Illuminate – Tammy Mildren

What an amazing event Illuminate was! On the 18th November 2016 I was asked to take part in a Film with Plymouth Dance Volunteers and ADAPT Youth Company. This was being created as part of the Illuminate Festival to be displayed on the side of the Plymouth Art Centre building on the 24th November. It was such an amazing opportunity to be a part of and I learned so much because I have never done anything like that before. The film involved us dancing in the dark going on and off a platform with wooden boxes that were lit up, creating different shapes and movements. We also played with level and doing lifts and we were exploring different ways of moving for example we played with the idea of not letting anyone get or put boxes onto the wall and we also played with the idea of taking the boxes from one another and fighting over the boxes this was loads of fun.

Then on the 24th November we were involved in the Illuminate parade, which started on the barbican and made its way to Plymouth guildhall in the city centre. We watched the first bit of the parade and then joined in further down the road with the lit up boxes this was amazing fun because we then saw a dance performance by the Barbican Theatre and a projection film that was shown on the building of the guildhall. We then made our way up to Plymouth Art Centre to see our film being displayed on the side of the building.

Thank you everyone that was involved in making this happen this was an amazing experience to be a part of and I had so much fun doing this.

www.benny-james.com

Tammy Mildren

Plymouth Dance Volunteer

Vision for Dance in Plymouth Event

Plymouth Dance is hosting the VISION for DANCE in PLYMOUTH Event
– Tuesday 6th December 2016, 5.00pm – 8.30pm

To confirm that you would like to accept our invitation, please click here: Attend Event

Facilitated by Pawlet Brookes, the event will give all participating the opportunity to contribute to the development of a 5 year vision for Dance in Plymouth.

Pawlet is the Executive Artistic Director of Serendipity in Leicester and she is an accomplished and experienced senior manager and producer. Her consultancy work includes leadership training, partnership building, artistic assessment, business planning, fund-raising (private and public sectors and charitable trusts), marketing, audience development and cultural diversity, events management and international programming. She was a finalist for the 2009 National Regeneration and Renewals Award for Cultural Leadership and has been a speaker at a number of international conferences, including being the UK representative at a UNESCO conference in Stockholm.

This Vision for Dance in Plymouth will be shared with the Plymouth Dance partners (Theatre Royal Plymouth, Barbican Theatre, Plymouth University, Plymouth Culture, Plymouth Council, Arts Council England SW), so that they and Plymouth Dance can utilise it to shape their plans for Dance.

It will specifically inform Plymouth Dance’s Business Plans between 2017 – 2022.

So, if you Teach, Choreograph, Perform, Commission or Watch Dance and would like to ensure that your voice is heard, please join us and take this opportunity to contribute to the strategic development of Dance and the Dance ecology in Plymouth. To confirm that you would like to attend, please click here: Attend Event

FAQs

What is the schedule for the event?

5.00pm – 5.30pm Register, refreshments & network

5.30pm – 7.30pm Event

7.30pm – 8.30pm Social/networking

 Where can I contact the organiser with any questions?

Please email admin@plymouthdance.org.uk or call 07818 518079

 Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

Yes, attendance is by ticket only, so, please bring your paper or electronic ticket with you to the event

Will refreshments be provided?

Yes, complimentary tea, coffee, fruit juice, water and light bites will be provided. However, if you would like to donate to the cost of the refreshments, please select Donation when booking.

Who has supported this event?

This event has been made possible thanks to the support of Arts Council England and the New Continental Hotel.

 

 

What it’s like to live in Plymouth as a dance student | Rhiannon Williams

Deciding to study at Plymouth University three years ago was the best decision I’ve made so far! Undergoing a dance degree was always the path I had picked through-out school and sixth form, deciding which university to go to was incredibly important to my journey. I picked Plymouth because of the beautiful, vibrant city and its ever-growing student community. Although completely scared and uncertain about moving away from home, I came into an open and passionate year group, all with the drive to further their dance education (they are also pretty fantastic dancers too as you can see below!)

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Alongside being in the student community, in my second year I found myself volunteering for Plymouth Dance in a huge dance festival in the city called U.Dance 2015. Taking part in this event allowed me to observe different choreographic work, learn from an inclusive perspective and most importantly be a part of a network of dancers and makers working in the industry. Volunteering for Plymouth Dance really kick-started the seed that is my career, preparing me with useful and informative training on Child Protection, Hospitality, Becoming Self-Employed, Time Management, Networking and Marketing! It doesn’t stop their either! Plymouth Dance also allowed me to become a qualified First Aider in addition to becoming DBS/CRB checked. I got to participant in all of these training opportunities for free in parallel to helping out with the biggest youth dance festival in the UK, a win-win situation if you ask me! I also had the opportunity to perform with Exim Dance Company’s youth company Adapt, getting the chance to perform on the Theatre Royal Plymouth stage was just the highlight of the festival for me! Here is where I really began to start networking with artists and volunteers from all over the country, slowly inspiring me start making my own work (although I didn’t realise at the time).

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Moving into my third year I knew that my time a university would come to an end eventually, so I began thinking about what I was going to do after University. I had one particular conversation with an artist from Exim Dance Company that began to question the options I was giving myself and gave me a fresh outlook on my vision. Completely changing my original thought to studying further, working towards a master’s degree, just getting out there and doing it first-hand, which was probably one of the most important and influential conversations I have had! This is something important I have learned from living in Plymouth, having conversations can encourage your next step, and ultimately that is what we go to university for, a better understanding of the career we could have! This then started With Company. With Company is a professional student dance company for undergraduates and recent graduates to make and perform work to the highest standard. It is a wonderful company that circulates backwards, in that the company will always be handed down to the new third years of Plymouth University each September for those emerging individuals to begin to start making their work and reaching out into the community through performance or teaching.

Starting this company really gave me the confidence to believe in the work I was making, also having the support of multiple Plymouth organisations and artists coming to see our sold out show at Plymouth Fringe Festival in May. I had the opportunity to work with talented dancers, musicians and film makers, in a wonderful process that made the final month of third year feel complete. This company is now run by new third years, Artistic Director Samantha Mills and General Manager Kaitlyn Howlett, who will carry on With Company and continue to make work under the name!

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Finally, what am I doing now? I have moved back to my hometown Folkestone in Kent and have been given the fantastic opportunity to work with Instep Dance Company as a practitioner, teaching, participating and sharing information on dance opportunities. Instep have allowed me to be a part of professional development opportunities with The Point, Eastleigh such as a Pitch & Mix day learning how to form a company and how to fund it in addition to Tim Casson’s Artist Development Day in November. I’m so lucky to have a wonderful company invest in me as a graduate artist and increase my learning in what can be a tricky first year out of university.

I also am still working with Plymouth Dance on their major project ‘Tea Dances with a Twist!’ once a month, which has successfully received funding to carry on through to August 2017! I’m excited to still be a practitioner working in beautiful Plymouth, Devon!

My future goal is to eventually have my own dance company, I recently submitted an application to be part of the Young Choreographers South West scheme and I have been super lucky to have successfully gain a place on the scheme for 2016/17! This is the most suitable next step for me as an artist to begin to learn from choreographers working in the industry and ready me for when I put in that first Arts Council England application! Without volunteering for Plymouth Dance to begin with I would not have had the training, experience or confidence to be able to do anything I have done so far, and with their support I hope we can continue a very strong friendship!

Check out my website and watch this space! www.rhiannonwilliamsdance.co.uk

Rhiannon Williams | Former Plymouth Dance Volunteer and Plymouth University Dance Graduate 2016

Tea Dance With a Twist | Meet Student Practitioner Stacey Fowler

My name is Stacey Fowler, I am one of the Student Practitioner’s on the Tea Dance team and I am also a 3rd year Dance Theatre student at Plymouth University, originally from Templecombe in Somerset.

Working on the Tea Dance with a Twist event with the Twister’s team over the last 3 events has not just been a blast but also a privilege and I have learned so much and gained a huge amount of experience and memories.

tea-dance-08It is an absolute pleasure being involved in the event as it aims to give a social opportunity for the over 50’s age category as well as being an intergenerational social event for families and people of all ages. What makes Tea Dance with a Twist! such a special and memorable time is that is has something for everyone; whether you want to have a dance, listen to a variety of great live music from different bands, have a cup of tea and a slice of cake, take an interest in the many independent living stalls or just a chat with a friend or somebody completely new!

One aspect of being a part of such an amazing event is meeting people of all walks of life. It is lovely to have a dance and a chat with someone you have never met before, and although I am in dance training currently, being taught basic steps of traditional styles such as the waltz, jive, quickstep etc in the space of one or two live songs by a partner in the crowd who has a lot more knowledge about ballroom dance is an amazing feeling of warmth and shared learning.

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Meeting new people who share a passion for a good dance and good music will definitely be one of my highlights from the past 3 events. However, one of my most treasured highlights will be from a lovely lady who came along to the first Tea Dance event alone. We had a few partner dances together and the whole crowd had a few group dances together ran by Jayne. The lady stated to me at the end of the day that she was very nervous coming alone, and without a partner, yet she was really happy that she did persuade herself to come along as she didn’t feel at all alone as there was always someone to dance with, whether being a new dance partner or in the group dances and that she had indeed made some new friends whilst there which she met up with on the next 2 Tea Dance days! These kinds of conversations make me exceptionally happy to be a part of such a special event and a part of such a special team of passionate people! It shows that even if the dancing and music doesn’t get you up on your feet, you can still have a lovely social day out with people who come along for similar reasons!

Being able to dance with anyone and everyone at anytime of the day is such a feeling and I cannot wait for the next 8 events so I can carry on this fabulous journey of community and social dancing as well as meeting back up with all the lovely guests I have danced with over the 3 months of Tea Dance.

Through being a part of the Plymouth Dance event and team I have been lucky enough to have training in Dance for Parkinson’s and Dance for Dementia and it is a lovely added bonus to the days when you can chat and dance with a person who may not find it as easy as others to participate in a social dance event, yet know that because of the training I have been lucky enough to have through Plymouth Dance, there is now a previous barrier broken down a little more when dancing with some one who has Parkinson’s or Dementia. It is a beautiful connection being able to communicate with someone through movement.

I am hugely excited to get back in to the ‘swing’ of things and get back to dancing with the amazing team I am in, to have a dance with familiar guests and to meet some brand new dancers in the hall for 8 more fantastic days of dancing and music!

Can’t wait to see you on the dance floor!

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Stacey Fowler | Student Practitioner

Tea Dance With a Twist! Tea dance twister

 

 

For more information about Novembers Tea Dance please click here.

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Being a Volunteer With Plymouth Dance | Tammy Mildren

My Experience volunteering with Plymouth Dance has been the best experience I have experienced so far as I have learned so much both about myself as an individual and about the art sector itself.

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I have been a Plymouth Dance Volunteer for two years so far and during this time I have volunteered with many different events that have happen for example I want part of the main team for both the iOrchestra and U.Dance 2015 which was held in Plymouth for the first time. Both of these events helped me to gain the skills I have to day as I was working with both the team and members of the public. During these event I had to escort people round Plymouth to different venues and ensure the safety of both the dancers and team as well as the safety of the public. I also was assisting people with filling in questionnaires and selling tickets for the iOrchestra performance.

I also more recently due to being on crutches and unable to dance I volunteered at two of the three Tea Dance With a Twist! events that were held at the Guild Hall in June, July and August. During this event I was taking peoples details and names as they came in and was also collecting the entry donations and as well as this I was also making sure people that travelled by busses had their travel reimbursed by giving them a free bus ticket (thanks Plymouth City Bus!). This event was amazing and so much fun it was lovely to see people from all walks of life and from very young generation to older generation as taking part and getting involved and having such a great time. I’m so happy that the Tea Dance With a Twist project will be continuing with the next one in November.

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I am so glad to have been a part of all the events I have been involved with and so far I have volunteered a total of 258 hours I will also be continuing my volunteer work with Plymouth Dance and will be hopefully adding to these hours very soon.

As well as volunteering with different events I also got chance to complete various training for both these events and for future events so far I have completed creative consultation, marketing, social media and PR training as well as self employment training and time management as well as this I completed in my first year volunteering Project management training and Time management again as well as child protection and hospitality and customer service training. I also did my level 2 first aid in the workplace course and Youth dance leaders day and dance in the city training for the U.Dance event I also did social media and networking training.

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I am very much looking forward to continuing my training and volunteering with Plymouth Dance this coming year and hopefully for the many years to come. I would to thank them for all the help and support and opportunities they have given me over the past two years.

www.benny-james.com

 

 

Tammy Mildren | Plymouth Dance Volunteer

 

 

 

For more information about becoming a Plymouth Dance Volunteer please contact Gemma Smith volunteering@plymouthdance.org.uk

Introducing Rachel

My name is Rachel, I moved to Plymouth in July and have spent the last 2 months working as Project Coordinator for Plymouth Dance.

Before moving to Plymouth, I have been working in London for Rambert and The Place, working in dance education and participation, as well as being a theatre Duty Manager.  I have organised UK wide teacher training events and workshops to prepare students and teachers for the new GCSE and A Level Dance specification.

Above all, I believe in the benefit of dance and creative thinking to people, young or old, and believe every young person, and adult alike should be confident in their creative voice, and that dance should be fun and accessible for all.

As well as my project coordination work, I am a keen presenter and dance teacher.

I presented, and interviewed Rambert’s Artistic Director, Mark Baldwin, and Archivist, Arike Oke, for Rambert’s first Facebook Live broadcast, supporting the new A-Level Dance syllabus, as well as comparing many shows and live events across the country.

Now I am settled in Plymouth, I have had an exciting first 2 months teaching ballet and contemporary for Dance with Jodie dance school, based in Looe, and working as Tour and Education Officer for Exim Dance Company for their upcoming tour, feeling completely welcomed and engrossed in the dance community within this vibrant city!

I am so excited to be coordinating 2 projects for Plymouth Dance, first of all I will be taking over from Claire Summers as project coordinator for our Tea Dance with a Twist! events. Thanks to funding from Awards For All, we are delighted to announce that we will be running 8 more Tea Dances with a Twist! on the following dates:

12th November (Lower Guildhall)

10th December (Lower Guildhall)

18th February (Upper Guildhall)

11th March (Upper Guildhall)

8th April (Lower Guildhall)

24th June (Lower Guildhall)

15th July (Upper Guildhall)

12th August (Upper Guildhall)

In the coming weeks I will be speaking with our wonderful practitioners and volunteers to get ready for our first event in November, as well as spreading the word to as many people across Plymouth as possible about this wonderful events!

The second project I will be coordinating for Plymouth Dance, is Dance Companions.

This is a wonderful project where we create a club for people over 50, who would like to watch dance performances, accompanied by Dance Companions Volunteers and other members.

This club is free to join, and I will be working to make sure everyone is informed of opportunities to watch a range of dance performances across Plymouth. In the coming weeks I will be going out to theatres across Plymouth, to negotiate the best ticket deals possible for our volunteers, as well as identify which performances to invite our members to across the season. We will also arrange and book transport for our members if required.

I can’t wait to get stuck in to these wonderful projects. Above all, I believe in the benefit of dance and creative thinking to people, young or old, and believes every young person, and adult alike should be confident in their creative voice, and that dance should be fun and accessible for all.

If you have any questions, or would like to get involved with Tea Dance with a Twist! or Dance Companions, please contact rachel.banham@plymouthdance.org.uk

PLYMOUTH DANCE AND PLYMOUTH CITY MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY – DANCE PARTNERS…

An informal partnership between Plymouth Dance and Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery was initiated in August 2013, when PD was invited to present 1940s inspired public workshops and demonstrations as part of a ‘Garden Party’ event linked to the Museum’s Nancy Astor exhibition. Maryam Pourian and Nico Bray, Mad About Swing, Dolly Knight and Jonathan Stromberg delivered the sessions.

In May 2015, Plymouth Dance was invited back to present WWI inspired public workshops and demonstrations as part of a ‘Night at the Museum’ event. Mad About Swing, Maryam Pourian and Mark Sidey delivered the sessions.

Night at the Museum - Mad About Swing - 16th May 2014

GERHARD RICHTER COMMISSIONS

In 2015, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery invited Plymouth Dance to commission a choreographic response to the Gerhard Richter exhibition (part of Tate’s ‘Artist Rooms’ programme).

As a result, both partners discussed and devised a 4 part project that was financially supported by Tate, Plymouth City Council, The Art Fund and Arts Council England.

 Gerhard Richter Choreographic Commission Performances

  • Charlotte Eatock was commissioned to create a solo performed by Jane Castree in the exhibition.
  • The 4 performances took place at lunchtimes and were attended by a total of 124 people, including members of the Friends of Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, Plymouth University Dance students and Primary School children.
  • Many of those who attended had not visited the Museum before and had come along specifically to see the performance.
  • Some of the attendees visited the Museum café and shop after the performances for lunch.
  • Several of the Dance students from Plymouth University had not seen dance choreographed in response to visual art before.
  • 26% of the audience who completed feedback questionnaires confirmed that they had been introduced to the work of Gerhard Richter for the first time.

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Photo Credit: Dom Moore

 

Gerhard Richter Choreographic Commission Film

 

Gerhard Richter Choreographic Residency

  • Jane Castree delivered a 3 day Choreographic Residency at The House in January 2016.
  • 7 young people attended including Plymouth University students and members of youth dance companies.
  • The residency resulted in a performance at the Museum on the final day of the Gerhard Richter exhibition.

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 Photo Credit: Dom Moore

 

Film of the Gerhard Richter Choreographic Residency & Performance

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Photo Credit: Dom Moore

MADE BY KATIE GREEN – THE IMAGINATION MUSEUM

In July 2016, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery invited Made by Katie Green to present 3 performances of ‘The Imagination Museum’. This special event was scheduled as part of the ‘packing up’ process prior to the closure of the Museum building for the development of the History Centre. Approximately 50 people watched the rehearsals and 120 children and adults attended the performances.

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CLOSING PARTY! – SATURDAY 3RD SEPTEMBER 2016

On Saturday 3rd September, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery will be having a ‘Wrap Party’ and Plymouth Dance has been invited to deliver workshops and demonstrations throughout the day. The themes will be dances from the 1920s/1930s and the 1970s.

THE FUTURE…

Plymouth Dance really enjoy working with the Museum and Art Gallery team and are looking forward to the possibility of supporting and continuing to work with them during their closure period and towards and after the opening of the Plymouth History Centre in 2020!

“It’s been great to work with Plymouth Dance on such a variety of projects over the last few years” said Arts and Cultural Development Manager, Judith Robinson. “Responding to historical objects and heritage sites through dance is a great way to engage with and develop audiences. The work Plymouth Dance has done with us has really helped to add value and a greater element of interactivity to our Gerhard Richter programme and a number of our special events.”

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June Gamble | Coordinating Producer Plymouth Dance

 

 

 

 

 

Tea Dance With A Twist!

Recently Plymouth Dance hosted their first Tea Dance With A Twist! in the Plymouth Guildhall, I was the Front of House coordinator so i was going to be one of the first faces that the public would see. To say I was nervous was an understatement because i had never done anything like this before; especially since the whole of the Plymouth Dance team had been working on this for so long.

IMG_9062I was responsible (along with two other volunteers) for greeting the public, writing their details down and putting them on our mailing list; it was really interesting finding out how the public had found out about the Tea Dances. A lot of people found out via the Plymouth magazine or simply by word of mouth so it was really good to know that people had been talking about it and decided to come along.

We started to set up the Guildhall in the morning and when all the decorations were up it felt so real and it was all finally happening. The postbox i had was painted and ready for people’s feedback, the song request cards were all set and the band and the dancers were excited to go. It was all finally happening after months and months of preparations.

The nerves were starting to set in for a lot of us and we were just waiting for the doors to open.

This was the first big event that i had helped PD with and it was amazing to see it all unfold right in front of me. Everyone had an amazing time and the music and dancing was amazing to be a part of…I couldn’t stop myself from dancing! The atmosphere of the whole event was incredible and i was told more than once what an amazing time people were having.

IMG_9093The Lyons Monocle was providing tea, coffee and cakes to the public and I really wish I had one of those cakes now because they looked amazing and people were so happy that they could enjoy a nice cup of tea and then go and watch some dancing.

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There were so many lovely people in the Guildhall that day and we heard nearly all of their stories. It made me proud to know that we were doing something for the public and that were loving every minute, they asked for it to last longer and for there to be a Tea Dance every month. Reading the feedback that some people gave us made me so happy and it felt like we were making a difference:

‘Just the thing Plymouth needs – people having fun.’

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Image by Kevin Clifford

All of our hard work paid off and we have been given even more ideas from the public for our next Tea Dance on the 16th July. The whole of the PD team had an amazing time and the dancers worked so hard to make everything enjoyable.

Hopefully there will be even more people that can come and join in and have an amazing time with tea, coffee, cake and dancing at our next Tea Dance With A Twist!

 

 

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Hannah Rhimes

Plymouth Dance Apprentice

 

Tea Dance With A Twist! one down three to go

After months of planning, preparation and praying our hard work would pay off, our first Tea Dance With A Twist! Event happened last weekend at Plymouth Guildhall. And wow what a event it was.

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There was tea, coffee and the most incredible cakes thanks to the lovely Indi and her team from The Lions Monical. I personally had a slice of the Victoria Sponge and it was incredible! Don’t worry though they will be at all of the Tea Dances with their Vintage Tea Room.

We were also joined by some brilliant local organisations who have been incredibly supportive of Plymouth Dance and this project.

 

That leads me nicely on to what happened inside the hall!

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As this was our first Tea Dance, it was the first time our wonderful team came together. I think I can safely say our Tea Dance Twisters danced their socks off!

 

The band were also fantastic and we are looking forward to them being back with us in August. Next month we will be joined by The Drat Pack and Vocalist Maggie…

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If you weren’t there don’t worry as we still have two more to go. Make sure you get the dates in your diary and we will see you on the dance floor!

www.benny-james.com

Claire Summers

Senior Project Coordinator