Joseph Toonga’s Born to Protest | Photo by Harrison Dante
Here at DanceEast we have some exciting plans for this month, with plenty going on outside in the sunshine and at the Jerwood DanceHouse! If you’re looking for ways to occupy the kids or just want to see some great arts and culture then look no further, we’ve got something for everyone.
DANCING IN THE PARKS
For 3 weekends in August, we are going to be in Christchurch, Chantry, Bourne and Holywells Parks bringing you exciting performances and great dance workshops including everything from hip hop to creative dance. Join us from 11am until 4pm at
Christchurch Park – Fri 13, Sat 21 & Sat 28 Aug
Holywells Park – Sat 14 Aug
Bourne Park – Fri 20 Aug
Chantry Park – Fri 27 Aug
On the first two weekends, Dance Artists Laura and Martell will provide pop-up dance party workshops in a range of styles, encouraging all ages and abilities to join in the fun! The workshops will be interactive and energetic creating a vibrant and upbeat atmosphere for everybody!
Laura and Martell will be joined by our brand new Kickstart Company, performing a brand new dance work created specifically for the occasion. Physical, fast with barrels of laughs and buffoonery; this outdoor duet is fun for the whole family. What exotic animals should our safari goers expect to find across the Ipswich parks? Tigers? Giraffes? Pigeons? You have a say in where our adventurers search next. This dance theatre piece is brought to you by Annie Kelleher in collaboration with her fellow Kickstart Company Dancers.
On our final weekend we will be joined by New Adventures, a ground-breaking British dance company, famous for telling stories with a unique theatrical twist. ‘A Doorstep Duet’ follows two everyday people being transported back in time through music, and discovering the joy of dancing together in different eras. This lively, characterful and playful duet has been devised by New Adventures artistic team Kerry Biggin, Etta Murfitt and Paul Smethurst and will be performed by some of New Adventures’ finest dancers.
This event is free to attend and there is no need to book. Just head to the park any time between 11am and 4pm and say hello!
WATERFRONT DANCE DAY
DanceEast is hosting a Waterfront Dance Day, on Ipswich Waterfront on Sunday 15th August. Inspired by the Power of Stories Exhibition by Ipswich and Colchester Museums and the programme of work by Aspire Black Suffolk, the programme will specifically present and celebrate the work of Black artists. Join us outside Cult Café from 1:30pm or 3:30pm to experience an hour of powerful dance works by talented artists and companies including:
Still A Slave by Nathan Geering
This dance production highlights the ways in which people of colour in the UK still feel like they are slaves within modern society. This short film is an artistic response to many of the comments posted on social media to undermine the Black Lives Matter Movement. What makes this performance unique is it uses the artform of breakin and combines it with a flaming rope dart to illustrate the many ways in which people of colour are still bound within society and treated as slaves both physically and metaphorically.
The production has been audio described using The Rationale Method which utilises emotive poetry and sound effects generated from the flaming rope dart. What is unique about this method of audio description is that it is designed specifically to enhance accessibility to both visually impaired and sighted audiences to give them a highly enjoyable shared experience.
Nathan Geering is an Ipswich-born Dance Artist and Co-Artistic Director of Theatre Deli.
MRD Dance School
MRD is a dance school in Ipswich teaching both young children and adults and building confidence through dance. Teacher and dancer (Martell) is a self-taught artist has been dancing since the age of 4. His main style of street dance is hip hop, but he teaches all styles from popping and locking to animation and Dancehall. MRD is more than just a dance school, it’s about helping the kids and adults with confidence and adapting to everyone’s needs and making everyone feel comfortable.
Martell will be joined by 7 students to perform a fun and energetic dance piece that will get everybody up and moving and enjoying the sunshine!
Born to Protest by Joseph Toonga’s Just Us Dance Theatre
Joseph Toonga works at the forefront of Hip Hop in the UK and internationally. In continuous search for an authentic reason to choreograph, he frequently draws on real life stories which make his work resonate with people under-represented in audiences for mainstream arts.
Born to Protest is Joseph’s first outdoor work for his company Just Us Dance Theatre. It is part of a Hip Hop dance theatre trilogy he is creating to highlight black excellence and challenge racial stigma.
Born to Protest aims to dismantle presumptions about the black male and female figure based on intimidation, danger and isolation, revealing instead character traits around fragility, vulnerability and a constant battle to prove oneself. This hypersensitivity of the black body in space is magnified by Born to Protest’s cast of seven performing en masse to a soundscape which sets up an intense energy with Hip Hop beats and voice over.
Joseph is an Associate Artist at DanceEast and was recently announced as the Emerging Choreographer with The Royal Ballet
*Please note, this performance is suitable for ages 12+ and also may cause distress due to the use of ‘monkey chants’.
Joseph Toonga’s Born to Protest | Photo by Harrison Dante
Make sure you take a wander around Ipswich before the 15th of August and catch the Art Walk in all its glory. We are proud to be part of this wonderful event, displaying a painting by Jack Cripps in our window on Foundry Lane. The Art Walk is a unique opportunity to discover and purchase work from talented local artists in a town centre wide exhibition. With artworks displayed in the windows of an inspiring array of independent businesses, this project encourages wellbeing through walking and may even introduce you to local independent businesses you’ve never seen before!
This month the Whistler Gallery at the Jerwood DanceHouse will be home to The Freedom Exhibition. Presented by Suffolk Pride, and curated by Young Artists in Suffolk, Guy Cry Club, Creative Curve and cherryfizzwhizz, it showcases the work of Suffolk based queer or LGBTQ+ artists and allies that reflects what ‘freedom’ means to them – highlighting and celebrating different interpretations and lived experience.
The Freedom Exhibition will be open to the public from Tues 10 Aug until Fri 27 Aug in the Whistler Gallery at the Jerwood DanceHouse.