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Museum of Us: capturing community dance for future years

People Dancing's 30th anniversary event saw the launch of a fundraising campaign to creative a living archive of community dance practice. 

Titled Museum of Us: Capturing community dance for future years this joint project with researchers at De Montfort University, Leicester will look to capture and interpret community and participatory dance practices developed over the last 30 years to create an online resource.

Made in Suffolk. Directed by Mel Horwood

Between 1982-1993 Scilla Dyke founded and directed what would become a sea change in the UK arts world.

Made in Suffolk is the story of Suffolk Dance / DanceEast and one woman's lasting impact on dance.

  

Researcher: Pamela Harling-Challis BUS, MFA, MPhil. Graphics and Editing support: Sam Horwood. Contributors: Dr Scilla Dyke MBE, Dr Maggie Semple OBE, FCGI, Michael Platt, Teacher, One Sixth Form College, Advisory Teacher for Dance, Suffolk, 1993-2010, Charlotte Darbyshire, Co-Artistic Director, Candoco Dance Company, Gary Avis MBE, Principal Character Artist & Ballet Master, The Royal Ballet. Funding contributions from DanceEast, People Dancing, The Laban Guild.

The UK Premiere of Made in Suffolk took place on Saturday 7th September 2019 at Jerwood DanceHouse as part of  DanceEast's 10th anniversary celebrations of the Jerwood DanceHouse, Ipswich.

The Film draws on archive photographs and video as well as research through conversation with Scilla Dyke herself. There are personal contributions by internationally renowned dance artists who were involved with Suffolk Dance/DanceEast during those early days.

Made in Suffolk is about how one woman created a rich culture of dance that fuelled the momentum to create the iconic Jerwood DanceHouse in Ipswich, home of DanceEast. That woman is Dr Scilla Dyke MBE, Founder Director Suffolk Dance/DanceEast, 1982-1993, Advisory Teacher for Dance, Suffolk, 1987-1993. Member & Chair of the Board Suffolk Dance/DanceEast 1993-2000. Editor, Animated Magazine 1996 up until and including Spring 2002 issue and Guest Columnist Winter 2016/17 issue.

Made in Suffolk is a tribute to the work of Scilla Dyke, one of the early dance animateurs and pioneers of community dance appointed during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. This story belongs to us all as it formed the foundation for the dance culture that built our UK community dance ecology today. Yet so much of the history will be lost and so many people will go unacknowledged as it was a pre-digital age and archive material is disappearing. This film is also a record of that time.

The aim of the film is not to present Scilla’s work in its entirety but to be an overview of her vision, hard work and impact. The film is also a celebration of Community Dance and how it developed in East Anglia and beyond. It tells how one dance animateur, Scilla Dyke, appointed in 1982 to a post in Ipswich with the brief of ‘Make Dance Happen’ did just that.

Made in Suffolk demonstrates how Scilla’s passion, drive and skills in growing dance in the community raised the expectations and aspirations of the people of Suffolk. Through setting up summer schools, youth dance companies and adult classes she reached out across the region and beyond. Her dance residencies always nurtured professional dancers, dance artists and choreographers. She made no barriers between people in the community and the dance artists whom she supported in their choreographic careers. Over the years a vast number of dance artists and companies were resident throughout Suffolk impacting on individuals and communities alike.

People Dancing members, partners and friends enjoyed a very special celebration event in December 2016 to mark our 30th anniversary.

Hosted at the legendary Cecil Sharp House, London by our friends at the English Folk Dance and Song Society, this memorable evening celebrated the unique successes of community and participatory dance and looked forward to an exciting future.

The 30th anniversary event also saw the launch of a People Dancing fundraising campaign to creative a living archive of community dance practice. Titled The Museum of Us: Capturing community dance for future years, this joint project with researchers at De Montfort University, Leicester will look to capture and interpret community and participatory dance practices developed over the last 30 years to create an online resource.

Anyone who would like to donate to The 30 Years’ Museum of Us appeal can do so online by visiting our Just Giving page or by texting PDIS30, followed by an amount they’d like to donate – eg £30 – to 70070. Also, anyone with archive material they’d like to donate, or an idea for a fundraising initiative to support the campaign, should contact Ruth Bates – on 0116 253 3453 or ruth@communitydance.org.uk

 

Thank you!
This magical night was made possible by the generous support of the following organisations, each a special partner to us in our work:

Perkins Slade - the insurance brokers who help us provide cover to thousands of dance professionals in the UK each year 
Countrywide Publications - our publishers who help us to produce the many of issues of Animated and Participate
HCI York - our website developers who also support our membership management database to provide great services to our members
De Montfort University - our partner for the annual People Dancing Summer School and host of our 30+ year old archive
The Unloved - our partner for creative design for our print materials including our seasonal programme and annual report