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Published on: Wednesday June 3, 2020

June 3, 2020

Arts Connect and DanceXchange, are excited to announce an audacious new online project #DanceConnect, bringing together a digital artist, dance professionals and young people, from across the West Midlands, in a dynamic collaboration to explore creative research within the current quarantine circumstances.

The project will run from May – August 2020 and accumulate ideas for ‘creative challenges’ that invite wider participation from young people across the region.  The development process will be supported by Artistic Facilitator Orit Azaz, a specialist in creating large scale, outdoor, collaborative performance.

Eleven dance leaders from across the region have been selected to take part, working together in duos or trios to exchange practice and artistic inspiration. The dance leaders are from across the West Midlands, including Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton, Worcester, Staffordshire, Shropshire and Kidderminster, with specialisms in Contemporary, Street, Martial Arts, Parkour, Inclusive Practice, African and Caribbean Dance, Afrofusion and Musical Theatre.

The dance leaders are working in the following groupings:

  • Oliver Russell and Christopher Radford (Independent Artists)
  • Anna Lines (Translucent Dance Company) and Jamie-Lee Johnson (Jamie-Lee Dance Company)
  • Iona Waite (ACE Dance and Music), Faye Adams (LOCO Academy), Jade Barton (Flexus Dance Collective)
  • Johnny Autin (Man Made Youth) and Catherine Clissett (Brewhouse Arts Centre)
  • Rachel Liggitt (Shropshire Inclusive Dance) and Ashley Jordan (Ascension Dance)

Throughout the process, they will be working closely alongside digital artist, Wayne Sables, supporting digital artist Anthony Shintai, and a group of specifically invited young people.

The ambition is that the creative research will support the development for a region wide youth dance project in 2021 and 2022, celebrating the West Midlands as seen through the eyes of young people.

Susan Goodwin, Associate Director at Arts Connect says, “We are excited and energised by the opportunity to experiment and innovate and are delighted by the quality and range of dance practitioners taking part.”

Alex Henwood, Head of Learning and Participation at DanceXchange, comments, “This is the start of an ambitious region wide collaboration. We are striving to put the West Midlands on the map for innovative work that has been co-curated by young people.”

#DanceConnect  is funded by Arts Connect, the West Midlands development agency that works to improve the quality of the arts and cultural engagement of children and young people, and is produced by DanceXchange on behalf of the wider Dance Development Leaders Network (West Midlands).