As the Nobulus tour continues to travel around the country (Finishing on November 18th!!). We caught up with another of our Everybody Dance Now artists, Clare Fildes who filled us in on her time working with young people at The Lowry in Salford.
Here’s what she had to say:
“Dance makes me feel like me”.
“Dancing is good. It makes me feel like nothing else can. In this project I’ve felt creative and educated. I feel like a choreographer”.
These are the words of two young men I have had the pleasure to work with in Salford youth clubs as part of the Everybody Dance Now project. The project was set up by Dance Touring Partnership to inspire young people and to build a relationship between them and theatre. EDN encourages young people’s creative growth, confidence and widens their life experience.
Back in July 2013 I started on the first leg of the Everybody Dance Now project with Dance Touring Partnership. I had an intense couple of days working with the amazing Alex Wengler director of Nobulus, exploring his epic show ‘Out Of the Shadow’. Alex gave us far more than I’d hoped for as he passionately relayed in great depth his way of working. We learnt about Alex’s personal warm up and how this has evolved over time. We had a great insight into the thorough and disciplined methodology he used in putting the show together from creating moves and developing these into dramatic scenes to making his own music and collaborating with lighting and design. Each job had a clear process and Alex spoke of the importance of the precision needed when bringing them all together. An epic job done to perfection. Alex is truly inspirational and I cannot wait to see Out Of the Shadow this Friday 15th November at The Lowry.
The next part of the journey was to bring Nobulus’ magic to the young people of Salford. The Lowry sourced some youth clubs in Salford where young people were invited to create some hip hop theatre with me. I have enjoyed meeting the groups of young people I worked with on this project. There was a mix of ages and abilities. None have had formal dance training and not many had taken part in dance sessions before. Three young people from the project are highly proficient in one kind of hip hop dance such as ‘krumping’ and it has been a pleasure to help them develop other dance techniques and for everyone in the project to explore their creativity to allow them to communicate their ideas through movement.
The project was not easy to deliver, battling issues such as commitment, concentration, discipline and transport as participants came from different youth clubs in Salford and their families were not available to support them via transport. We also had to team build and to create a bond in a group that had not worked together before. The support of the youth leaders, The Lowry staff and DTP was crucial to making the project happen.
Out of all the young people who have taken part in Salford’s EDN project, three young men decided that they would like to create a piece to perform as a curtain raiser at The Lowry. These young people had never met before. The youngest is 12 and the eldest is 18 and through this project they’ve built a strong friendship and now have each other to create dance pieces with. They have expressed they’d love to in the future. The young men are wonderful to watch. Their street dance skills are self-taught and they have a real thirst to express themselves which allows them to lose their inhibitions when exploring creatively. It has been a pleasure to witness their talent develop through working together. Bonding and feeding off of each other creatively conjuring up dark metaphors to comic fantasy in such a short space of time: only a couple of rehearsals to actually build a piece to perform. I am just so pleased to have been able to bring them together for them to express themselves through movement [‘When I’m dancing I feel like I’m me’ ‘Werewolves would not do ballet they would krump’] and have the much needed platform to perform. But this can’t be a one off. These young people need the continued support to allow them a chance to create to encourage their physical efforts.
This project has been crucial to inspiring them to develop their talents further by giving them a target to aim for: their performance, experience of the commitment needed to achieve the target, inspiration from Nobulus –the kids are so excited about seeing their performance on Friday. Dance Touring Partnership aspires to ensure that this project has a lasting legacy for the participants. All the young people now have sign posts to find a route to develop further once the project has ended, probably via the strong relationships they have developed with The Lowry, myself and each other. As one participant continuously says at the end of each session: ‘can’t we just carry on? Dancing is the best!’