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Northern Ballet & Phoenix Dance Theatre Summer School

Published on

It’s the start of the school holidays, but pupils at Cockburn College of Arts and the surrounding primary schools don’t get a rest as they are taking part in our summer school, in partnership with Phoenix Dance Theatre.

Leaping into action on Monday, the 34 young people aged 9 – 16 years old have been taking a daily class where they are improving their technique and, working with Sharon Watson, Artistic Director of Phoenix, they are developing movement that will form part of a final dance piece that they will perform to parents at the end of the week.

Today is the third day of the course, and with many of them not being used to dancing all day, there were a few sore bodies this morning that needed loosening off in an energetic class! The piece they are creating will also be performed at the launch of our new building in January, and so they have been creating sequences in pairs, inspired by Celebrations and First Meetings – drawing on how they feel when first meeting someone and welcoming them in.

They have all been very keen to learn and to have a go, even if what they are learning is more challenging than they are used to. And it is great to see them working together, helping each other and becoming a team. This will be a real benefit to the pupils from the primary schools that will be coming to Cockburn in September, as they will know familiar faces and will feel confident in their new school.

As choreographer of the final piece, Sharon has been taking the movements that the young people have come up with, and piecing them together into one piece that reflects the excitement of the opening of the new building and the opportunities this presents. This afternoon they have been developing travelling sequences, including supports and lifts, and working on the quality and precision of movement needed when performing.

The views expressed in blogs are those of the author and not necessarily of Northern Ballet.