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Reflecting on Children & Their Grown Ups Encounters festival

Tue 7 November 2023
Part of: Encounters Festivals | Encounters Festival: Children & Their Grown Ups | 28 October 2023 | Company of People | Little Big Dance | Saturday Superstars
Get Lost by Joe Garbett Dance (c) David Lindsay

On 28 October 2023, Yorkshire Dance welcomed local families and artists from across the UK to Children & Their Grown Ups Encounters Festival. The festival featured dance workshops and performances created for children, exploring the themes of imagination and playfulness. 

The Into The Sky dance workshop opened the festival, led by two of our fantastic Saturday Superstars dance teachers, Louise McDowell and Alex Mettam. Using props, music and obstacles the session offered a floaty and colourful journey through the skies. 

“We had a great day. My little boy absolutely loved the workshop and was beaming throughout. He had lots of attention from all the staff and was really delighted to see so many friendly faces” – Audience member

Meanwhile, dance artist TC Howard and our Company of People hosted a workshop welcoming people of all ages to learn more about the company and how they make dance work together. Company of People use creativity to find connection between each other and it was amazing to see that process in action with new people. 

This was followed by the Northern premier of Skydiver, a brand new dance work for under five’s by Xenia Aidonopoulou. The piece was commissioned by the Little Big Dance programme, a partnership of dance organisations including South East Dance, Dance East, Yorkshire Dance, and Take Art. Skydiver explored a dream-like world of clouds, birds, butterflies and encounters with thunder and lightning.

“[I] loved seeing my daughter’s reaction to her first theatre experience” – Audience member at Skydiver

Next it was over to Brodrick Hall at Leeds City Museum for a double bill from our Saturday Superstars street crew, TEMPO, and Get Lost by Joe Garbett Dance. Both pieces offered high energy fun to the impromptu audience visiting the museum.

Then it was back to Yorkshire Dance for Draw a Dance with the talented Cbloxx nomad clan, a muralist using dance as an inspiration for mark making. 

Next was another performance of Get Lost by Joe Garbett Dance. It is unusual to see a dance piece that causes so many giggles – the slapstick choreography transported young and old alike onto a chaotic and comedic camping trip. 

“Get Lost mesmerised my day…amazing to see dance and close up” – Audience member at Get Lost

To finish the day, the fantastic Lewys Holt ran Karaoke & Dance workshop, where we moved, grooved and sang our hearts out! It was the perfect way to end a busy day of dancing together and celebrating Children & Their Grown Ups Encounters Festival. 

If you would like to join our next Encounters Festival, you can sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear when tickets go on sale.

All images by David Lindsay.

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