Northern Lights by Holly

Holly writes about Stopgap's first community dance platform performance, Northern Lights

Stopgap’s first community dance platform ‘Northern Lights’ was a great success as lots of dancers came together and took to the stage to perform some wonderful and exciting pieces!

For me and the Stopgap team it was a very busy day with lots of preparation. The morning was spent with everyone in the office queuing for the printer and sorting out the show’s programme, participant certificates, running orders, reservations and everything you can think of….

The tech runs went well and everyone’s energy was fantastic, there was a real sense of support and community spirit in the great hall. Throughout the day the groups had time to socialise and make new friends so it was lovely to see people joining together and enjoying the event.

Showtime

Nadenh Poan from Sg2 opened the show with a solo, ‘Bound For’, exploring his identity and testing his limitations, which told a beautiful story of strength and took the audience on a journey into his life. 

The next group to perform was Farnham Youth Company who I also danced with. We showed our piece ‘Snowstorm’ which looked at the different energies of snow such as; how snow falls, throwing snowballs and being in a snow blizzard. The dancers wore the t-shirts decorated by Cherie and myself which were eye catching under the lights with silver, white and glittery colours. Throughout the performance of ‘Snowstorm’ the dancers were filling the stage with their travel phrases; running to coloured spots laid across the floor. They were dancing duets and making snow angles but their excitement was what really brightened up the stage! I enjoyed performing with the group and seeing all of their progress and their hard work over term pay off.

The group Linkable performed next showing a fascinating piece about solar flares and how they evolve to show different displays of shapes and colours.  It was the first time Linkable dancers had performed together and they were fantastic showing real teamwork and support for each other. You could also see their enjoyment which was one of the great things about this platform as everybody got to experience the buzz of being on stage.

Next up was Stopgap’s Guildford Youth Company plus university students who performed ‘The Magnetic March’. This work looked at magnets pulling together; making shapes to represent the Northern lights in the sky.  In the performance we spread across the whole stage in our bright costumes and dancing our solo’s which weaved in and out of each other’s space.  We then had our small groups come on for duets, trios and quartets before finishing with my favourite section; the unison. The dancers were fantastic and they all seemed very happy with how the performance went. I look forward to working with Guildford youth group more next year.

Closing the show was Sg2, Stopgap’s emerging dance artist company. They performed a new work ‘String Quartet’ choreographed by Stopgap dancer David Willdridge and to be toured Spring 2014. This piece explores the fragile balance of events and hidden bonds which bring people together.  The physicality of this work was strong and the dancers did a super job of working with such a tricky prop; ropes. I enjoyed watching this work become tangled and seamless in its movement and relationship between the dancers.

To finish up this blog I would just like to say how wonderful the whole event was. The community feel and enjoyment from participants and spectators was great to see and I hope everyone else had as much fun as I did!

Holly Page

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