EDN is a project for young people that may not have had the opportunity to go the theatre before, or even thought about dancing or getting involved in any form of the arts. It’s also a project for UK based dance artists, to offer enhanced professional development opportunities through working with the highest calibre touring dance companies.
To date the cohort of UK based dance artist worked collaboratively with their local DTP venue. Intensive training with the visiting company, in advance of the tour, offered insight into the company, the touring work and the creative processes behind the work. Based on this training, the UK artists led a series of dance sessions with young people from their local community.
The young people danced and worked creatively with the UK artist, met the company, watched the show and post show talks, and among a wide range of other activities, also had the chance to perform their own dances, if they wanted to!
DTP venues and artists have worked with various organisations and individuals in their local community that they would not have had the opportunity to work with; Scouts and Guides, young people not in education, employment or training, schools and colleges, sports clubs and youth centres and other voluntary organisations and charities working with young people eg. homeless organisations.
Working with young people in such an in-depth way, and for longer than is usually possible when a touring company visits, offers a deep level of engagement, widens opportunities and builds confidence for the young people, plus encourages a stronger relationship between the local theatre and its community.
Feedback from participants and their families:
‘I will never forget this experience’
‘Thank God for this experience’
‘(We) got to bond as a team and almost forgot that we were all different ages and year groups, and
me myself as an elder in the group, we were like role models’
‘I felt I was truly connecting with people’
‘I am so proud to have a daughter who is involved in that and to be at such a high standard’
‘After the performance, I found a tweet that had been posted by a member of staff at Northern Stage. They said ‘I am proud to work at NS tonight after seeing a wonderful group of young people perform outside.’ This made me proud of the group and myself.’
‘I was expecting to learn about how to deliver workshops on a company’s dance piece, I was not expecting to expand my approach to teaching, my confidence in working with artistic concepts or to build ongoing relationships with local organisations. I feel enriched and privileged to have been an artist on this project. Thank you!’
‘One of the most successful and productive programmes of activity in achieving new engagement – the venue now has an engagement template to use for all future activity.’