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The castle project
set out to use the heritage knowledge collected over the past five
years to feed into a new site-specific dance work inspired by Skipton
was inclusive to members of the community of all ages.
was chosen as the site around which to build the work because of
its large appeal to all ages and interests.
Visually, castles form
a natural theatrical setting and have an array of winding rooms
and grounds to use as a gigantic studio. Their great walls have
witnessed the coming and going of Lords and Lairds, of great warriors
With all pieces
of choreography it is the subject matter, and quality of stimuli,
that are the most important things to get right. To be a good choreographer
one must inspire the dancers, and provide a working atmosphere that
will allow quality and creative activity to flourish.
The company began by researching castle history; its people and
the lifestyle that surrounded it. It was decided to focus on mediaeval
pleasures and pastimes, and it was paramount that the dancers would
not simply become mediaeval characters, but would embody the essence
of the lifestyle – the humour and horror of everyday lives
as well as using social dance and games to bring the themes together.
The Artistic Director envisaged that the piece would have fragmented
narratives, abstracted in places, with common themes to which an
audience without knowledge of dance could relate. It was also important
that this contemporary dance piece presented a living experience.
She set out to change the way in which dance is commonly viewed
through a promenade performance, one which audiences could dip in
and out of, and which they could watch whilst relaxing in the grounds
of the castle, capturing moments of the dance on their travels.