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Animated Edition - Spring 2015
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Focus on: practice & current issues in participatory dance

In this issue

Welcome to this edition of the new-look Animated with refreshed content that focuses on practice and current issues in participatory dance.

Pauline Tambling CBE, Chief Executive of Creative & Cultural Skills, expands on her keynote speech about trends, opportunities and challenges in employment in dance. Independent filmmaker David Iverson, tells us about Capturing Grace – a film about how the lives of a group of people with Parkinson’s have been transformed by dance, and which we were lucky enough to be able to screen in Cardiff. Linda Jasper, Director of Youth Dance England, re-presents her keynote speech about the current state of children and young people’s dance, and what might happen next. Donald Hutera makes a response to the event, in the form of a performance poem.

With funding from the Arts Council of Wales, in 2014 we commissioned four artists/organisations in Wales to create three new participatory dance works and a film, for inclusion in our International Event, and to have life afterwards too. We asked the artists involved – Cai Thomas, TAN Dance’s Carol Brown, Joanna Young and Powys Dance’s Amanda Griffkin, and Lisa Spaull – to reflect on this process. Siân James from Arts Council of Wales sets the scene.

Elsewhere, we hear from an experienced community dance artists about what happened, and how they responded, when something went wrong. One of the most commented on, and appreciated, presentations in Cardiff was about a project that didn’t work as planned, and why this might be. These contributions are courageous and generous, and we could do with more of that so we thought we’d get the ball rolling in Animated.

We are also very pleased to publish a fascinating piece by Dr Anni Raw on her research about ‘what happens in the room’ when participatory artists are practicing. Plus, Maia Mackney on a project at Barbican that emerged from the 2011 London riots, and Adam Benjamin on the importance of access to higher education as key to supporting the next generation of disabled dance artists.

And finally, I’d like to offer our thanks to Kate Castle, People Dancing’s first Associate Director who worked with us throughout 2014 on programme planning and leading our International Event. We are very grateful for Kate’s thoughtful guidance and expert support, and for being an invaluable critical friend. This time next edition we’ll have a new Associate. Exciting times. So, in the meantime, if you’d like to write for Animated, we’d love to hear from you.

Chris Stenton
Executive Director, People Dancing
In this issue
Donald Hutera, People Dancing event 2014. Photo: Rachel Cherry
Pioneers, Pragmatists, Mobilisers, Catalysts, People!
Writer, editor and veteran arts journalist, Donald Hutera, shares his poetic response to the People Dancing International Event in Wales in November 2014
Dance and Parkinson's
Parkinson’s dance class, Brooklyn, New York. Photo: Eddie Marritz
There are no patients, there are only dancers
David Iverson, Independent filmmaker and Director/Producer of Capturing Grace, on how the lives of people with Parkinson’s have been transformed by dance
Wings 3 - Time Flies, People Dancing event. Photos: Rachel Cherry
What are the future employment opportunities for dance?
Pauline Tambling CBE, Chief Executive, Creative & Cultural Skills, considers the challenges facing the future of employment in the dance sector
In practice
Working in challenging settings
Working in isolation within care settings can be challenging as well as rewarding. Here, one experienced community dance artist shares a personal experience and their reflections about what can happen when people are placed in vulnerable situations
Bringing people together
Siân James, Communications Officer, Arts Council of Wales, discusses the positive repercussions of investing in new artistic opportunities for communities and dance practitioners in Wales
Cai Tomos. Photo: Cai Tomos!
History in motion
Does dance move us that little bit closer to ourselves? Cai Tomos, Wales-based independent dance artist, talks about those moments of connection, of not knowing and of fearlessness that we can enter in our dances
Dragon’s Heart and Dragon’s Soul company, Sorrowful Sun. Photo: Gary Bevan
Standing alone
Carol Brown, Artistic Director of TAN Dance, gives a glimpse into the creation of Sorrowful Sun, a People Dancing – Wales Commission, and how an international partnership supported the dancers to work independently and achieve true and touching performances
Under Dark Skies. Photo: Jemma Thomas
Under Dark Skies
Amanda Griffkin, Manager of Powys Dance, and Joanna Young, Artistic Director of Under Dark Skies, embarked on a collaborative journey to create an ambitious new installation inspired by the people, landscape and night skies of Powys in Wales
Aquarium performers, including Lisa Spaull and Emma-Jane Sutcliffe. Photo: Rob Spaull
A day in the life
Kate Castle, former Associate Director of People Dancing, in conversation with Lisa Spaull about life as a dance practitioner and the experience of creating a new community dance piece for People Dancing
Kevin French, The House, Plymouth. Photo: Adam Benjamin
Making an entrance into higher education
Adam Benjamin, lecturer at Plymouth University and author of the seminal text Making an Entrance, explains that access to higher education is key to supporting the next generation of disabled dance artists
Intuitive processes
The ‘workshop ecology’ and ‘practice assemblage’: presenting the core mechanisms of participatory arts practices, recognised across international and artform boundaries. Academic, former singer and community musician, Dr Anni Raw, explains her fascinating research 
Unleashed, Barbican Centre. Photo: Mark Allan, 2012
Radical rhythms unleashed
Radical rhythms unleashed In the wake of the 2011 London riots, the participatory project Unleashed was created and performed at Barbican Centre, November 2012. Here, Maia Mackney, Collaborative Doctoral Award Holder at Barbican Guildhall and Royal Holloway University of London, considers issues of ‘authorship’ and collaboration, and reflects on the ways participants redefined their sense of self, and challenged societal perceptions and stigmas
Young people's dance
U.Dance Grimsby. Photo: Brian Slater
Current state of Children and Young People’s dance and what’s next
Linda Jasper, Director of Youth Dance England, describes the current landscape of Children and Young People’s dance in the UK, highlights new opportunities and asks the important question: what is next?