Participate - issue 2

Page 1

STORYTELLING Sleeping Beauty gets an Indian twist p5

IN FOCUS A movement choir for a community p14

ROUND-UP Boosting confidence in young people p9

PROFILE Magpie Dance celebrates 30 years p10

Participate issue 2

Big Dance 2016 People Dancing and the Greater London Authority are pleased to announce the dates for Big Dance 2016 – the final Big Dance festival, marking a decade of big dances across the UK. The Big Dance Pledge 20 May 2016, 13:00 Big Dance Week 2-10 July 2016

Participants, Re: Defining Beauty performance project. Photo: Pari Naderi © The Trustees of the British Museum

Re: Defining Beauty


eauty, according to the clichéd and now virtually meaningless phrase, is in the eye of the beholder. But how is it defined? Online dictionaries tell us that it’s ‘the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, colour, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).’

Certainly the Greeks, architects of the world’s first democracy in Athens circa the 5th century BC, developed strong notions of – to use a fancy synonym for beauty – pulchritude. For these ancients the human body was an eminent vessel for the Aristotelian ideal of ‘order, symmetry and clean delineation’. Caring for the body was considered both a social and political obligation, uniting outward perfection with inner virtue. Fast forward to mid-April 2015 and | #peopledancing

a clean, brightly-lit studio in the bowels of one of the UK’s key dance venues, The Place. I’m here observing a group of a dozen of the fifteen people recruited for a project devised in conjunction with the British Museum. It began with a visit in March to the museum’s knockout exhibition Defining Beauty, an expansive look at the body in ancient Greek art and beyond, and will culminate in a performance (entitled Re: Defining Beauty) on June 27 in the continued on page 4

We’ll be sharing some really exciting news about the artistic programme soon, but in the meantime why not think about how you might be involved in the UK-wide and international celebration of people dancing and sign up for our e-newsletter?

Big Dance Week Launch. Photo: Ben Pruchnie