, especially considering how much they got out of it, and how much more they could have got out of it if they had harnessed the project's potential to dance for them in more imaginative ways than they did. Georgina's face. Oy it was terrible." And it was terrible for a long time.
For this reason, receiving a press release from Business and Arts South Africa today - announcing their supporting grant for Dance Umbrella's new major funder Rand Merchant Bank - was an excuse for exuberant cartwheels in our office this morning. Well-deserved relief for one is a great sign for us all. "I bet you Georgina still has some headaches ," says Lesley " but we hope this means she now has the well-deserved space in her mind and heart to continue to develop the Dance Umbrella brilliantly and that it gives her some time off from the fundraising mill."
The BASA release also announces another five great projects who are to receive supporting grant funds and we are told that Dance Umbrella will run from 24th February to 6th March. That's soon. Buy a whole new outfit and tickets and when you are there, smile nice at the suits, tell them how dance makes us dream.