#TinyDance comes to Fenland and Forest Heath
MarketPlace's Community Producer, Jodie Hicks joined Casson & Friends as they returned to Fenland and Forest Heath to film the final Tiny Dance.
Casson & Friends, an award-winning dance company based in London spent early Summer 2021 bringing their own unique style of dance and ‘people powered performance’ to our area. The goal? To speak to as many people as possible to create a dance inspired by what people love about where they live.
Dancers engaging with community members, especially young people, to create a bespoke dance for their towns and districts resulting in a Collaborative Choreography
The Community Producer POV
We asked Jodie Hicks, our Community Producer, to give her point of view about her summer worling with Casson & Friends.
Events in March, Wisbech, Brandon and Newmarket
Across four events in Fenland and West Suffolk two teams of dancers had the chance to engage with people of all ages, to dig deep and mine their thoughts and memories for choreography ideas and inspiration. It was a real joy to observe someone, with great animation, describe a cherished memory about their town or a certain place within it, and then to see the dancers transform these words into fluid movements.
A moment which stood out for me was at National Play Day at The Spinney Adventure Playground in Wisbech. Not only did the parents and children speak to the dancers, but they actually got involved physically to help create these moves alongside them.
On a couple of occasions, some of the children would correct the dancers and suggest their own alterations to more accurately capture what they loved about their hometown. The connections and collaborative process was a truly wonderful watch after we have all spent the past two years keeping distance from each other.
Slowly but surely, as each day would draw to a close, singular movements would grow into short sequences and in turn develop into a dance performance lasting a few minutes long. Alongside this, MarketPlace was on hand to invite people to also write down thoughts, feelings and also provide some suggestions for filming locations for the final stage of the project, producing a dance film.
Bringing the moves together…
After our days in March, Wisbech, Brandon and Newmarket the dance teams went away and explored all of the information they’d gathered, narrowed down the filming locations to just three in each town, (no easy task) and put all of the choreographed motions together to create two distinct dances for Fenland and Forest Heath.
All that was left to do was film it. Our travels took us to all sorts of places from racetracks to mausoleums, and even a castle. The #TinyDance teams accomplished the astonishing feat of filming in 6 locations per day and performing the Tiny Dances a staggering 18 times over the course of each day!
It was exhausting just watching them! Not only this, but in true East Anglia fashion, the dancers and filmmakers had to compete with weather ranging from sunshine to wind and rain and back again and often in the space of an hour (which could be a little detail to look out for in the Forest Heath film).
What was never lost was the sense of fun and wonder from the Casson & Friends team. They had the chance to visit all of these little gems we have in our towns, and really experience for themselves; what we are proud of and what is distinctively unique about living in Fenland and Forest Heath.
The #TinyDance films will be ready very soon so be sure to keep an out on our social media pages or sign up for our newsletter to have it sent direct to your inbox.
With all that said, where’s my popcorn…?
Written by MarketPlace Young Producer, Jodie Hicks.
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