The 11 Million Reasons to Dance strategic touring project is now making a major impact on cultural partners, working with venues and communities across the country.
The initiative’s photographic exhibition and engagement strand, including performances and workshops, has already made its mark in Runcorn, Spalding, Doncaster and Durham. The tour, soon also to roll into Coventry and Middlesbrough, has featured performances by professional artists Kate Marsh and Welly O’Brien
, plus Stopgap Dance Company
, as well as local dance groups and artists.
Speaking after a sell-out audience for Best Foot Forward, Durham’s long established inclusive dance and arts platform, at The Gala Theatre, People Dancing Associate Director Vanessa Oxspring, commented: “What an incredible night! The way all the featured groups embraced the themes raised by Sean Goldthorpe’s stunning images, exhibited in the weeks before the performance, was hugely impressive.
“All this has the makings of a deeper relationship between People Dancing and all 11 Million Reasons to Dance partners in the six locations, promising the development of better quality, higher profile arts experiences for Deaf, disabled and sight impaired people.”
Martin Wilson, Executive Director of local partner TIN Arts
, added: “It’s been a real pleasure and delight to work with People Dancing… the exhibition has been a real hit in Durham (and) the CPD workshop with Welly and Kate was excellent.”
Barbara Gubbins , Chief Executive of County Durham Community Foundation
, was equally pleased, saying: “… it has been a pleasure to be involved with such a worthwhile project. Sean Goldthorpe’s images were absolutely inspiring. Thanks to everyone for making it happen… we were delighted with the quality and professionalism of the activities.”
People Dancing presented a training and development event at Leicester’s Curve Theatre
, in January, as part of the programme, that attracted more than 100 delegates.
So what’s next? People Dancing is now working with the partner locations to support Deaf and disabled artists to be part of an artist in residency programme. It is also planning more presentations and will be developing a legacy plan.