Boosted health and a creative legacy
The entire population of the UK has been invited to fill streets and public spaces with a celebratory day of participatory dance today as more and more people get active and creative as part of Big Dance 2012.
At London’s Trafalgar Square you’ll see Wayne McGregor, resident choreographer at the Royal Ballet, bringing together dance groups from across the capital. This performance will feature 2,000 dancers on multiple stages and giant screens.
Throughout the rest of the country, streets, squares and parks will come alive as communities come together for the fun of dance. It’s the flagship event for the Big Dance programme. Visit www.bigdance2012.com to find out how to get involved near you.
Lighting up the Thames Valley
An exciting arts project that has been creating a lasting impact from London 2012, by funding ideas and local talent across the Thames Valley, will culminate in an explosion of light and movement in Reading tonight.
Two years in the making, Tree of Light will involve over a thousand local dancers and performers who will join together at the Madejski Stadium to welcome the Olympic Torch.
Described as “glorious, thought-provoking and immense” the finale will be held at dusk in the beautiful grounds of Stonor Park, Henley-on-Thames on 21st July. Talking about the project, Performance Director Charlie Morrissey says: “There is an incredible energy that is generated by a mass of people who have all been working together on a common goal – whatever their previous experience.
Stewart Collins, Creative Producer, adds, “This is community arts truly come of age. People power!”
For more information about The Tree of Light visit http://www.thetreeoflight.org
Cumbria’s young people CanDance
A legacy project in Cumbria has been named as the best in the North West after inspiring young people to get into dance.
CanDance was created after a consultation revealed a lack of inclusive dance opportunities in Cumbria for young people with learning disabilities such as autism. Lynn Fade, Project Organiser said: “We wanted to make dance available to young people who face the most barriers to participation. Dance is the perfect activity because it’s non-competitive, sociable, and other people can see the result of your efforts. Everyone involved in the CanDance project has really worked hard and enjoyed themselves.”
CanDance created six new inclusive youth dance groups, one in each of Cumbria’s districts, as part of Sport England’s Sportivate Olympic and Paralympic legacy initiative. Sportivate gives 14- to 25-year-olds who weren’t active in their own time, the chance to find a sport they enjoy.
The award was handed over by Paralympic basketballer, Dan Highcock, who is one of a team of Sporting Champions. He said: “Discovering sport as a teenager totally transformed my life, so it’s fantastic to see how CanDance is changing the lives of young people in Cumbria.”
Image credit: SportEngland
Dancing for change
A stunning new dance piece performed in public outdoor spaces has been changing perceptions and showcasing the talents of deaf and disabled people this summer, as part of the Cultural Olympiad.
Known as SPUN Productions, the choreographed routines are performed by the StopGAP Dance Company, the UK’s leading integrated company for dancers with and without disabilities.
It forms part of the Accentuate programme - 15 projects taking place across the South East, each inspired by the Paralympics and designed to change how people think about disability.
Check the tour dates to find a performance of SPUN Productions near you