Dance Festival

Dance Festival
Wheal Martyn

When: 07 April 2017
Where: Wheal Martyn
Time: 15:00 - 16:00
Cost: FREE event
Suitable for: Any age

‘Beautiful Dirt’ – Dance Project at Wheal Martyn

Wheal Martyn are delighted to be hosting an Inclusive Dance Festival on Friday 7th April, from 3-4pm. Wheal Martyn may seem like an unlikely location for a dance festival, but over the past few months the china clay mining museum has been inspiring performers from around the county.

Shallal2 is a community performance group based in Falmouth, which started in 2012. The group consists of a diverse range of people, of various ages and backgrounds, who all share a love of creative movement, music and playfulness. All of Shallal2’s work is improvised, devised and shaped, rather than choreographed.

Jo Lumber, from Shallal2 said “we are delighted to be commissioned for a new site-specific piece of work to perform at Wheal Martyn. The group visited the museum and outdoor location in the autumn, exploring the site for inspiration and ideas. We were thrilled and excited as we discovered the beauty of the landscape and the remnants of the working environment. We learned about the process of the china clay industry and its uses, plus the history and hardship of the Cornish workers. We then set about exploring those themes through movement and music. We have focussed on the machinery, the use of water and heat, the natural landscape and china clay as an ingredient in many different objects. Plus, we imagined the repetitive, physical work and the plights of the men and women who made Wheal Martyn into a hugely successful industry.”

Shallal2 often create work to specific themes and have performed in both indoor and outdoor settings, including Falmouth Art Gallery, Hoilfied Farm, Gyllingdune Gardens, Porthmeor Studios in St Ives and AMATA at Falmouth University. Wheal Martyn was a new site for the group to explore, and the landscape of the china clay mines proved to be a dramatic and inspiring setting. Jo Willis, Creative Director, said “the museum experience and history of the clay industry completely surpassed all our expectations - our participants are all really keen to return to Wheal Martyn for the performance”.

Wheal Martyn have worked in partnership with Shallal2 on this project, bringing a new and diverse audience to the museum. This has been supported by Pavilion Dance South West's Coinvestment Programme, the National Dance Development Organisation for the South West of England. Pavilion Dance South West work collaboratively with partners across the South West who share a commitment to develop and sustain opportunities for people in the region to make, present, watch and participate in dance. Arts Council England have supported the project at Wheal Martyn through its investment in museums in Cornwall as part of their Major Partner Museum programme, being delivered by Cornwall Museums Partnership.

On Friday 7th April, Shallal2 will present ‘Beautiful Dirt’, an abstract interpretation of the beauty and toil of Wheal Martyn. There will be other performances from ‘Out There’, a small Liskeard-based inclusive dance group, and from Falmouth University Foundation Arts and Dance students. The performance will commence at 3.00pm, and is FREE of charge.

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