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Let’s Dance…..with sticks!

Date: 04 April 2022

Primary School Family Portraits

Primary school bairns just wanted to dance with somebody as part of a national touring project that brought the Barrowland Ballet’s Family Portrait to Orkney.

It was a welcome return to face-to-face arts experiences as part of the Theatre in Schools Scotland, the National Theatre of Scotland and Imaginate’s successful schools touring project, in Orkney primary schools from 21-28 March.

The award-winning interactive video installation and accompanying outdoor dance-based workshop visited P4 - P7 classes in Glaitness School, Papdale Primary, St Andrews Primary, Stromness Primary and Dounby Community School, also signalled a return to live touring. The tour was supported by Orkney Islands Council and Northlink Ferries.

Family Portrait is described as an immersive video installation shown across four screens. Combining striking choreography and imagery, the piece captures Barrowland Ballet’s Artistic Director, Natasha Gilmore, and her three children in an intimate and humorous portrayal of family life. Co-created by Natasha Gilmore and Robbie Synge together with Natasha’s children, and filmed outdoors during lockdown, the video installation was set up and screened to pupils in their school hall. The installation was followed by an outdoor dance-based workshop led by Amber Dollin exploring elements of nature that pupils had seen on screen.

Mark Taylor, Head Teacher at St Andrews Primary School: “A breath of fresh air to us all, thank you so much for this opportunity. Our children loved it, intrigued by the surround immersive experience and the fun outdoor dance workout.”

Wendy Bowen, Head Teacher at Papdale Primary School: “The children really enjoyed learning about choreography inside, and then taking their learning outside and being inspired by nature – and it was a welcome return to face-to-face arts experiences!” 

Islean Gibson, Head Teacher at Dounby Community School said: “Our children really enjoyed the visual experience of thinking about lockdown in a different way – seeing them engage in dance in an outdoor space with freedom and joy was just brilliant.”

Ingrid Rendall, Head Teacher at Glaitness School said: “It was great just to have some real people come into the school. The outside activity worked really well, supported by the weather at the time!”

Rose Mazza, Head Teacher at Stromness Primary School said: “This was a fantastic experience for the pupils, and they really enjoyed their morning of expressive, fun dancing!”

Emma Gee, Orkney Islands Council Arts Officer said: “With Barrowland Ballet don’t think tutus, twirls or grown-ups - think mud, wellies and kids with sticks in the great outdoors!  This experience gave the children an opportunity to get out of the classroom and make dance happen outside. Luckily the Orkney weather was kind to everyone this last week and the sun shone as everyone danced.”

Anna Derricourt, Theatre in Schools Scotland Producer said: “We have been bringing productions to Orkney schools every year since we started in 2016 and are excited to be working again with Orkney Islands Council Arts Development team on our return to live touring with Family Portrait. We are in awe of the way Scottish schools have navigated the last years and have enjoyed finding new ways to work together. As we move through another school year, we will continue to create and support rewarding links between schools and Scotland’s theatre and dance sector.” 

Theatre in Schools Scotland has been bringing performances to Orkney since 2016 and most recently worked with Orkney Islands Council Arts Development team to create an interactive digital experience for schools in 2020. The digital version of Shona Reppe’s acclaimed show Potato Needs a Bath included a film followed by a fun, festive livestream party for Nursery and Primary 1 classes. 

Theatre in Schools Scotland brings exciting theatre and dance shows into schools all over Scotland. The 2022 programme integrates live performance with digital interactions and outdoor workshops from Scottish performing companies and artists, ensuring it can continue to provide regular high quality creative experiences for pupils across Scotland.  

Barrowland Ballet is one of Scotland’s most exciting and successful contemporary dance companies built around the artistic work of choreographer Natasha Gilmore. The company produces high quality, accessible dance theatre performances and films which tour nationally and internationally. The work’s themes are delivered with wit and humour, and the insightful observations of human behaviour are rooted in her personal stories.

 

  • Summary:

    Primary school bairns just wanted to dance with somebody as part of a national touring project that brought the Barrowland Ballet’s Family Portrait to Orkney.

    It was a welcome return to face-to-face arts experiences as part of the Theatre in Schools Scotland, the National Theatre of Scotland and Imaginate’s successful schools touring project, in Orkney primary schools from 21-28 March.

    The award-winning interactive video installation and accompanying outdoor dance-based workshop visited P4 - P7 classes in Glaitness School, Papdale Primary, St Andrews Primary, Stromness Primary and Dounby Community School, also signalled a return to live touring. The tour was supported by Orkney Islands Council and Northlink Ferries.

     

  • Category:
    Education

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Telephone: 01856 873535

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