Plymouth Dance have been having a blast this summer of 2021, hosting and organising a range of events across the city, it’s been keeping us busy but most importantly its allowed us to reconnect with our community in Plymouth! Have a read below of some highlights over the past couple of months.
2021 Plymouth Respect Festival
Our summer started this year post Covid lockdown working in partnership with Plymouth and Devon Racial Equality Council for their annual Plymouth Respect Festival. In the transition back to working face to face this years festival was conducted digitally and streamed live on Youtube! If you didn’t manage to catch the event live you can find the stream on youtube via the link below:
We had a wonderful time reconnecting with some staple respect festival performers and working alongside FOTONOW and The Barbican Theatre. All of whom helped to make the event such a big success! Similarly to the in person events we had a mixture of performances and workshops that people at home could join in with as well as two wonderful presenters, Victoria Horan and Shaday Barrowes reacting in real time to peoples comments and engagement with the live stream. Each recording was provided by the performers or filmed by FOTONOW who also collated the final stream in partnership with the wonderful technicians at The Barbican Theatre, where the event was streamed on the day!
It was a privilege to work alongside such a diverse and multifaceted team to share the great variety in cultures, experiences and communities in Plymouth! We cannot thank everyone enough for their continued commitment to Plymouth Respect Festival and for the members of the public who tuned in on the day and continue to watch the live stream on YouTube.
Made by Katie Green: The Imagination Museum Mayflower 400
What a great joy it was to work with Katie Green and The Box for The Imagination Museum’s Mayflower 400 performances in July 2021! This project entailed two local artists Kaitlyn Howlett and Kane John Mills working in 4 schools across the city to create and devise movement based around the history of the Mayflower in its 400th year celebration. This work was captured and developed into a short film by the wonderful Roswitha Chesher, which was show inside the box alongside the live performances in July!
Both Kaitlyn and Kane worked alongside the Imagination Museums core staff; Lucy Starkey, Megan Griffiths and Sarah Blanc during the 6 performances at The Box in which a fantastic variety of audiences enjoyed. What a wonderful finale these performances were for this national dance and heritage project! If you would like to catch more of the Imagination Museums future shows around different dance and heritage stories give them a follow here: https://www.facebook.com/TheImaginationMuseum
The West End Carnival Parade
Our summer events didn’t stop there however! In August we were over joyed to be working with Plymouth City Centre company to coordinate the West End Carnival Parade as part of their Summer of Fun annual events! This parade was a delightful display of community that was themed around the city centres summer design of butterflies, flowers and bees! We we’re joined by Exim Dance Company to create and lead our parade movement and performance and Plymouth and Devon Racial Equality Council to create and lead on props and costume for the parade.
This Carnival was designed as a celebration of the west end of the city centre to bring attention to lesser known/ visited area of town. The parade toured from Place de Brest to Frankfort Gate and was top and tailed by two local samba bands with a cohort of colourful costumes dancing their way through town. Plymouth Dance were so please to be a part of this parade and thank everyone who took part, we couldn’t have been blessed with better weather or bigger smiles!
Inclusive Dance Summer Intensive with Adam Benjamin
We carried on celebrating our summer activity’s with a two day Inclusive Dance Summer Intensive with Adam Benjamin, held at Oxford House Creative Hub! We were joined with both local and regional artists for the intensive across a marvellous two days of improvisation and exploration.
We were delighted to be able to share a studio once again in the return to face to face activity. It was important to us to create a relaxed but safe environment during the two days, to do so we were mindful of ventilation, sanitisation and proximity in task based explorations during moving to help alleviate any anxiety across the intensive. A big thank you to Adam Benjamin for your wonderful facilitation as always, to Oxford House Creative Hub for such a welcoming and clean environment and our intensive participants for your the joy of sharing a space and moving together once more.
Tea Dances with a Twist! 2021 – 2022
Our final summer of 2021 event brought us to the continuation of our Tea Dance with a Twist! events after nearly 2 years apart! We wanted to ensure the whole team were fully equipped and prepared to start back, so with funding secured from Arts Council England have been able to run a training programme for the whole team and our volunteers. The team have refreshed practical training such as first aid and safeguarding as well as meeting face to face to redesign the events in a Covid-19 secure manner.
It was important to us that everyone attending and working at these events feels safe, however given the nature and purpose of the events didn’t want them to feel clinical and so have devised a new way to conduct the events that encourages safety whilst also providing space for socialising and moving freely. We received a wonderful reception at our first event back in September and were so please to welcome many familiar faces and well as new ones! We’re over the moon to be leading these events once more at Plymouth Guildhall, if you would like to come and join in these friendly events we’ll be back again on Saturday 6th November 1.00 – 4.00pm.
A huge thank you once again to everyone involved in our summer activities this year, we couldn’t have done it without you!
The Plymouth Dance Team