What we do

Find out about the British Council’s Theatre and Dance team, including an overview of our work and one of our major programmes

Rosalind blue SM HR James Cousins Co ph David FoulkesJames Cousins Company challenges the perception of gender roles as part of the British Council's Shakespeare Lives season in Korea. Photo: David Foulkes.

Welcome from the British Council’s Theatre and Dance team – a group of performing arts professionals with specialist knowledge about international opportunities for theatre and dance.

We believe an internationally connected performing arts industry creates inspiring work and makes the world a better place.

Explore this part of the website to learn what we do and check out our frequently asked questions.


Current update

Like many organisations, the British Council has had to review the way we work and reduce the size of our operation.

We are currently working towards our new staffing model of three people in the Theatre and Dance team and our capacity is very limited.

During this time, we’re asking artists, freelancers and organisations for your patience. As time progresses, we hope you’ll help us find out what works and what doesn’t as we embark on new ways of working together.

In the meantime, you can stay in touch in the following ways:

For a statement about the future of the British Council, see this link.


 Overview of our work

Rambert lead workshop of emerging artists in Colombia 2 photo Lukas JaramilloRambert leads a British Council workshop for emerging artists in Colombia. Photo: Lukas Jaramillo

Arts is a cornerstone of the British Council’s mission to create a friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and the wider world. We find new ways of connecting with and understanding each other through the arts, to develop stronger creative sectors around the world that are better connected with the UK.

We work in these key areas:

  • Connecting through arts and culture
  • Creative economy
  • Culture responds to global challenges

Our public arts programmes often challenge outdated perceptions of the UK. We have specific priorities in different parts of the world. For instance, in East Asia, one of our focus points is arts and disability, and a key concern in South Asia is to help improve opportunities for women and girls. These priorities enable us to build lasting relationships and make a real difference.


 Example of our work


Claire Cunninghams The Way You Look at me Tonight at Southbank Centres Unlimited Festival. Photo by Rachel Cherry 5Claire Cunningham performs at the Unlimited festival, which showcases some of the best new work from disabled artists. Photo: Rachel Cherry

We partner with the organisation Unlimited to commission new work from disabled artists. We bring international delegates to the Southbank Centre's Unlimited festival to see performances, take advantage of professional development opportunities and develop new projects with UK companies. Unlimited aims to embed art made by disabled artists within the UK and international cultural sectors. 


Find out more:


> Read more about the British Council’s work in arts and in other areas.

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