Monday, 12 May 2014

Dancing in Museums update and more performance details

The Dancing in Museums project has been going from strength to strength since my last blog update in March, with performances at Boston Guildhall, the Rhoda McGaw Theatre in Woking and Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, and a lot more happening behind the scenes. Here are a few links to images and videos from these performances:

Boston Guildhall
"dance company Made by Katie Green performed selections from their piece The Imagination Museum...the Guildhall Museum provided a perfect backdrop for it, as the performers literally guided audience members through the Museum, giving them a personalised and highly original tour of the building through their performance" (Elizabeth Bergeron, Engagement Officer, Transported)
Photo: Steve Hatton; Dancers: Lucy Starkey and Hannah Wintie
You can see video extracts from our performances as part of the Transported Past Inspired Launch Event here (video by Electric Egg). We were joined by lovely apprentice dancer Hannah Wintie for these performances. Steve Hatton also took some great photos, which you can see here.

Rhoda McGaw Theatre (part of Dance Woking Spring Shorts)

In rehearsal at The Lightbox, Woking; Dancers: Rob Guy, Jessamin Landamore and Lucy Starkey
We had a great time working with 5 groups of children from local primary schools in the run-up to our performances at the Rhoda McGaw, and 160 of these children and their teachers then came to watch our matinee on the 3rd April 2014. Rehearsal photos are online here and here.

Northampton Museum and Art Gallery
"On the day itself the dancers worked well in the chosen spaces, suggesting new ways of interacting with collections...The result was lots of happy faces by the final performance!" (Elizabeth Long, Northampton Museum and Art Gallery) 
In performance at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery; Dancers: Rob Guy, Jessamin Landamore and Lucy Starkey
There are some photos of our rehearsals and performances here and here.

Ipswich Museum
"Katie was able to work with the young people involved in the Unlocked project to support them to create their own work inspired by artefacts from our Charles Partridge Collection. The children really enjoyed the process, developing their dance skills and their confidence whilst also interpreting the collection in a new way.  Parents commented how they practiced regularly at home and spoke of little else as they prepared for the public performances." (Rachel MacFarlane, Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service)
The Museum Mischief dancers in performance at Ipswich Museum; Photo: Colchester and Ipswich Museum
You can now see footage from the Unlocked Project (Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service), with which we were involved in October and November 2013, in a series of videos here:

What's next?

Photo Chris Nash; Dancers: Rob Guy, Jessamin Landamore and Lucy Starkey
As well as working towards the performances of The Imagination Museum and Dancing in Museums workshops that have already happened, my time has been fully occupied planning ahead to our next performances for the summer (details below), and also looking further ahead to the autumn and next year. This planning involves visiting a great many wonderful museums and heritage sites across the UK. Over the past few weeks for example, these museums have included the British Museum, Saffron Walden Museum, Keats House, Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery, Dorset County Museum and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery in Exeter (you can follow my ongoing trail of museum visits on Twitter @madebyKG).

I’m finding that it can take quite a long time to put each new museum collaboration in place, and this is because it is necessary to make sure the project works in the best, most appropriate way for each context. This might involve finding the right combination of workshops and performances, identifying local schools who want to get involved in the project, visiting the site on several occasions to plan how The Imagination Museum performance can work there (the performance is never the same at any two places) and making sure we leave enough time to raise awareness about the collaboration and therefore develop an audience. I’m really grateful to the inspiring members of museum staff who give their time to show me round their sites and tell me about their collections; there’s such a wealth of information to take in, and it’s a privilege to be part of something which encourages young people to attend or re-attend their local museums and perhaps see them in a new light.

Forthcoming performances/workshops

The best ways to find out about our forthcoming performances of The Imagination Museum are to visit the museums page of our website, join our mailing list or follow us on Facebook or Twitter. Here is a quick update on our next adventures (as soon as final details are confirmed we'll add them to our website):

7th June: Keats House
we are part of the Keats Festival 2014, and will be joined by writer Anna Selby; free 20 minute performances at 1.30, 3 and 4.30pm; workshops for 6-11 year olds at 2 and 3.30pm (tickets £2); twilight performances with readings from Anna (tickets £8) at 7pm; more information here

8th June: Brooklands Museum 
we are delivering Dancing in Museums workshops on-site at Brooklands Museum as part of 6plus2artcollective's Re-store Project; workshop 10-4pm (suitable for 7-11 year olds), leading to a performance in the Wellington Hangar; tickets £5; more information here
30th June: Crich Tramway Village
we'll be working with local primary school children at Crich Tramway Village in Derbyshire
7th July: Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery
we’ll be working on-site at Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery preparing for our work with local schools on the 8th and 9th July (with South East Dance; part of Kent Dancing); final details tbc
12th July: Beaney Art Museum and Library
after 2 days in Canterbury schools we’ll be at the Beaney Art Museum and Library (with South East Dance; part of Kent Dancing); final details tbc
13th July: Horniman Museum 
we'll be at the Horniman Museum in London; final details tbc
27th July: Creswell Crags 
we'll be performing in the Robin Hood Cave at Creswell Crags in Derbyshire; final details tbc

Associated with our extract performances of The Imagination Museum at Creswell Crags, we are also excited about potential to develop a new cave-specific dance piece, and have begun researching possible ways to make this happen in the future. Let us know if there's a cave site near you that could be a wonderful place for us to perform!

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