Sunday, 20 August 2017

NEWS: opportunity for 2 Children and 2 Adults to help bring the story of the Pitman Painters to life

North East Dance Company offers exciting opportunity for 2 Children and 2 Adults to help bring the story of the Pitman Painters to life through dance!
ESC, the Newcastle based contemporary dance company, could hardly have expected the public reaction to their latest Spring Tour which included PITMAN. Choreographed by the Company’s Artistic Director and Dance City’s Associate Artist, Eliot Smith, it tells the story of the miners and their community through dance interpretations of six of the paintings of the Pitmen Painters that are on permanent exhibition at Woodhorn Museum.

An image from PITMAN by Eliot Smith Company.
Performing Jazz Band Parade at Northumberland
Miners Picnic 2017 at Woodhorn Museum.
Photo credit: Rich Kenworthy.
PITMAN was premièred at Newbiggin Maritime Centre in November 2016.  It played to a sell-out audience, and the same happened the following evening when the performances moved to the Laing Gallery in Newcastle.  Earlier this year, in April and May 2017, PITMAN toured successfully across the North-East as part of the Company’s Double Bill.

What was particularly moving was the reaction of relatives of miners, who found the work emotionally charged, and there were tears.  The work of the Pitmen Painters has been the subject of a successful play by Lee Hall, a definitive academic study by William Feaver, and is featured in Bill Bryson’s Notes from a Small Island, but this is the first time that a dance company has offered their interpretation of the paintings.

The Xmas Tree by Harry Wilson. 1950.
The Ashington Group Trustees.
Following on from what has been a particularly eventful year for the Company, Eliot Smith is to choreograph three new sections for PITMAN in Autumn 2017 – supported and funded by Arts Council England, Northumberland Arts Development and with support from Woodhorn Museum.

And there will be a unique opportunity for two children and two adults who live in Newcastle upon Tyne (or the surrounding areas) to take part in one of the new sections, ‘The Xmas Tree’, dancing their own contribution to the story as they join ESC dancers in this affectionate tribute to the Ashington Group.
The lucky four participants will rehearse alongside Eliot Smith and his dancers and be supported by the Company’s Education and Beyond Co-ordinator April Martin.  Those involved will receive an appropriate food and travel allowance.

No stage or dance experience is required, but prospective participants must be comfortable performing in front of an audience.  The role will involve some physical effort, and Eliot Smith and April Martin will work with everyone’s individual needs and abilities.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the production and the involvement needed should apply to attend a “taster” session on Saturday 2nd September from 2.00 pm to 3.00 pm at The Barre Studios, Newcastle Quayside.  This session will provide an opportunity to meet Eliot Smith and April Martin, find out more about the production, ask questions and discuss some ideas for the show.  Following the session two children (one male and one female) and two adults (one male and one female) will be selected to take part in the première performance on 15th, 16th & 17th November 2017 at The Holy Biscuit, Newcastle upon Tyne.

This is an opportunity not to be missed!

If you require any further information, or wish to register interest in a taster session, please e-mail or call:

April Martin
Education and Beyond Co-ordinator
Call: 07974 582 973

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