Everyday People is a choreography project directed by Sally Marie (Sweetshop Revolution), produced by Rachel Deadman from The Dance Movement and supported by Farnham Maltings.
The first stage of the project was awarded £15k from Arts Council England and took 6 people, unconnected from the dance world through the process of developing an idea, devising a dance and presenting it to an audience.
Sally Marie facilitated each novice choreographer over a period of seven weeks to translate their ideas onto 4 professional dancers, before assisting them in developing these into six bite-size dances which were presented at Farnham Maltings on Sunday 21st August, 8pm.
10 years of dance participation at Farnham Maltings:
The Dance Movement, a resident company of Farnham Maltings is now in its 10th year under the leadership of Rachel Palmer. Throughout the decade of leading the organisation Rachel has placed the community at the heart of all delivery because of the belief that dance audiences grow as a direct result of people engaging in high quality dance.
To mark the tenth anniversary year Every Day People launches a new avenue of participatory dance by placing the community at the centre of the creative process.
Why are we doing the project?
As part of The Dance Movement’s audience development plan the Company strives to find new approaches to connect people with dance.
Audience development reports provide evidence that people attend cultural activities they relate to. If a person wants to paint they can join an art club, sing they can join a choir but there are few ways in which a person can learn how to make a dance.
Through the Everyday People project The Dance Movement introduces people to dance by asking them to step inside the choreographic process, meet and work with dance professionals in order to develop a deep and long lasting relationship with dance.
Making art is profoundly connecting. As dancers when we create work we live in uniquely intense environments, forming close relationships with people that are life changing & illuminating. Every Day People allows people who do not get to work like this to deeply connect with the process of dance, to experience and live it, first hand.
Sally Marie in conversation with Rachel Deadman October, 2015.
Participation as a tool for developing a relationship with dance:
The Pitmen Painters is a useful example of how participation in art can nurture art supporters. A group of coal miners unconnected from the art world took up an art history class. Their tutor thought the best way for them to develop their appreciation for art was to learn how to paint. Eighty years on their art is permanently exhibited and is described as capturing, ‘every aspect of life from their community, from scenes around the kitchen table to the dangerous world of the coal face’.
The Dance Movement envisages the six Every Day People, like the Pitmen Painters, will nurture their understanding and appreciation of dance as a result of participating in the project and hopefully go on to act as catalysts to ignite other people to experience and engage with dance culture.
The project aims to open up a dialogue between those to whom dance is familiar and those to whom it is not. It aims to bring people together to find a common ground by creating something that matters both to the individual who is making it, the people who are dancing it and the people who are watching it.
Training for professional dancers:
To add value to the investment of Sally Marie working in Farnham, The Dance Movement ran a series of choreography workshops for dancers, led by Sally to develop and inspire the artistic dance practice of local dance artists.