Co Motion Inclusive Youth Dance Platform – An outstanding evening of creative work

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Co Motion – Inclusive Youth Dance Platform is a biannual event, which started in 2009. It is a fantastic opportunity for mixed ability dance groups, including those with learning and physical disabilities, to perform on the Laban Theatre stage. Co Motion is the only platform of its kind in the whole of the UK and is presented in partnership by the Greenwich Dance & Trinity Laban partnership.

This year saw eight groups perform, including a collaboration between the Trinity Laban Youth Dance Company and Cando2. The piece was choreographed by Trinity Laban’s very own Jamieson Dryburgh, a tutor and contemporary dance teacher part of the Dance Faculty.

The running order also including a dance film and two pieces from the Trinity Laban Dance Ability groups, which I have the opportunity to assist in the delivery of the classes. Part of the Youth Dance Programme, Dance Ability is a creative dance class where disabled children and their siblings can experience, explore and create movement together in a fully inclusive and sensory environment.

Last term I worked with the two Dance Ability groups towards the creation of a film called Favourite Things, by Roswitha Chesher, with animation from Tom Lockwood. In this film the children were able to express their favourite things, from goblins and fairies to bubbles and superheroes! Dance Ability was able to watch the film ahead of the evening performance in the dress rehearsal. The childrens’ faces simply lit up when they saw themselves projected large for everyone to see.

This term was spent creating two very different dance pieces for each Dance Ability group, ready for Co Motion. Group A started off by listening to the BBC’s 10 Pieces of inspirational classical music, deciding upon Mozart’s Horn Concerto No.4 (3rd Movement). We asked the group to story board their ideas from the music and how it made them feel, and they came up with different ways to travel, images of fairy princesses and dodging ducks – Adventures with Mozart was born. It was great to hear their thoughts and see it translated to movement. The group were able to choreograph most of the piece and the Dance Ability Team guided and crafted the material.

Dance Ability B started their choreographic process looking at Wassily Kandinksy’s pictures of shapes. Shape Shakers was then moulded out of the group’s response to moving through various shapes.

Both groups are a pleasure to be a part of, working with such enthusiastic children! It was clear to see how happy and excited they were to perform on the stage, and they were astounded by the lights and sheer support from the audience.

Co-ordinating the event I felt a great sense of achievement in seeing all of the groups smiling and performing their work with confidence and pride. I have already received positive messages from those involved in the performance telling me what an enjoyable evening it was.

Nick Kyprianou

Graduate Intern: Learning and Participation (Dance)

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