The Dance Leeds Made – Immersive Dance At Its Best
June 14, 2015
[Images courtesy of yorkshiredance.com]
On Saturday 6th June, a group of over thirty dancers took part in Yorkshire Dance’s The Dance Leeds Made. This latest project follows on from the record-breaking project, The Dance We Made and is a collaboration between Yorkshire Dance and Casson and Friends. Back in January, choreographer and dancer Tim Casson created a new dance piece based on movements of the general public shopping in Trinity Leeds. Yorkshire Dance then decided to collaborate again with Trinity Leeds to bring a new project to Yorkshire, titling it The Dance Leeds Made.
The project aimed to bring a wide range of people in the local community together to perform one piece of spectacular, immersive dance in and around Trinity Leeds. Non-dancers were invited to practice and dance alongside groups of disabled dancers, students, older dancers and professionals during a one-week-only block of rehearsals.
I came along to Trinity Leeds to watch, and had chance to meet some of the fantastic people taking part and organising the event. It was clear that everyone involved was passionate and dedicated to the collaborative project, which was great to see.
This dedication continued throughout the performance. The bravery of the performers to break out into dance and communicate with random shoppers in Trinity was astounding. I wondered how many people I knew that would dare to take part in a project like that… not many. Yet these dancers had the talent and confidence to create a captivating piece of work that drew in crowds.
Keeping in time without music was a feat in itself. The absence of music was unusual, and probably didn’t catch the eye of as many shoppers as it would have done with music, but in some ways this made it more intimate. The subtle, ‘what’s going on’ effect worked well, and put a smile on many people’s faces. The crowds took videos and some even followed the dance as it made its way down the escalators from the very top of Trinity to the bottom floor.
I particularly liked how the dance was split into small groups dotted around Trinity. This meant the audience could focus on the movement in front of them, without becoming too overwhelmed with lots of dancers. However, the culmination of the performance was a whole team dance which worked brilliantly. Bringing together a group of creatives from different ages, backgrounds and dancing abilities was fantastic to see and a real treat. I hope to see community projects like this happening in Leeds more often!
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Review by Sophie Joelle