Akeim secures his first Grants for the Arts Bid

by aprilskipp on October 7, 2016

Yorkshire Dance has supported Akeim Toussaint Buck to achieve his first Grants for the Arts bid for Windows in Displacement, creating a new live solo working with dance, song and spoken word and exploring diverse identities in today’s England.

Akeim will be using his own experience of displacement, being a Jamaican-born citizen now residing in the UK while further exploring both historical as well as current political references and contexts around imperialism, colonialism and displacement.

During the development of the project Akeim will be testing his work with live audiences at West Yorkshire Playhouse, The Civic in Barnsley, Pure Heart Centre in Huddersfield and Yorkshire Dance, using facilitated audience conversations to further inform the work’s development.

Since graduating from Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Akeim has been involved in cross-disciplinary projects working with a wide range of artists. His focus as a maker and collaborator is to combine expressive skills such as dance, writing and poetry, beat-box, singing and acting through performance and telling new stories that reach beyond existing dance audiences across the region and the North of England.

Akeim will be supported by Yorkshire Dance during the development of Windows of Displacement through the Amplifiedproject, a two-year development programme committed to presenting work in new contexts and creating a dialogue between audiences and artists in Yorkshire and the North, funded by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

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Yorkshire Dance’s We Danced project, funded through Provident Financial’s Good Neighbour Fund, has achieved media success in recent selection for a national campaign by media company Upworthy*.  The short film documenting We Danced was selected as one of 7 national films created as part of Esmee Fairbairn’s Eye Opening Films and has received over 150,000 views, raising awareness of the project and highlighting the strength of developing opportunities for arts interventions in care homes.

We Danced has grown from strength to strength and is currently developing a small scale touring performance to visit care homes in Parson’s Cross, Sheffield. The touring performance, titled Here and Now and created by TC Howard and a company of three professional dancers will focus on creating quirky, idiosyncratic moments which bring together care home residents and primary school children in performance and play.

Here and Now is a playful, poetic piece of dance theatre full of humour and warmth, mischief and beauty. It is gently interactive, responsive and sensory; inspiring positive connections with life stories, thoughts and feelings past and present. Local primary school children are woven into the action to assist the performers and engage creatively with the residents. The performance is a shared experience between young and old and culminates in a spontaneous exchange of dancing and singing and chat.” TC Howard

The impact of the project to date on residents and primary school pupils has been significant with care home staff and family groups witnessing the joy and release that the sessions bring to residents. Read some of our personal stories from the project below:

June is one of the youngest residents in her late 60s / early 70s (at a guess). She has mobility difficulties and stands /walks only with a frame or the support of two staff. Her enthusiasm for dance and music has always been strong but only when sitting down chatting. Over the course of the project she has built trust with the dance artists and they have been able to persuade her to stand for a dance. This has become more regular and her confidence has grown to the point where she now enjoys a dance holding onto one artist (rather than two staff holding her up). She always says she can’t but ends up joining in and loving it – forgetting her nerves in the dance!

Xander is one of the boys at Mansel who was very self conscious and felt he “couldn’t dance”. Like June, his confidence has grown to the extent that he not only joins in with enthusiasm and joy but offers creative ideas to others and happily performs in front the rest of the school group and the older people. The lead teacher “couldn’t believe he is the same shy boy” when she saw him towards the end of last term.

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Yorkshire Dance appoints new Chair

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We are delighted to be teaming up with the globally renowned engineering firm Arup to deliver Juncture 2016. Arup is an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists offering a broad range of professional services. The association with Juncture 2016 means that Arup staff have already been actively involved in the commission [...]

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Evangelia Kolyra presents 10,000 Litres Sharing Friday 30 September 2.00pm – 3.00pm  Greek choreographer Evangelia Kolyra is in residency at Yorkshire Dance for a new piece, playing with mistakes, accidental movement and improvised physicial action. Catch a glipse of what she is experimenting with, as a well as a short section of her ’10,000 litres’ [...]

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Bradford Dance Network gains funding to support ‘Exchanges’

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