A Dance Response to In Memoriam by Studio Wayne McGregor and dancers from Weston College and UCW Academy of Performing Arts, produced by Theatre Orchard
Part of Weston Arts + Health Week, a collaboration between Culture Weston and UHBW NHS Foundation Trust
A highlight of the Weston Arts + Health Week 2021 was a collaboration between Studio Wayne McGregor, dance students and the community. Drawing inspiration from physiotherapy practise at Weston General Hospital, where movement is used to support recovery of lung function following Covid-19, this co-created piece was a profoundly moving performative response to Luke Jerram’s In Memoriam and the soundtrack ‘A Moment in Time’ created by Dan Jones and fellow artists.
The piece was created through two residencies, expertly led by dancers from Company Wayne McGregor whose groundbreaking dance is renowned the world over. Opportunities were also built into the process and the performance for community participation, as well as for local dance tutors to develop their skills.
The performance took place three times on the final Friday of Weston Arts + Health Week, from mid-afternoon until night-fall – a changing landscape of sea, sky and billowing flags casting ever shifting perspectives on the rippling movement of the dancers . A poignant moment of memorial, and a testament to the power of the universe, the body and the human spirit to shift and find hope. We hope that this short film brings a flavour of the experience.
“Studio Wayne McGregor were thrilled to be commissioned as part of such an exciting arts and health programme. It was a privilege to be able to work with the students from Weston to create a response to such a meaningful artwork. The students were extremely committed and responsive, with fantastic support from their teachers and it was a pleasure to collaborate with the teams at Culture Weston and the NHS Trust. The nature of the commission gave the artistic team at Studio Wayne McGregor a chance to develop new skills in relation to creating work around the theme of memorialisation and it was extremely meaningful that it was our first in person project since the beginning of the pandemic.”
Jasmine Wilson, Director of Learning and Engagement at Studio Wayne McGregor
“Working with the creative team on this project was uniquely special and hugely valuable. Our healthcare staff, including allied health professionals such as physiotherapists, have barely had time to draw breath to process their experiences during the pandemic. Capturing and sharing their experiences through dance has been immeasurably valuable for reflection.”
Anna Farthing, Arts Programme Director, UHBW NHS Foundation Trust
“It was brilliant for the students to work with a world class company like Studio Wayne McGregor, linking into industry experience which is vital for our degree. Their approach to creation and movement aided the students creative thinking and ability to consider movement with analysis and insight. The company were fantastic – professional, inspirational, and the experience taught them such a lot.”
Rachel Hickie MA, BSc(Hons) HE Programme Coordinator for Dance
With thanks for funding to Quartet Community Foundation, Without Walls and the Festival co-producing partners.