Cork ballet at risk of losing footing over funds

Swan Lake testifies as one of the gold-standard markers of ballet history.

Opulent costumes, alluring sets, and star-studded performances are set to dominate the prestigious performance of Swan Lake at Cork Opera House this November, but it’s uncertain whether the show will go on for Cork City Ballet.

The company has not received funding from the Arts Council since 2011 and failed to apply for it this year, throwing the future of the business into jeopardy.

“I was so despondent last year after not getting funding that this year I didn’t bother to apply because I just thought to myself I’m actually wasting my time,” said artistic director Alan Foley.

“Over the last number of years I have submitted application after application for very many different strands of funding from the Arts Council and each and every one of them has been refused.”

In an effort to raise money ahead of its five-night performance, Cork City Ballet has been forced to set up a Fund It campaign seeking help from the public.

The campaign, being launched tomorrow, hopes to raise over €15,000 over the next month and a half.

Mr Foley believes the distribution of funding by the Arts Council is “grossly unfair” and a disincentive for many companies like his, based outside Dublin.

Mr Foley said he dreads to think what will happen if the target is not success-ful.

“If it’s not funded, there is no doubt about it but the company will have to close because it cannot survive on fresh air,” he said.

He said the stress of the company’s financial situation has impacted negatively on the company’s preparation, ahead of the show.

“We would rather be putting our energies into production values and marketing and promoting the show and making sure everything else runs smoothly, but this is all part of it and we just have to get on with it now.”

Swan Lake runs at the Cork Opera House from November 18-21.


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