The Creative Case for Diversity is an exciting yet potentially complex area for arts organisations. For Balbir Singh Dance Company, the conversation it has sparked is both welcome and timely.
BSDC exemplifies diversity at all stages of its creative process: it is to be found in the creative director’s background and formative experiences; among the company’s collaborators, artists and performers; in the themes explored in its work; and, importantly, in the diversity of audiences which this work attracts.
Yet there are challenges, albeit less obvious ones, that do speak to the need to reflect on the Creative Case at different levels.
BSDC’s experience in 2017 offered a particularly interesting opportunity for this kind of reflection. This prompted Balbir Singh to ask of the company: ‘how can we meet the challenges and where will this take us on our journey?’
The company’s response to this was published in a booklet. Using two case studies as a starting point, the publication explores the main challenges that the company encounters as a culturally diverse maker of work.
It also reflects on the lessons that can be learnt from this experience. Where strengths are identified it proposes ways of building on them. For areas that suggest unmet need, it points to potential solutions that the company feels could be considered – at the organisational, national and international levels.