Mila’s thoughts on Barcelona trip

We have just returned from running a week of integrated dance workshops in Barcelona and what a week it was! Dancers David Willdridge and Laura Jones led the week, along with assistance from myself and our wonderful translator Jesús Sanz.

We were working with a group of enthusiastic participants from across Spain within a project that was set up by Spanish based choreographer Thomas Noone. The workshop was held in a beautiful and spacious, purpose built dance space called ‘Graner’.

Some of the participants who took part had attended a similar StopGAP workshop during the previous year and since then have been meeting regularly to form an integrated dance performance group. We also had some participants who had never taken part in integrated dance before and so the group contained a wide range of abilities and dance experience. This led to producing a very diverse, engaging and enjoyable atmosphere.

Each day began with a class to develop strength, technique and dance skills. We then followed on with various creative tasks including partner work, contact improvisation and group choreography sessions. There was a very strong sense of community within the group and we were often treated to delicious home cooked Spanish lunches on the studio balcony and cold beers in the sunshine out on the terrace… after hours of course!

During the week we pieced together a 20 minute long performance entitled ‘Traces’, which we performed on the final day in the entrance to ‘Caixa Forum’, Museum and Theatre space. The performance was watched by a transfixed audience of all ages and we even managed to attract the Mayor of Barcelona!

It was such an inspiring and emotional journey getting to know all of the dancers and hearing everyones individual stories and experiences of dance. It was an absolute privilege to be there and witness a few of them perform dance to a live audience for the very first time. We love them all and can’t wait to go back!

Mila Cassell – Access Officer

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