The Dance Dialogue 2012/2013
The Dance Dialogue is a model recently developed based on conversations between Alex Bennet and Clare Donegan.
In July 2012 whilst visiting Jamaica, Clare spent some time in Kingston. Jamaica was celebrating its 50 years of independence however it still retains ties with Britain with regards to the Privy Court (last court of appeal). This was the basis for the project, the notion of creating new links between the two states to create a fresh dialogue and exchange.
Kingston has a high rate of youth crime with the recent United Nations report highlighting the need for youth engagement programs. (Caribbean Human Development Report: Human Development and the Shift to Better Citizen Security, 2012.)
Outta Place asked Helen Linsell of Dance United Yorkshire to deliver the contemporary dance facilitation with Clare Donegan as creative producer. Clare and Helen met the young people at a dance studio in Kingston for the first time on the morning of the 15th of December 2012. The young people all hailed from nearby inner city garrisons of Trenchtown, August Town, Tivoli Gardens and Nannyville. The young people were recruited by a grassroots youth arts organization: Manifesto Jamaica.
The majority of the group was not in employment, education or training.
Back in Calderdale a group of young people from the Forest Cottage ward of Halifax trained up in contemporary dance with facilitators from Dance United Yorkshire.
This first phase of the Dance Dialogue comprised of both groups (UK/ JA) meeting to share their dance styles. This was received with immense delight both from the young people in both West Yorkshire and Kingston. Following this Helen and Clare worked with the young Jamaican dancers, facilitating an intensive block of dance sessions. This phase of the project finished with each participant receiving a certificate and a rehearsal space to continue their dance practice.
The next phase, February 2013, involved Clare returning to Kingston to prepare the dancers for the performance showcase at Contact, Manchester. In Halifax Outta Place alongside Calderdale’s Young People’s Services and Helen Linsell brought the group together to rehearse and prepare for the next stream and performance event.
The showcase at Manchester’s Contact theatre was the highlight of the project as it exemplified the work over the three month period and provided the platform for the dance and dialogue to take place. The showcase involved the Jamaican and Calderdale dancers meeting again but this time through the means of Telematics.
Telematics or telepresence enabled a robust connection between the groups, enabling the impression that everyone was in the same space. The dancers were able to hand back and forth over the ether, at times over-lapping their bodies and movements. This technology brought the young dancers together whilst allowing for a new aesthetic.
Youth Music Project 2012/2013
This is our first Youth Music project and it is funded from the Power Play funding stream. The idea behind this scheme was to enage a group of young people from the Czech and Asian communites. In the case of the Czech group many of these young people are third generation and quite new to the area. Outta Place in partnership with Calderdale’s Young Peoples Services and Youth Music have created an offer which will engage with a chohort of young people who attend the club on a regular basis.
The club is at Queens Road Neighbourhood centre in the Park ward of Halifax.
The offer began with a bunch of taster sessions or musicial activites to give the young people a chance to explore and see what they would like to take further. The taster sessions included:
- Music production
- Circuit bending
- Junk sounds
- MC / Rap
- Playing / jamming with traditional / contemporary instruments
The next phases allow the young artists to go further with their chosen activity. This phase is currently ongoing with the young people writing and performing their own tracks.
The Arts Award is also being undertaken with 8 of the participants and part of their award involves performing in Hulme, Manchester this July (2013).
The project is having a very positive impact on the young people with reports of heightened levels confidence and self-esteem. It is also having an impact on the local community. Issues of cohesion have been apparent over the last year and this scheme is helping to provide a space where all groups can meet and work side by side.
Outta Place Youth Arts Festival Showcase in partnership with Halifax Festival 21.07.12
The Outta Place Festival Day 2011 was a result of months of workshops facilitated by a range of artist’s facilitators. These workshops were indicative of Outta Places’ original offer: Digital, Performing and Visual arts.
For nine months we worked intensely with groups of young people from Brighouse, Halifax, Forest Cottage and Soweby Bridge. This scheme was in partnership with Calderdale’s Young Peoples Services and targeted young people from challenging circumstances.
We also linked with a group of street dancers from Dubrovinik, Croatia who were keen to get exposure and share their skills with their UK peers.
Funded by Arts Council England with some local monies, the workshops were free to all and took place on a weekly basis. Some of our team also linked in with young people from Liverpool and Manchester. The workshops were indicative of Outta Place’s original offer of Dance (in this instance urban) , DIY fashion, Stencil/visual arts, Noisy Toys, Music Production and 3D Design.
Despite the rain, hundreds of local people attended the event and many young people tried out one of the free workshops on offer.
The showcase was a buzzy, lively affair with young dancers ‘dancing off’ each other to begin with. Then we streamed the Croatian dancers live and the two groups met and connected. This created a stir with all participants, as there was a fresh, free approach with the performances. The audience gave their approval as they attempted to keep dry! The performances came to a close with a fast and deliberate performance from a Mancunian Grime band and the outrageous D.I.Y fashion show.
Half term creative engagement project in partnership with Extended Schools Calderdale 2010
The local authorities ‘Extended Schools’ program, to engage a group of young people from challenging circumstances, approached us. We developed a week long model bringing together the three components of Hip Hop; Dance, Music and Graffiti.
Performance at Burnley Youth Theatre’s Festival 2010
A group of young Asian break-dancers that Clare Donegan managed for the duration of the Sketch project, performed at BYT’s fresh and brilliant yearly theatre festival. This short routine was choreographed by themselves, under Clare’s guidance.
Battle on the Park 2009
Part of the initial feasibility study carried out by Outta Place for the young creatives of the Calder Valley 2009.