Package 1 MY TOWN
Explore castle history through Myths and Legends and the Bayeux
tapestry using medieval dances and creative based movement. This
package also studies local and personal heritage focusing on the
town where your school or group is based to develop your own stories
and group dances.
Package 2 MY CASTLE | Rep Workshop
Introduce your group to contemporary dance technique, learn repertoire
and draw on creative processes from the current Castle production.
Led by professional dancers from Ascendance Rep who will take you
through the themes behind the dance.
Package 3 LIVE PERFORMANCE
Experience a live performance by members of the cast followed by
a repertory-based workshop where students can learn, and be inspired
by, the professional dancers.
Package 4 CREATE A DANCE
Create a dance in three days with Artistic Director Rachel Wesson
and members of the company towards a performance or module assessments.
education and performance packages are now available following
the launch of Ascendance Rep’s ground-breaking dance piece ‘My
Castle | A Company of All Ages’ choreographed by Artistic Director
Rachel Wesson, performed by 12 dancers ranging between 5 - 70 years.
Castle is both a light-hearted and melancholic study of pleasures
and pastimes in medieval England, encompassing literature, paintings,
music, social dances, banquets, war and loss.
dance begins with Shenanigans in the garden with the traditional
games of Chess, Blind Man’s Bluff and piggyback wrestling.
In the popular Dance of the Knights and Ladies we see the dancers
march together with heroic strength with an inevitable end through
the dance of death where we are asked to pause for reflection. The
dance of peace embodies the daily strain of loss and loneliness
experienced by women in
powerful positions such Anne Clifford who was the last Clifford
to own Skipton Castle in the 17th century. A traditional social
dance starts the celebration banquet dance – an escape from
the reality of our daily lives.
diversity of the project has not only increased the fitness and
self-confidence of the children but raised their awareness of the
community around them. Teamwork, collaboration, listening skills
and empathy together with self-control and self-discipline have
driven the programme which has been delivered by highly professional,
enthusiastic and approachable staff. Thank you”
Wood – Little London Primary School
(My Leeds project)
Ascendance is a Leeds based contemporary dance company, offering
performance led dance projects for all ages across Yorkshire and
the UK. The company is known for its high quality choreography and
has delivered a wide range of professional tours, educational projects
and workshops, creating over 1000 dance pieces with community and
education groups, in a range of inspiring spaces, over the past
The company works extensively in site-specific venues,
including bookstores, cathedrals, train stations, shopping centres,
city and rural art galleries, museums, libraries and is now working
across UK Castles and heritage sites in partnership with English
Heritage and Local Authorities.
Ascendance Rep specialises in intergenerational projects bringing
younger and older participants together in a range of dance activities,
performances and workshops.
the residency at Skipton Castle, young people from the surrounding
areas enjoyed an intense summer school led by Helen Wilson.
Participants learnt some of the repertoire that the company
had created during their residency. Participants were able
to enjoy performing it alongside the professional company
on the day of the performance.
Day for All Ages
16th April 2011
at Cottingley Cornerstone Centre
Make a date with dance in 2011
People in Bradford of all ages and abilities will
have the opportunity to take part in a vibrant day of dance this
Spring thanks to a Grants for the arts award from the Arts Council
Ascendance Rep in partnership with the Dance Bradford
Network is holding a dance day at Cottingley Cornerstone Community
Centre. This event, will be open to people of all ages and experiences.
Local schools and community centres will be limbering
up for the dance day through a series of workshops in March led
by Ascendance Rep and based on the theme of local heritage. Organisers
are asking members of the local community to contribute their own
ideas and stories about the area for the workshops to help create
new dance pieces which will be performed as part of the dance day.
The dance day and workshops are both being supported
with National Lottery funding through a Grants for the arts award.
Rachel Wesson, Artistic Director, Ascedance Rep,
said: 'This project allows dancers of all ages to come together
and celebrate the idea that anybody can dance. Professional dancers
from Ascendance Rep will be delivering workshops for community and
school groups to get as many people involved in the dance day as
possible. The dance day is open to everyone, with or without dance
experience, where people can join together and learn fun social
dances and contemporary dance sequences taken from Ascendance Rep’s
latest dance piece, My Castle.'