News: Dance 'has made me feel that I’m free' - Magpie Dance Highfliers

Tuesday 13 June 2017

Last summer, Magpie Dance’s professional training Company Highfliers embarked upon their biggest tour ever of the piece There Were Definitely Swans choreographed by renowned dance artist Ben Duke from Lost Dog Dance

In a bare rehearsal space, six performers try and re-stage Swan Lake. As they piece it together, reality and fiction become confused, emotions run high and while the traditional choreography is nowhere to be seen, Swan Lake comes to life in the most unique of settings.

The tour launched at Greenwich Dance last June with the premiere of this original work as part of Candoco’s Anniversary Showcase, swiftly followed by a run across the country. This was the first time the Highfliers dancers experienced the excitement of performing across different venues, meeting other young dancers, reaching new audiences and changing the public’s perceptions towards dancers with learning disabilities.

Highfliers creates the opportunity for talented dancers with learning disabilities to train and progress into the professional dance sector from community and youth dance activity. Magpie Dance’s Highfliers is the first company of its kind, providing weekly training in contemporary dance technique alongside creative workshops and opportunities to work with high profile professional choreographers and perform work in prestigious venues.

The improvements in the dancer’s self-discipline, motivation, confidence and inter-personal skills have been truly impressive; it is testament to the quality of the Highfliers dancers and the successful impact of this ground breaking initiative.

One Highfliers dancer reports: “I think it’s been an amazing year. In Highfliers, I am progressing and would like to carry on dancing ballet and technique classes. This is seriously good fun and I would love to carry on dancing”. Another dancer commented that dancing ‘made me feel that I’m free’.

Highfliers will be performing at Mind the Gap’s Dance Double Bill: The Stories We Tell | There Were Definitely Swans this Friday 16 June at 7.30pm

Highfliers will also be running a free workshop on Saturday 17 June, 10:30am for people who have booked tickets to see the show. Places are limited, please call 01274 487390 for more information.

Written by Jessica Lucy Richards, Operations Coordinator at Magpie Dance

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