At first glance, it might not seem like this year’s Juncture festival has much to do with young people – what with performances about neighbourly disputes and a photographic project placing older people on top of the moors – it’s not exactly the sort of thing the great British youth usually concern themselves with. But Yorkshire Dance holds the importance of engaging young people with dance as one of its raisons d’être, and we’ve come up with a couple of exciting opportunities for budding young dance creators and writers to fully immerse themselves in the festival programme, and even contribute towards the creative and critical process.
In fact, one of the festival’s most accessible and intriguing events is the screening of short film Dancing with your Neighbours, inspired by Louise Wallinger’s piece Annoying the Neighbours, which also plays as part of Juncture. Members of Yorkshire Dance Youth have taken Wallinger’s re-telling of interviews with disgruntled neighbours – bickering over cigarette butts in gardens and shooting squirrels – as a starting point for their film, which sees them taking dance into Leeds communities, interviewing their neighbours about their relationships with dance and even engaging them in some impromptu performances.
Yorkshire Dance Youth have worked with dance artist Anthony Middleton over three sessions to develop movement for the film, whilst Space2, an organisation which champions art to change lives, has enabled young filmmakers to work alongside professionals on the project to create a film more than worthy of its place alongside the adults on the festival bill.
The youth dancers will also have the privilege of interviewing Louise Wallinger, sharing ideas behind both their pieces and discussing the similarities and differences between their works in what’s sure to be a unique meeting of minds; as well as getting the opportunity to learn from Juncture performer Lucy Suggate in their very own workshop.
Young writers are getting a chance to exercise their pens (or more likely, their keyboards) with Juncture Youth Bloggers, which sees successful respondents to a call-out for 16 to 19-year-olds taking part in a blogging workshop prior to the start of Juncture, hopefully inspiring creative, diverse and critical blogs after they attend two of the biggest performances on the festival programme – Nicole Beutler’s 1:Songs and Jordi Cortes’ In Heaven.
These projects are aimed at giving young people a much-needed voice during the festival and we’re expecting that voice to be unbiased, fresh, challenging and above all, loud!
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