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Animated Edition - Summer 2004
From the editor
Ken Bartlett, Director, Foundation for Community Dance
This issue of Animated has a focus on cultural diversity. However, the more we looked at the issues and the practice(s) the more we realised how complex an area it is to encapsulate into one issue of the magazine. Artists, managers, audiences and those who fund the work operate in an ever-changing landscape of values, prescriptions, practices and solutions.

Embedded within the current debates and reflected by the writers for this issue are questions about individual, cultural and national identities, inclusion and exclusion, history and politics, and art and aesthetics. Importantly however, we wanted to celebrate some of the positive endeavours being made in different places and contexts, by different people, different scales of organisations and with different participants and audiences across the UK, sure in the knowledge that these are not the end of the story but clear that they are steps forward on what we believe is a central journey for dance and dancers in our country.

What is meant by cultural diversity has changed since 1976, the year Naseem Khan wrote The Arts Britain Ignores. Now, Naseem - writer and policy advisor - pinpoints some of the current issues, their difficulties and their extraordinary potential for transformation. Deborah Williams asks some difficult questions about the needs of culturally diverse disabled artists to seek to answer them. Independent dance artist Brenda Edwards recognises that the rhetoric is constantly changing, but urges us to continue to strive for a different future.

Other articles in the focus look at initiatives from across England, Scotland and Wales, reflecting some very different contexts and paths forward: Welsh speakers being included in dance because of the language training for dance teachers; the Octagon theatre in Bolton understanding better the nature of its relationship with Asian elders through the medium of dance; Sampad in Birmingham building on the popularity of the Bollywood 'phenomena'; Derby Dance Centre establishing a partnership with Punch Records to link urban and rural culture; and Dance Base in Edinburgh making public the mosaic that is the rich dance culture of Scotland. The partnership between Creative Partnerships and Birmingham Royal Ballet, and Sadler's Wells Breakin' Convention offer us important insights into developing more diverse audiences as well giving a high profile to diverse art and artists.

The international article features the long-term partnership developed by David Glass Ensemble with dance in Vietnam, whilst Fergus Early reflects on how he has developed his work as a dance maker to ensure accessibility for Green Candle's audiences.

We also take this opportunity to introduce you to a new organisation, Youth Dance England. It's director, Linda Jasper, reveals to the readers of Animated some of the issues she thinks are facing youth dance in the months ahead.

I myself am travelling to the World Cultural Forum in Sao Paolo, Brazil, where I am speaking on behalf of Community Dance in England to an audience literally from around the world. I am expecting to be challenged by different histories, politics and practice as I meet new people and certainly hope to encounter different perspectives on cultural diversity.

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Animated: Summer 2004