There’s been lots going on over the last month and so I wanted to take this opportunity to do a short round up of the things and people I've met that have energised and inspired me.
Congratulations to London Contemporary Dance School staff as the end of another busy School year draws to a close. It was a real pleasure to see a whole range of work on stage during the run of Graduation performances but I was sorry to miss the leavers’ ceremony last Friday, when Place Patron Anthony van Laast came as guest of honour to speak to the students. The day before at the alumni event, an unexpected connection between Work Place choreographer Tony Adigun and Anthony came to light, as Tony learnt that Anthony was the choreographer of the hip hop show ‘Bounce’ that Tony said had transformed his life and sparked his desire to take hip hop into a theatrical context. I was very impressed to learn from two of our Graduating male students that they are shortly heading off to train intensively with the Shaolin Monks in China. I hope they are early risers – they soon will be, with 4.30am starts! By coincidence two LCDS and LCDT alumni Micha Bergese and Darshan Singh Bhuller produced and choreographed the Shaolin Monks show that played very successfully in London some years ago.
I was delighted to witness our first ever youth choreographic platform Without Compromise on Saturday 12 July, which played to a packed house and it was most welcome to see the creativity of our young dancers and our rich practice to nurture this, put centre stage with deserved profile. It was good too to see Matthew Bourne there in support and he was remarkably generous in posing for ‘selfies’ with just about anyone who asked, and he was in big demand that night. Well done to our recreational dance team and to all those creative young people.
I was delighted to catch up with the wonderful Grayson Perry and Jermain Jackman (winner of The Voice 2014) at a summer drinks event hosted by Ed & Justine Miliband. There was a strong arts presence amongst the many guests and I enjoyed discussing the importance of creative arts in all parts of our life.
Then last Saturday on the 19th July The Place was buzzing with children and families attending our annual family day Something Happening For Kids, which saw the whole building turned into a fun palace. It was lovely seeing children and adults taking part together in the workshops and sharing an equal sense of delight.
Seeing the range and quality of the work created for and performed by young people over the last month alone, makes me feel very postive about the future of dance.