Archive for November, 2011

Feedback from workshops and performance at mac

Posted in Education and Schools on November 29, 2011 by The Lift Creative Services

“I’m just writing to send my thanks to the mac and to ACE dance for the ICE workshop and show that we at Kidderminster college enjoyed yesterday. The workshop was hugely enjoyable, it was well paced and set at an appropriate level for the dancers. Everyone felt challenged but also that they learned something that they can take with them. It was also made the show more enjoyable, having seen part of the rep before. The teachers were enthusiastic and approachable and the students took to them easily.

The show was, as expected, beautifully danced and choreographed. For many of the students, this would have been their first experience of ACE, and also the mac, and I head many positive comments afterwards. One said it was the best show she’d ever seen.”  Kidderminster College

ACE dance and music at mac tomorrow and Friday

Posted in Uncategorized on November 23, 2011 by The Lift Creative Services

We are performing our new show ‘ICE’ at mac this Thursday & Friday and we are delighted to return, everyone please buy tickets and come along!

Our brilliant BBC Performing Arts Fellow Iona Waite will be performing alongside our professional dancers, so come and support her… oh and also remember to bring some cash along if you wish to purchase a fabulous sports bag, tee shirt or hoodie – proceeds support ACE Youth and their adventures. Big thanks to friends of ACE (FACE) members for manning our stall.

Included in your ticket price you will also get to watch two brilliant curtain-raiser performances by 43 students from Birmingham Metropolitan College, we have loved working with their 1st & 2nd year BTEC students & created these 2 exciting new dance performances over 3 days. ACE dance and music company dancers have also delivered two open adult class workshops at mac, at St Thomas Moore Catholic College (Willenhall), Colmers School (Rednal) & HND Dance students at Kidderminster College.

We would like to take this opportunity to express our heart-felt thanks to the wonderful mac team for all their help and support over the last few months.

“Break a leg everyone!” (when you see this brutally physical show you will see why this statement is slightly tongue-in-cheek) 🙂


Only four more autumn dates for our brilliant touring production ICE

Posted in ICE, Uncategorized with tags on November 15, 2011 by The Lift Creative Services

ICE Remaining dates in 2011, book now.

Thur 17 Nov 2011 (Mat and Eve) / Salisbury Arts Centre / 01722 321744

Thur 24 & Fri 25 Nov 2011 (Mat and Eve) / mac, Birmingham / 0121 446 3232

Tues 29 Nov (Eve) / Stamford Arts Centre, Lincs / 01780 763203

BBC performing arts fellow Iona Waite feeds back on the International youth dance masterclass held at Warwick Arts Centre Oct 2011

Posted in ACE Youth, Education and Schools with tags on November 8, 2011 by The Lift Creative Services

On the workshop led by ACE dance and music company dancers: The young people seemed really enthusiastic and were really going for it. It was great to see their own interpretation of our current touring production rep from ICE.  They worked in groups to create their own 16 counts of movement based on the phrase they had learned, see footage below:

On the workshop with Mirielle Barlet- Artistic Director of les Ballets Contemporains de Saint Etienne: All the dancers were a little bit nervous at first due to the fact that there was a language barrier to overcome. However this did not affect the class at all or the standard of the work. This class was very different to the others as it was a release/limon technique class which from speaking to the dancers they had not done the Limon technique before. Due to the nature of this the young people were very engaged and approached the technique of the class in a professional manner. The movement sequence at the end was great and it was good to see the French young people interact with the other youth companies.

On the workshop with Jose Agudo- Agudo Dance Company: I must say this was the boy’s favorite class!! Jose is a contemporary dancer but also fuses martial arts disciplines into his work. The grounded elements of the work really had the males in particularly very engaged. This class was very grounded and he focused a lot of getting in and out of the floor which most of the girls found difficult!!! Brilliant phrase and the end real test of being grounded as it was fast paced and high energy!!

On the workshop with Mané- Jamo Jamo Arts: This was an African class and it was brilliant. The energy in the class was brilliant, I think this was enhanced by the fact he had live musicians (drummers) which created a great atmosphere. The movement was challenging as the discipline of the African techniques are very intricate, what was great was the way in which Landing taught the classes and the young people responded very well and stepped-up to the challenge!!!

On the sharing from all of the youth companies: The sharing of work from the young people was brilliant. It was a nice mix of work, there was two duets and three group pieces. The energy was great even though the young people were all exhausted after all those fantastic classes!!

Overall the day was an amazing experience it was great to see so many young people from different walks of life all come together to share the best thing in the world “dance”!!

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Iona Waite is a BBC performing Arts fellow, read all about the BBC performing Arts Fund here:

Exciting shots from our Youth Dance showcase at mac

Posted in ACE Youth, Education and Schools with tags , , on November 8, 2011 by The Lift Creative Services

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Summary from ‘Promoting Youth Dance in an International Context’ event

Posted in ACE Youth, Education and Schools, Uncategorized with tags on November 3, 2011 by The Lift Creative Services

Promoting Youth Dance in an International Context. What we have in common – A summary from event on Saturday 29th Oct 2011

We have a shared passion for youth dance, a belief that it matters both for what it means to young people and the future of the art form of dance.  We want young people to have the best possible experience of dance, and for one of them to become Prime Minister!

We share a belief that dance is, and has to be, fun for young people.  We know that the human relationships that grow and the social aspects of being involved in youth dance are vital.  They matter to young people developing as citizens and seeing the world differently.

We are agreed that involvement in youth dance consists of many activities and has many purposes; it involves different styles of dance and different roles for young people – at different times any one of them may be a dancer, dance maker, organiser, mentor, teacher, leader, audience, critic.

We value the different kinds of models and frameworks that exist.  Professional dance companies may set up youth groups, programmers may promote the work of youth dance groups, professional choreographers may create new work with youth dance groups, groups may emerge from schools, community arts activities, and through young people setting up their own group.

We work to ensure there are progression routes for young people.  This may include to higher education, a career in dance, a life-long enthusiasm for dance.  Youth groups may perform locally, and we want them to have opportunities to perform with their peers regionally, nationally and internationally.

In the current economic climate, we all need low cost dance projects.  England has done a lot on 58 pence per school-aged child over the last three years, but even that amount cannot be relied on in the future.  We all have experience of dance being less visible than other art forms, and not being recognised by those who hold the purse-strings.  We need politicians to recognise dance and appreciate what it means in the lives of young people.

Dance is nearly famous.  Young people know dance is great, even if policy-makers have not yet caught up with the fact.  Young people challenge assumptions, they are risk-takers and revolutionaries.  However difficult the current period of austerity seems, it is young people who will safe guard the future of dance – as future artists, audiences, and policy makers.

ACE dancer John Ross moving and shaking in Kendal

Posted in Education and Schools, ICE on November 3, 2011 by The Lift Creative Services

This week, myself and Jerome took a trip up to the Lake District to stay in the town of Kendal. All week we have been delivering workshops to all ages from the ages of 7 all the way up to 60!

The experiences that participants had – were people who have never danced before in their lives to people who attend regular dance classes.

Being in the Lake District was a nice relaxing change from busy overcrowded cities to what me and Jerome are used to, to an almost ghost like town. Being from Scotland it was really nice to have that peaceful and WET little town, that made me miss home. Even though it’s quiet, the people we have met have all been extremely friendly and really helpful and made us feel real welcome. Even though at certain parts of the day there is no-one in sight! Even in the City Centre! The first night we got here was Halloween and walking down the empty street with lots of alley ways…. at 10pm it did feel like some sort of horror movie!

The education work has been a breath of fresh air! Coming in to teach kids what we have learnt in the past couple of months and from our training made these kids believe in themselves that if they wanted to do this as a career it can be an option. In some of our workshops the quiet kids at the beginning really came out of their shells and by the end of the class were coming to the front of the lines and doing the sequences without our assistance. I feel delivering the workshops with another guy (Jerome) really made the kids want to prove themselves, in some of the classes when we showed the kids – they all wanted praise always asking ‘is it like this, this?’ It was nice that they were so keen to get it right and show off.

It really made me think about what I am doing as a dancer. Even though I am doing it for myself, because it’s something I love, inspiring someone younger than me who is thinking maybe they want to do this also makes it even more worthwhile.  Jerome and I made a real good connection with the kids and I would love to come back and teach them again!

There was one real challenge for us, we didn’t know that we would be teaching 30-50yr olds for a class! some had bad knee’s or couldn’t do certain things, so being put on the spot we had to come up with alternatives for every sequence, when seeing them move we had to think straight away, ok, what is good for these people! It was a brilliant night, really enjoyable, and very nice to work with mature women and men.

There was one group of kids that we taught and at the beginning we had 4 participants. By the middle we had one (with about 10 new arrivals who decided to watch and shout and talk) … but we persevered and carried on what we set out to do and by the end we had about 8 of them dancing fully. This group for me reminded me of my childhood, that I didn’t really have anything like this and was just hanging out outside shops etc. So seeing them and having chance to work with them, I could totally relate. This was the biggest challenge for myself, but I feel it had the best success.

It certainly made me want to continue what I am doing and try my best to inspire anyone who I happen to teach or if they see me perform.

I just want to thank those kids and everyone else who took part in this week. It’s been great! Oh and also – remind everyone to come and watch us perform ICE at The Brewery Art Centre tomorrow (Fri 4th Nov).