Castle Hill Open Day Community Engagement Project, May-June 2015
The project was a collaboration between Kettles Yard and the Arbury North Cambridge Academy. The aim was to support GCSE students from a local secondary school to engage with the history and heritage of Kettles Yard; specifically to offer the dance students opportunity to learn about the art of Gaudier-Brzeska with the broader context of dance and art in pre-WWI Britain.
The aim was to encourage creativity and confidence in the dance students, value and showcase their voices – with their peers and within the wider Cambridge community.
The students worked with me to engage with creative processes around creating, choreographing and performing dance work, supported by their school dance tutor. We took our inspiration directly from the Henri Gaudier-Brzeska New Rhythms exhibition at Kettles Yard. Our key and direct inspiration was drawn from his sculptures and diaries, and indirectly, the dance forms and art styles of his time. We investigated more contemporary dance companies such as DV8 and Pina Baush. We experimented with creative and imaginative mark-making and used our work as springboards to develop dance pieces. We shaped our choreographic explorations into final pieces which were performed as the opening piece at the Castle Hill Open Day. Most poignantly, the dance students, who were all new to the Kettles Yard environment found themselves as key performers on the very eve of Kettle Yard’s closure for two years.