Nikki Price Photography received a private performance from The Sirens of Cetham Team when she came to photograph them before their River Festival and Big Dance performances in July 2014. We’re so pleased she braved the weather because her photos, as always, are fantastic.
This album contains just a few of her photos, these are The Faces of TSOC. Keep your eye out as we will post more in the near future.
Our first part in this special day was a performance by Ginny and Maude. This time they were at the seaside for a hilarious adventure involving indecision, ice cream, Charleston dance and lots more! The Mayor was present and was amused to receive one of the very special comics drawn by Richard Squarecube. Richard is an artist based at Sun Pier House and, as well as his comic, his Ginny and Maude painting was hung on the pier and his Sirens of Cetham water colour could be found in the Big Dance green room. I’m so pleased our dance performances have inspired him so much!
Next for us were dance workshops. I had just enough time to squeeze in an Active Armchairs workshop that I co-facilitated with Georgia. Active Armchairs in the sunshine, on the pier, beautiful! Georgia also lead a very popular Creative Dance workshop and fellow TRS Teacher, Alix was there with her dance company, AMG Dance, so she lead a workshop too!
As if that wasn’t enough, we then entered The River Festival’s domain for a spectacular performance of The Sirens of Cetham. The promenade between Big Dance and The River Festival was long. The sirens and musicians got tired in the hot sun, but it was well worth it as they collected the audience up with their haunting sounds and intriguing presence.
The performance at The River Festival had a huge audience. I was pleased to hear that one mum said, “My son is normally all over the place, but he sat still and watched captivated. When I asked if he wanted to see something else he said no and he stayed for the whole piece. Fantastic.”
Then I walked back as the promenade went back to Sun Pier and Big Dance for yet another performance. This time the audience had been warmed up by The Big Sing. 12 minutes later, and the final performance was over. Luci Napleton who organised Big Dance 2014 in Medway thanked everyone for coming. I would like to thank Luci for doing such a brilliant job and for including us in so many different ways.
Throughout the day I did get a few chances to see other things that were going on. The water displays were especially exciting. A jets ski flipping record attempt and a man doing dolphin dives with water shooting out of his boots and propelling him into the air. There were boats and barges everywhere. The tea room in Sun Pier House was packed. The Artists of Sun Pier House had multiple displays of their work as part of Medway Open Studios. In the Sun Pier House Gallery Kent Association for the Blind (KAB) and edna had an exhibition of art and photography. So much to see and do!
Our final rehearsal with the sirens was in their favourite type of weather, rain!
We were lucky enough to be joined by our musicians, Jacob Bride and Jamie Godfrey, and to have vocals from the lovely Sue Coxon. They promenade with the sirens from Sun Pier House all the way to the grass under The Mayor’s Lawn.
Jacob Bride also composed the music and with Jamie’s help they played the many instruments and produced it too! A multi talented pair!
Our fantastic costume developer, Rosie was with us, making sure the sirens’s kept their jewels in the right places and don’t squirrel them away, we know they like to do that!
Nikki Price, the siren’s favourite photographer, was present to capture it all. We are very thankful to Nikki for the fantastic photos she took last year, I’m sure you’ve seen them, and can’t wait to see this year’s photos too. I’m sure they will be quite a contrast, one set in beautiful sunshine and the next in cloudy weather!
Even with the weather, the rehearsal went really well and I’m looking forward to everything taking place at The River Festival and Big Dance on Saturday.
This year Medway celebrates Big Dance with not one, but two big celebration days! One on July 6th at Medway Park in Gillingham, the second on July 12th on Sun Pier in Chatham. Of course, we couldn’t miss either event and this blog post (to be updated as the events progress) will tell you all about it.
Today was Big Dance at Medway Park. There was a fantastic mix of dance performances and workshops from new companies such as Vez Dance to the more experienced Loop Dance Company who were, this year, commissioned to create a new piece with Boy Blue Entertainment. We especially liked that there were dancers of all ages. From little Pop Dancers with AMG Dance to the ladies from Moving Memory Dance Company, showing that just because you look older doesn’t mean you dance like it.
As well as things on the main stage there were lots of stalls. We shared The Right Step’s stall with Alix, one of the TRS Teachers, and her dance company, AMG Dance. We had a great time meeting the dancers who take part in her classes in various venues in Rainham/Gillingham. The stall next to us was another TRS Teacher, Gemma Quinnell, with her dance and fitness company. Just along the way was Georgia, our Adult Dance Coordinator and TRS Teacher. Georgia manned Loop Dance Company’s stall. What a good bunch!
The day was a great show of how integrated in the local dance and general community The Right Step has become in the past few years. I was proud to see so many of the TRS Teachers there as well as people we’ve worked with on various projects and in our regular work. They included Luci Napleton (organiser of the whole fantastic event) who works for Medway Council’s arts team and who also organised edna, an inspiring dance, arts and health project I was involved with last year.
Heather Burgess from Sun Pier House had a stall all about Medway Open Studios and two artists were with her. I took a few minutes away from the stall and ‘Made a Face’ out of paper with them. Next week we will be on Sun Pier for Big Dance, right next to Sun Pier House. We are very thankful to them that we can use some space there as our Green Room, especially as Sun Pier House is playing host to Medway Open Studios at the moment!
As with many of these events, we made an Auto-Awesome, a clever app that takes a random selection of photos and video footage from the day and mixes it altogether. remember, it’s random so it doesn’t always make sense, but it is a fantastic overview of the day and we hope you enjoy watching it. Can you pick out all of the TRS Teachers!