The Moment When ...
What a summer, what a year for dance in Cheshire and Warrington!
People across Cheshire and Warrington came together and brought the spirit of London 2012 to life.
Following a year long programme of dance participation, surprising flashmobs and intense rehearsals, The Moment When... culminated in 3 large scale shows that were performed with real passion by the 900 dancers from across the area. The pyrotechnics, show and costume design, the sound score, lighting, aerial work and the use of the natural stages in Chester, Orford and Tatton showed off the dance work with real power. The 3 shows were watched by vast audiences, many of whom have fed back to us with genuine delight at seeing such an ambitious dance project realised. This first collaboration between Cheshire Dance and Walk the Plank was a triumph!
'We have had a fantastic positive response here and people loved The Moment When… show. Great pic on the front page of the newspaper capturing the climax to the evening. Please pass on my thanks to all involved - tell them they are all now an indelible part of Chester’s history.'
'...hugely ambitious, in fact huge in pretty much every way – and a great night all round for audiences, participants and organisers alike. There were some really brilliant moments, and what a space to be able to work in.'
'It was truly a spectacular dance performance that was thoroughly enjoyed by all of us. We had some inspirational feel good factor discussions about the event on the last train back! A great opening start to the Olympic Torch relay and Big Dance celebration launch in the North West.'
'I was absolutely bowled over by the energy, enthusiasm and skill of the dancers, and the fabulous production and presentation that went into the show. An excellent piece of work which will stay in my memory for ever - and coming from an arts ignoramus that says a lot!'
'I thought the whole thing was absolutely fantastic and so inspiring to see that many people taking part in something of such quality'
'In fact we considered it one of the best performances we have seen – and we have been to quite a few spectaculars, including the Millennium Dome.'
'Congratulations to everyone for a truely amazing show last night. You must be so proud, it was perfect!
I loved the young kids and older groups dancing together, everyone was oohing and arrghing.
There were so many elements that were outstanding. I loved the horse race moment and the dancers in the hotel! It was so un-expected!
As we were leaving you could hear people in the croud saying "wow that was amazing."'
'The feedback we have had from our families, as well as the children has been brilliant. It clearly left a mark on everyone and is a moment they will never forget. The staff too have been full of it and everyone feels the same, that the Cheshire Dance piece was the highlight of the evening.'
In terms of the backstage organisation, groups were well supported. Children's Welfare Officers gave the productions a clean bill of health at each location. This sums up how it worked:-
'I can't imagine the detail of organisation that went into supporting all those dance groups. And in the midst of rehearsing 2 other amazing shows as well. I can't quite get my head round it because I know you are such a small core team. However, our experience and as a group with very sepcific needs was utterly seamless. Every step of the way the support was there, so sensitive to where we were at from the very begginning, through all the rehearsals and site visits right through the intensity of the final rehearsls and show and even now as you are rounding up the evaluation and looking forward. We feel fully involved and can't wait for the next project, whatever it is. Please count us in!'
'The way you guys put the whole thing together was so professional it ran like clockwork. It was an absolute pleasure being involved and something we will all remember for a very long time.'
'Clearly an enormous amount of fantastically hard work by everybody involved leading to an enormous success.'
Here's an edited showreel of The Moment When... show at Chester Racecourse
For groups inspired by The Moment When... and wanting to take ideas for creating dance in outdoors locations, a Creative Learning Pack has been produced.
Cheshire Dance and Walk The Plank began planning The Moment When... back in early 2011. With the support of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cheshire East Council, Warrington Borough Council, Arts Council England, Marketing Cheshire and Big Dance and with the response to earlier awareness raising events that engaged so many people across the area, the new artisitc collaboration were encouraged to create a truly ambitious project for 2012, a project that would welcome the Olympic Torch Relay to the region, would open the Big Dance North West programme, would open a new large scale community resource in Warrington and form a key part of the Cultural Olympiad programme for the North West.
The project was lead artistically and creatively by Cheshire Dance's own Jacqueline McCormick with Vicki Amedume of Upswing and Ruth Spencer, Independent Dance Artist, collaborating with Becky Minto (Show Design), Lucy Carlin (Pyrotechnics Design), Sandy Nuttgens (Sound Score), Stephen Page (Lighting Design), a team of professional dancers and aerialists, a hugely diverse range of community and school groups from across the region and supported strategically by Cheshire Dance's Adam Holloway with John Wassell and Nick Birkinshaw of Walk the Plank. Production support was lead by Sandra Blue and Aidan Lesser and Dance support was lead by Sadie Walker and Leanne Cardill from Cheshire Dance with Donna-Marie Morris as well as a vast team of production and dance staff, volunteers, parents, teachers and carers far too numerous to list.
The plan came together in 3 phases:-
A year long participatory programme engaging more than 10,000 people in dance.
3 site-based performances at iconic locations in Chester, Cheshire East and Warrington with up to 500 performers in each show.
Finally the legacy phase, which has already realised in a Baring Foundation supported project with 2 of the communities least able to engage in the main shows, namely older people in residential care settings and groups of early years.
Films and photo compilations as well as the project evaluation is currently being prepared. To make sure you know when these become available and for all other enquiries, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheshire West and Chester
29th May 2012
Torch Relay stage show 5pm. The Moment When... 9pm
Orford Jubilee Park
16th June 2012
Orford Festival during the day. The Moment When... 10pm
15th July 2012
The Moment When... 3pm.
The Moment When ... is supported by Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cheshire East Council, Warrington Borough Council, Arts Council England, Marketing Cheshire, Big Dance. It is also part of the Cultural Olympiad for the North West and the Tatton Show is part of Festival 2012
Just like our 2010 version that involved 13,155 dancers from across Cheshire & Warrington, our 2012 flashmob engaged thousands more across the summer of 2012.