Last autumn we hosted our first Family Dance Week, as part of the national Family Arts Festival, showcasing three of the most exciting and truly captivating shows around. Oily Cart performed The Bounce, a multi-sensory interactive show exploring bouncing in all its forms, specially designed for young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities. French Compagnie L’Insomnante transformed the stage with their potent mix of live music, performance and illusion to lead the audience on a night time adventure and, at the end of the week, there was a Halloween treat as families joined The Little Witch, created by Marie Forbes & Sophie Nüzel, on a magical journey full of sorcery and surprises.
We like to set up creative opportunities for choreographers to develop their skills and to and make new work for young people. Biennially with our partners we award two Choreography for Children prizes so artists can create new dance pieces especially for eight to eleven year-olds to watch. We call this Questions and Dancers as you get to see these short new dances and then take part in a facilitated feedback session with your children. This year the artists are: Sally Marie, nominated for the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for new talent and John Ross, winner of the New Adventures Choreographer Award.This project is a collaboration between The Place, Sadler’s Wells, Company of Angels and MOKO Dance. Premiere and matinee at The Place (Wed 4 Feb, 1pm) and Sadler’s Wells (Sat 7 Feb times matinee and eve).
Back for the second year, The Place are hosting Camden Schools Dance Festival (Mon 9 Feb) in partnership with Camden Council. Eighteen local schools and one community group, will perform original dance pieces created over the past few months with artists from The Place, B-Better, Akademi, English Folk Dance and Song Society. The festival connects young people from across the borough of Camden, to celebrate their passion and enthusiasm for dance. Last year over 250 young people participated, from both primary and secondary schools; this year we are opening the show to the public to inspire other schools and dance groups to be part of this festival in the future. This is pay what you can event with tickets starting £1, all the proceeds go to the Iris Tomlinson Fund which provides bursaries for young people who reside in Camden, to access high quality dance activities and events at The Place.
Look out for the brilliant Children and Youth Dance Summer Show (Sat 11 Jul) and the Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) Summer Show (Sat 1 Aug). This year CAT students, aged 11-18 years, will premiere a full length work specially created by Wayne McGregor | Random Dance as their end of year showcase. There are limited tickets on general sale and all ticket proceeds for this event go to The Fund for Excellence to help us continue to give bursaries to young people.
Young people who study at The Place have all kinds of opportunities to develop brand new performances in Divided (Tue 31 Mar and Wed 1 Apr) seven choreographic talents from The Place's youth dance company Shift collaborate with twelve second year designers from Wimbledon College of Arts to create a unique performance installation to a live soundscape.
L’Apres D'un Foehn (Friday 29 May 11.30pm, 2pm and 7pm & Sat 30 May, 10.30am, 12pm and 1.30pm) by Company Non Nova will delight children, teens and adults alike. An activity session will be followed by the show which is set to Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun) .The title is a play on words, where the word ‘faune’ is replaced with ‘foehn’ which is the name of a warm
mediterranean wind reputed to create madness. The show itself is enchanting with a ballet master who magically turns ordinary plastic bags into ballet dancers. But watch out as they are fragile and he controls their destiny…
The Place’s approach to programming seeks to find, make and support the creation of high-quality, innovative work that captures the hearts and minds of entire families from granddad to granddaughter. This has led to some extraordinary presentations such as Joseph Kids and Coasas plus new productions including the site specific Minotail in 2013 and Mission Dance, all of which premiered at our annual summer festival Something Happening for Kids. Taking place this year on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 July, when the building will vibrate with dance performances, activities, creativity and fun so watch this space for more details…save the date.