Do you know your cloggers from your hoggers? Did you spend your school fairs plaiting the May Pole or stripping the willow?
This spring the Lost Dances Project launches with a call for the Northumberland community to relive their dancing days.
If you’d like to share your story email firstname.lastname@example.org or chat to the team when they’ll be at Morpeth Gathering on April 28 between 11am and 3pm.
Over the next two years Dance Dynamics Youth Group, aged three to 18, will team up with Equal Arts, Northumberland County Council and Northumberland Archives to explore and recreate traditional dances from across the decades.
Douglas Hunter, chief executive here at Equal Arts, which is supporting the project and its partnership with older people living with dementia, said: “The Lost Dances Project will give older people living in care and the wider community the opportunity to share their stories and inform this exciting new dance that can be shared for generations to come.”
With oral history training from the experts at Northumberland Archives, they’ll be out and about exploring the experiences of those in the local communities and older people living in care.
Michael Geary, archivist with Northumberland Archives, said: "We are very pleased to be working with a group of young researchers helping them to uncover Northumberland's rich, but largely overlooked heritage of dance. We are looking forward to helping them develop their research skills which will hopefully allow them to uncover some wonderful stories from the archives"
Led by professional artists, there’ll be taster sessions for the community and workshops with pupils of Swansfield Primary School and Barndale School, both in Alnwick.
Taking people’s tales, Dance Dynamics will create an online resource with step by step tutorials on how to recreate the dances they discover.
Emma Dunn, Dance Director, said: “Our youth dance group are so thrilled to have been granted this major funding to support the future of Dance in Northumberland. Our research so far has told us about pieces of dance music written in the past as far back as 16th Century, we hope, with the aid of the whole Alnwick and North East community to promote social dances and find out more about our rich Northumberland Dance History, creating archives specifically dedicated to dance in this region.
“Our young dancers will also create a new dance for Northumberland and will commission a new piece of music. We will be sharing this work across the community for the next two years. We would really be interested in hearing from anyone with any knowledge or experiences of dancing across Northumberland.”
The project, funded with £41,600 from National Lottery Heritage Fund, is inspired by the discovery of a manuscript of Lads of Alnwick, a piece of folk music dating back to 1733.
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