Dancing our way into the New Year

Posted on: February 15, 2021

We may be in lockdown, but that hasn’t stopped us from dancing our way into the New Year!  Magpie Dance jumped into January with participants attending 17 online live sessions, tutorials have been made (from dancers as well as facilitators), more collaborations, competitions entered, plans for a virtual Easter school and preparations for another virtual performance at the end of March – it’s all go!

Our Wednesday Youth and Youth Technique dancers took part, by creating two films, in Let’s Dance 2020 – a national project by Para Dance UK and Alexandra Palace.  We have also entered a film for U.Dance 2021 (a national programme of events offering high quality dance opportunities to young people) and for Wandsworth Arts Fringe (WAF) which is an arts festival held in June and July.

Meanwhile our dancers are busy out of sessions just as they are in!  As they help to create content for our online video glossary of dance terminology with dancers of all ages in the role of ‘teacher’ and demonstrator – this will be edited and uploaded later in the year.  In addition, we have been running Saturday Skills workshops where our dancers, along with their families have learnt how to use Zoom filters, virtual backgrounds and have taken part in design and costume-making workshops.

Our relationship with the Royal Opera House continues to grow as we were visited by David Pickering (former Soloist of the Royal Ballet) who delivered a ballet class to 12 dancers just before Christmas.  We were also delighted to virtually meet principal dancer, Federico Bonelli, who joined our Dancer Development Course for a Q & A session on life as a professional dancer (from his dressing room!).  Federico will be join one of our classes again this term, when former Royal Ballet soloist, Hikaru Kobayashi teaches a floor barre class in our Body Conditioning session – such an exciting opportunity for our dancers.  And it’s not just our dancers who are benefiting from this collaboration, as our Artistic Director and two of our facilitators attended a teacher training session on the 12th January, on delivery of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland using Royal Opera Houses online resources.

We are looking forward to new relationships with Boy Blue (multi award-winning hip hop company) and international inclusive Canadian dance company, Propeller Dance, in this coming year – so watch this space!

Lastly, we are excited to announce our upcoming exciting interactive virtual show Re: Imagination… Welcome to Wonderland on Sunday 28th March at 4pm.  This performance has grown out of our ‘eMotion – when dance and technology collide’ project (initiated in 2019).  The aim for this project was to use technology in new and innovative ways to create, perform and share dance experiences. We were all set to welcome audiences to our dance and technology festival in May 2020 but unfortunately, due to the Covid pandemic, we had to cancel this event.  Instead, our dancers, staff and volunteers have been working hard to bring a virtual performance with interactive and immersive elements into your homes!  Further information and tickets will be available soon, so please save the date and look out on our social media for more details announced shortly….

…we look forward to what the rest of this year holds as it has started with a bang (of opportunities)!