We were so pleased with the success of our Dance In Time weekend at the end of November, so we wanted to share both some images and writing from the weekend. We invited local writer Jennifer Parsons to write a review of Dance In Time 2016, which is below. There are also some beautiful images from photographer Jacob Brandon.
We hope you enjoy!
Over the weekend of November 26th and 27th I was delighted to be invited along to the Dance in Devon dance platform in Dartington.
On the Saturday I was very lucky to observe the ‘Dance in a Day’ workshop funded by the Big Lottery Celebrate Fund enabling dance for all. The workshop was led by Emilyn Claid, a hugely respected choreographer who on this occasion was looking into the relationships between ‘yielding’ and ‘pushing’; when does one become the other and how does it travel through the body of the dancer. It was a workshop looking at being present within your own body and supporting oneself first before reaching out into the surrounding world. Through different activities the dancers worked with Emilyn to discover how their actions affect the actions of others within the room. These activities were a mixture of practical movement based explorations, choreographic experimentation with items picked at random from each dancer’s bag, improvisations as solos and duets.
The joyous thing about the workshop was the range of participants in age, ability, experience and reason for attending and this in turn I feel gave the workshop something decidedly unique. Out of 18 attending there was a mother and daughter duo, a group of retired men and women who wanted to get out of their comfort zones and experience different things-dance being one of them, former dance students of Dartington returning after an absence, and several from a dance group in Crediton. A wide diverse group reflecting how dance can reach out to us all.
On Sunday it was performance day. I was treated to a selection of dance from the Crediton Love to Dance Group who performed a duet featuring staccato, angular movements with the dancers continually rushing to each other to stop them from breaking. A lovely piece showing support, great timing and comedy!
Next was a work in progress from Gillian titled Love in Paradise. This saw Gillian pulling from personal experience to create a desperate piece, poignant and intense with use of props.
A beautiful piece of dance from Debbie Lee-Antony, titled ‘Threshold’ exploring the passage of time was the last of the live performances for the day. This was a dance that really spoke to me with a strong contemporary base she used her whole body to translate emotion and speed of time. This piece really seemed to connect to the audience who were all transfixed on the dancer for the duration. With beautiful extension, moments of stillness opposed with moments of frantic movement the dynamics were ever changing.
Finally we were shown the footage of the Ageing Well Flash Mobs which took place over the Summer of 2016 around Torbay. Dancing to ABBA’s Dancing Queen the screen was lit up by faces of dancers over the age of 50, loving every minute of their dance. Ageing Well is a 6 year project funded by The Big Lottery committed to reducing isolation in the communities of Torbay for those over 50. And this is what dance is about for me; the opportunity for everybody to participate regardless of age, gender, experience.