In August we invited 8-11 year olds to join us for a week-long outdoor Dance & Design Summer Performance Project with choreographer and dancer Marie Forbes, Hastings artist and sculptor Rebecca Child, and in collaboration with Sophie Nuezel Projects.
Ten children joined us on Monday 21 August and began getting to know each other with ice-breaking games and movement.
Over the course of the week they explored the grounds, created their characters, the set design and their costumes, and composed and choreographed their stories to be performed to family and friends at the end of the week.
The participants developed their characters and named the different parts of the grounds - the Mother Tree, The Underworld, The Guardians of the Pond and the Starfolk Orchard.
"I’ve really enjoyed the anticipation and rehearsing our show as this is my first ever performance”
"I've enjoyed spending time with other children I've not met before. I enjoyed the making of a costume and creating our own ideas and our own acts. All of it basically - there was no down side!"
“I loved it because I will probably remember this experience for my whole life”
“It’s made me think about how friendly it is here”
At the end of the promenade performance the audience were invited to join in the Starfolk party....
"It felt that all the children had been given the space and the permission to be themselves. The nature of being outdoors and being on the farm really supported that."
"It was an amazing group of young people. The thing they had in common was that they all loved being outside. The end performance was driven by the young people, there wasn't that pressure and they really owned it".
Marie Forbes, Choreographer
"It felt that everyone had special amounts of time with all of us. We could form strong team bonds throughout the week and we were able to really get to know the children because of the staff to children ratio."
Rebecca Child, Artist & Sculptor
Seeing the landscape being used in this particular way for learning was just amazing. Because it was a promenade piece, Marie steered the children just enough to enable the children to engage fully without being too 'teachery'. We utilised the different parts of the landscape as we went on a tour around and then linking that with Marie's suggestion that a character belonged to each of those spaces"
Rebecca Ainscough, Arts & Education Manager, The Bright Foundation