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At the heart of English folk

Spring Force: morris contemporary youth dance project

Spring Force was the English Folk Dance and Song Society's exciting youth dance project, fusing morris with contemporary dance, delivered in 2010 in partnership with Pavilion Dance/Dance South West and created with So We Boys Dance, the all male youth dance group for South West England.

The dancers aged 13 -19 spent two intensive weekends in May and August 2010 working with their own contemporary choreographer Benjamin Dunks and morris choreographer Laurel Swift, to create a new four and a half minute dance work fusing movements and figures of traditional Cotswold morris with contemporary dance. The live musical score for the piece, based on traditional morris tunes, was created and performed by concertina player and composer Robert Harbron.

In autumn 2010 So We Boys Dance performed Spring Force at three high profile venues:

  • Queen Elizabeth Hall foyer as part of David Owen’s 5000 Morris Dancers weekend at the Southbank Centre in September 2010
  • Royal Albert Hall, as part of On Show, CCPR’s 75th Anniversary performance in September, featuring over 30 groups and 900 performers from all over the country
  • Pavilion Dance Gala, Pavilion Theatre, Bournemouth, November 2010, in a show alongside dancers from the Royal Ballet, Paco Peña Flamenco Dance Company, Seeta Patel and Avant Garde Dance Company.

 

"The inclusion of Spring Force in the Pavilion Dance Gala aimed to include a dance form which is popular and widely practiced in the South West, but rarely shown on-stage. We wanted to highlight how the interaction between progressive professional artists and local dancers can achieve an artistically strong work for the theatrical stage... Our audiences equally were inspired and emotionally moved by a work which employed complex choreography and a real sense of collective and individual identity." Eckhard Thiemann, Artistic Programme Consultant for Dance South West / Pavilion Dance, and the Gala’s producer

 

 

Through Spring Force we aimed to demonstrate that morris is a dynamic, challenging and creative dance form with value for young dancers, whilst contributing to the development of the form and widening the contexts in which it takes place.

Spring Force is part of our wider work to create new and positive links between traditional dance and the wider world of dance, and to raise the profile of the folk arts in the UK.

 

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