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First World War Centenary Commemorated by a Free Dance Project for Boys

Press Release   •   Feb 07, 2014 09:15 GMT

The plan for 2014 is to create seven stand-alone new dance pieces from groups in the West Midlands, which also combine to create a full evening performance exploring the theme more widely. The themes are linked to the centenary of the First World War with a working title of ‘White Feathers’, an expression used against those who were thought to be avoiding doing their duty in a time of war.

ESDC are looking for boys with a particular interest and talent in dance to get involved, they don't need to have had lots of experience, just the ability to work hard with enthusiasm!

The boys will all meet to create the dance piece at the Brewhouse Arts Centre, Burton upon Trent between the 17th and 19th February (during the February half term).The dance piece will then be performed to a local audience at the Brewhouse on either the 3rd or 4th April and will then be combined with the other groups work to create the full performance. Venues currently being investigated for this include Lichfield Cathedral and the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas.

Other performances will take place throughout the West Midlands but will not affect school attendance. All rehearsals and transport costs are covered by funding so the project is FREE to all participants. 

Councillor Bernard Peters, Deputy Leader for Service Commissioning, said: “The Council has a plan to raise awareness of the Great War centenary across East Staffordshire through a series of events and activities. We are also encouraging local communities to develop their own plans and the Council has set aside some funds to support activities and events of which the West Midlands Boys Dancing Project is one of.

“It is impossible to imagine what the young men of that time must have gone through when faced with the very real possibility that they may not come back from the war. The dance project for 2014 is very poignant as it will tell a tale of the other side of the war”.

Staffordshire has been part of for the last three years, and has given over 100 boys aged 9-17 the opportunity to work with professional dance artists to create original performances.

Last year the project created dance for film, Staffordshire's contribution, ‘Dark Water’, was combined with six other pieces of dance film from around the West Midlands to create The Quiet Man Suite. This film has received high acclaim, and has been shown at events around the region as well as at the Leeds Dance Festival.

To find out more about the Boys Dancing organisation, please visit the website at www.boysdancing.org.  You can find out about past projects around the region, and read the short biographies of the two dance artists Mark Worth and Nick Smith.

For further information regarding the East Staffordshire element and how to get involved please contact Tracey Smart:  tracey.smart@eaststaffsbc.gov.uk or on 01283 508462.

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