NOW Festival 4th May 2017

Now Dance Festival is an annual celebration of Dance in Cheshire.  The Festival provides a platform for community dance groups, dance in education, student dancers and professional artists.  Building on the success of last year, Now Dance Festival 2017 the event was divided in to three parts: daytime workshops and performances; the launch of a conversation surrounding the creative case for cultural diversity in dance and an evening dance platform.

NOW Dance is about bringing people together, celebrating the potential and commitment to dance in Cheshire, and providing opportunities for much needed debate and conversation.   NOW Dance is delivered in partnership between Cheshire Dance and the University of Chester and supported by Cheshire West and Chester Council and Arts Council England. 

To view pictures from this yearsworkshop go here and platform go here

Morning Workshop

30 participants including Let’s Connect (adults with disabilities who dance with Cheshire Dance weekly in Chester), Fallen Angels and University of Chester Dance students participated in a workshop exploring ‘connection’. This was followed by performances from Let’s Connect and professional Dance Artist, Ane Iselin Brogeland.

The morning session was wonderfully captured by visual artist Maria Hayes, whose artworks were displayed in the foyer for the evening performance, ensuring the continuing presence of those who couldn’t attend but had contributed to the day.

Cultural Diversity in Dance Roundtable Discussion
The evening performance was preceded by a discussion which saw a panel invited from across the local area to discuss the following questions:

  • How can we move towards the integration of culturally diverse dance practices within the dance scene in Cheshire?
  • What role can Higher Education assume in ensuring the development of intercultural dialogue with regards to dance practice?
  • What opportunities can be created to ensure intercultural dialogue in Dance in Cheshire?

The panel was made up of the following professionals:

  • Angharad Harrop – Lecturer in Dance at University of Chester. (Chair)
  • Sarah Spies – Senior Lecturer in Dance at University of Chester and Independent Artist (South Africa/UK)
  • Desiree Cherrington –Relationship Manager, Dance, Arts Council England
  • Kajal Sharma – Kathak Dance Artist based in Chester
  • Ithalia Forel – Independent Dance Artist based in Liverpool, One Dance UK Trailblazer Champion.

It was a very rich discussion and benefited from having a mixture of students, professionals, academics and community dancers in the room and all contributing. This conversation marked the beginning of a movement for Cheshire Dance and the next steps are to take positive action towards the integration of diverse dance practices and artists who identify with diverse dance practices or cultures into our programme. Our first key action is around the programming of Inquiring Bodies 5 go here to read more about how you can help curate this event

Evening Performance

74 performers and 14 student helpers took part in the performance. There were performances from DOPE Male Performance Group, Homegrown Dance Groups, Chester University Groups, Sir John Deane’s Groups, Iselin Brogeland, Ella Performs as well as 2 dance film by Chysalis and Jo Cork

Performers and audience members alike commented on the positive and inspiring atmosphere of the event, the quality of the event and the diverse range of groups and styles represented.

The ‘cross-pollination’ of audiences due to the mix of professional, student and community dancers was a key success – exposing people to styles, forms and approaches to dance performance that they may not otherwise have encountered.

To be added to our database for information on NOW dance 2018 or to hear about any of our other events then please email











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