In April 2011, fifteen young dancers aged between 16-25 were selected from national auditions to participate in Dance at the Wall, a project that offered dancers the opportunity to expand on their formal training by experiencing the process of creating, rehearsing and performing new work, under the tutelage of industry professionals.
The North Wall’s Artistic Director, Lucy Maycock, worked as dramaturge, alongside renowned dance artist Angus Balbernie who choreographed the project. His dance career spans over thirty years and has seen him create and direct over sixty pieces in Europe, North and South America, Canada and Asia. Working alongside them both were a hand-picked team of dance teachers and composer Sylvia Hallett.
Over the course of two weeks, the ensemble worked together with Angus and his team. The students took class in a number of dance styles in the morning and worked on choreography and devising in the afternoon and evening. One of the issues that the professionals wanted to explore was the ways in which dance can integrate spoken text. The fortnight culminated the creation of a new piece of dance theatre, based on Angela Carter’s collection of dark, re-imagined fairytales The Bloody Chamber.
The final piece was performed to the public on 15th and 16th April 2011 at The North Wall Arts Centre in Oxford.
“I had an amazing time on the North Wall’s project last year, and I think it was a wonderful opportunity for all of us. As one of the older dancers involved, I recognised that the chance to do nothing but create dance and take class for two weeks was gold dust to the emerging professional.”
Fenella Kennedy (Dance At the Wall 2011)