Jane Attenborough Award Winner: Brendan Keaney

Brendan KeaneyBrendan Keaney, Director of Greenwich Dance Agency, started his career in dance as a freelance performer. His first professional engagement was as a dancing sailor in Derek Jarman’s film adaptation of The Tempest. He has since worked as a teacher, animateur and more recently as an administrator/manager. Immediately prior to joining gDA in 1996, Brendan was a Dance Officer at the Arts Council of England. In addition to his work at gDA Brendan has served on a number of Boards and committees and he is currently an advisor to the Bonnie Bird Choreography Fund.

Alistair Spalding, Chair of Dance UK said: “Brendan has worked tirelessly and with generosity to support and nurture dancers and for the development of dance. He has been described as a catalyser of dance, a wise enabler and a visionary director who has created one of our industry’s most user friendly spaces for artists. And all of this with great modesty and selflessness.”

Dance UK established the Industry Award in 2003 to highlight the many important and unacknowledged contributions that make a real impact on how dance is created, supported and seen. It was set up to honour an individual working in dance who has made an outstanding contribution to the art form and who, through his or her knowledge, skill and generosity, has had a significant effect on dance. Theresa Beattie, Director of Artist Development at the Place andDick Matchett, freelance arts consultant were previous winners.

This year’s award was dedicated to Jane Attenborough, founding Director of Dance UK, who died in the tsunami disaster in 2004. The award was presented by Jane’s brother, Michael Attenborough who is Artistic Director of the Almeida Theatre.

In receiving the award Brendan said: “It seems particularly fitting that this award should be dedicated to the memory of Jane because of her unique contribution to dance. However it also occurs to me that the dance world is largely populated by people who make extraordinary contributions, consequently, to be singled out in such a field is a great honour indeed. “