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Insert Title Here: an invitation to view, to dance, to reflect.

Photo: Peter Ball

Would you catch me if I fell?
You arranged, positioned and orbited me with thought and care, responding to my body
Together we revisited a memory looking deep, seeing a fresh
Uncovering images, intention, authenticity and Summer filled the room.
Is it really April?

Yes, it was really April (in that heatwave) and we were in the studio developing our latest intergenerational dance performance. I say latest but actually it has been a while, over 4 years, since our last full length piece. Like most creative processes it came with a fair amount of hope and uncertainty, knowing and full on ‘what the hell are we doing-ness…’ However I needn’t have worried as the conditions were right. It was clear from the first day of being together it was the right people in the right place at the right time. This project had been brewing for a while, a culmination of several research projects and small steps forward.

Maybe it is the diversity of the performers aged 18 to 62, some with a disability, some with professional level training and experience, but through our process of being together we created harmony and support. Or as one audience member reflected, “I would describe the piece as ‘destination happiness’, an inspirational way of being. It was very moving.”

Photo: Peter Ball

The project started with an invite to a host of Artists: Dramaturg Louise Katerega, Dancers, a Cellist from the London Mozart Players and a selection of SLiDE dancers. The invitation carries on into the piece, with the audience invited to name it by providing answers on a postcard. The premiere at the Croydonites Festival of New Theatre resulted in the title, ‘Ships and walls: Where old memories fell’. 

The invite is now firmly in the Croydon community as we take the core elements of the piece ‘on the road’. So far we have danced with Indian Dance students at Apsara Arts and with elders at the Croydon African Caribbean Family Organisation. Thanks to one of our dancers, Takeshi Matsumoto originally from Japan, we have been able to share a traditional Japanese Folk Dance with these groups. This folk dance has transcended cultural differences and has ‘spoken’ to those who have dance it with us (something for future investigation here) as well as providing a jubilant ending to our performance.

There is one more invite to join us as we will be performing <Insert Title Here> as part of the Crystal Palace Festival on Sunday 17 June at 3pm. Tickets are £5 for adults and under 18s are free. We are already looking forward to sharing this work again and wondering what the audience will name it!

No one quite knew how we got there but a knowing togetherness emerged.

Photo: Peter Ball

This project has been supported by the Arts Council England and Croydon Council.

Introducing…..

Tomorrow our wonderful performers will take to the stage to perform <Insert title here>, the show which we perform and the audience name! Through improvised dance and music the performers reflect on the past, questioning what brings us together and how we create a sense of ‘us’.

Putting the show together has been a glorious process. The creative team led improvisation tasks in dance and music, overseen by Dramaturg Louise Katerega. Our collaboration with Sarah Butcher, a Cellist with the London Mozart Players, has been a unique and inspiring experience enabling us to push the boundaries and challenge ourselves in new creative ways.

Our show at Croydonites Festival is sold out but tickets are still available HERE for our second show on Sunday 17 June in Upper Norwood, SE19.

Huge thanks to Croydon Council and Arts Council England for helping us to make this happen.

There will be more from us, and from <Insert title here>, once we have reflected on tomorrow’s performance. Wish us luck!!

 

Where does the time go!

We can’t quite believe that it really is February 2018, time is flying. We finished 2017 on a really positive note with a beautiful small group of our dancers projected onto the M&S building on Northend. Double Take Projections did a great job putting together the footage from our green screen film shoot. No one was ready for 25 foot tall SLiDE dancers but it was awesome and hundreds of people watched it!

And now we wait…..is Croydon going to be the Borough of Culture in 2019? Plus we have some exciting funding outcomes coming soon. So plans are a little on pause at the moment but we can definitely announce there will be more parkour/dance projects this Spring, watch this space. We sincerely hope that Croydon and SLiDE will be reaching new heights this year….!

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U.Dance! SLiDE invited to Birmingham dance festival

SLiDE is very pleased to announce that our youth company has been chosen to represent London at U.Dance 2017, taking place in Birmingham. The four day festival will give us the chance to perform at the Birmingham Hippodrome and take part in high quality dance workshops, with companies such as Candoco, Motion House and ACE Music and Dance. We will be performing our latest piece, Ubuntu, about group cohesion and community.

If you are able to help with a donation towards our costs we have a funding page here. This is the first time we have been on a residential trip. The sense of independence and the range of dance skills the group will be developing is HUGE. Naturally there will be significant costs of taking 14 young dancers, disabled and non disabled, and chaperones which includes food, accommodation, travel and staff costs. Thank you for any help you can offer.

U.Dance is organised by One Dance UK and more information can be found here. There will be 30 other youth dance companies from around the UK and the National Youth Dance Company of Scotland and Wales taking part.

New partnerships, new connections…

We have been really busy behind the scenes with lots of meetings and networking, ultimately building new partnerships. This has resulted in a new dance project with Parkinson’s UK, a fortnightly class for people with Parkinson’s in the Bromley area and of course, Rise and Rave! a FREE community event. Taking inspiration from Morning Gloryville (the ultimate sober rave phenomenon that has swept the globe) we have teamed up with our DJ friends at Club Soda and our new partner, the Boxpark Croydon. Expect great tunes and lots of exceedingly happy people welcoming in the weekend in true SLiDE style.

Since 2009 one of our founders, Gemma Coldicott, has worked with people with Parkinson’s Disease, helping to relieve symptoms and recapture joyful and free flowing movement. We are therefore really happy to be taking our practice to a new borough, reaching more people. Email Gemma for more info.

Last week we visited The Meath in Godalming, providing residential and day care services for people with epilepsy. The beautiful house and surroundings provides high quality care, including lots of performing arts and education whilst the Art House Meath is a design studio and shop in the town centre. We had a very warm welcome from the staff and residents and sat amongst all their wonderful creations from past performances and celebrations. We are hoping to bring our love of site specific performance projects and creative dance to this new partnership. Watch this space!

SLiDE seeks new Trustees and Champions!

We are looking for two new Trustees to join our existing board, could it be you?! We are looking for people who share our passion for inclusive dance and come from a range of professional backgrounds including the business, private and public sectors. Trustees guide the strategic direction of the charity, structure and governance and make key decisions.

We are also looking for a few more Champions! Our champions are advocates for SLiDE, spreading information about our work and help to steer us into new, creative directions.

Trustees and champions are expected to share our vision and be able to commit to 4-6 meetings a year which take place in Croydon during evenings or weekends. You will also be invited to our performances and events, such as our annual fundraising ceilidh.

SLiDE is an inclusive dance company co-founded by Anita Wadsworth and Gemma Coldicott to create engaging and exciting opportunities for people to encounter dance. We specialise in reaching marginalised communities such as people with disabilities and elders. In December 2015 we became a charity adding to our existing status as a Ltd Company. SLiDE works with many partners including The Brit School, St Christopher’s Hospice and Crystal Palace Foundation. Our values are accessibility, creativity, play and quality and we are part of a nationwide inclusive arts sector. For an insight into our work our showreel is available here.

We are a small but very ambitious dance company. If you are interested in joining our board please contact us for an information pack: gemma@slidedance.org.

 

Dancing at the Edges: Reflections from the artists

This year we had the privilege of collaborating with the patients and staff at St.Christopher’s Hospice. Choreographer Anita Wadsworth and Dancer Louise Klarnett share their reflections.


Images by Ben Joseph
‘I knew that we had to create something that we could perform, but also adapt to the needs of the participants. I chose to create a solo which was a “curation” of movement each person generated each week. The most powerful thing for me is the way that Louise’s solo can be “read” as a list of names, how I remember the people behind each movement, how the dance is a gallery, an anthology of the joy and challenges we shared together. We’re all excited about exploring this project and seeing how it will develop. The solo is a record of the past and our stimulus for the future‘, Anita Wadsworth.

‘One of our participants sadly just lost her battle with cancer. One day one of those participants was in the cafe, in tears from pain, but insisting she attend our workshop. She surprised carers by standing, dancing, engaging and smiling. This film and the b&w photographs are a beautiful record of how dance and movement overrode her pain and illness offering a new space to explore… The solo dance I ‘performed’ lives on and a version was shared at a recent conference. It is still evolving but it’s core belongs to all of the participants of this project, patients, staff and my colleagues’, Louise Klarnett