Magpie Dance: Flying High at Lilian Baylis StudioCultureTheatre
Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Magpie Dance, in collaboration with Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist, brings to the Lilian Baylis Studio Flying High. This is work from amateur youth and adult groups, as well as the newly launched High Fliers, its professional dance troupe.
Unlike the usual dance companies showcased at Sadler’s Wells, there is something very special about Magpie Dance. A contemporary company, it’s at the forefront of dance for people with learning disabilities and delivers over 200 sessions annually through high-quality participation.
The first half of the show Made by Many is choreographed and performed by the adult dancers. Accompanied by live drumming rhythm and beats, the dancers use pair and ensemble work to create strong rhythmic movement. The Story So Far makes up the second half of the show, debuting High Fliers, which was established in September 2014. David Willdridge (Stopgap Dance Company) choreographed the piece, telling the story of a solitary writer who immerses himself in the world of his character, as he searches for a way to tell his story. The dancers, graceful and brimming with artistry and expression, move fluidly through positions as he moulds and shapes his characters, bringing them to life.
At the end of the show, we are invited to a Q+A session with the dancers, choreographer, staff and trustee of this remarkable dance company. What is revealing is that despite receiving no core funding, a love of dance from all involved and commitment to emphasising ability rather than disability is what keeps this company alive. For the dancers, it is true to say that the company offers them something that they sometimes fail to find elsewhere – inclusion. The dancers are judged only their ability to produce beautiful art. A jewel amid a sea of contemporary art companies, Magpie Dance’s Flying High needs to be showcased in every town and city in the country. It will capture your imagination, and seize your heart and mind forever.
Magpie Dance: Flying High is on at Lilian Baylis Studio until 16th January 2015, for further information or to book visit here.