"Brexit put us in the fridge, Covid in the freezer”: The impact of Covid-19 and Brexit on UK freelance dance artists

Alexandra Kolb, Haitzinger Nicole

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© 2023, Edinburgh University Press. This is an author produced version of a paper published in Dance Research uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it. This article investigates how Covid-19 and Brexit have impacted the practices, finances and wellbeing of UK dance professionals, drawing on first-hand data collected in early 2021 from interviews, questionnaires and a panel discussion. The testimonies of freelance practitioners from different backgrounds, as well as key stakeholders from national institutions and organisations employing or otherwise interacting with freelancers, present bottom-up insights from the scene. Our research project more specifically explored the ramifications of the pandemic and Brexit, and the impact of these crises on the diversity of the UK dance scene (broadly construed). The voices and findings presented are framed by a discussion of the economic and political infrastructure of the so-called ‘creative industries’ in the country, with particular attention to the freelance creative labour model, risk and precarity. The article concludes by proposing a politics of small resistive steps which might help to mitigate these challenges, working from within the dance ecosystem.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-65
JournalDance Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2023

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