Dance City premiere at Festival of Thrift

Carlos Ara’s ‘Sea Saw’ has been announced as the first co-commissioned outdoor work for Dance City and the Festival of Thrift. The contemporary dance piece will premiere at the festival which is taking place this weekend on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 September 2021, in the village of Kirkleatham, near Redcar.

The Festival of Thrift is the UK’s national festival of sustainability, and artists were asked by Dance City and the festival to submit a proposal that was engaging and accessible, but also challenging and thought-provoking on the broad theme of future sustainability, and in particular water, which is the theme of this year’s festival.

Sea Saw

Based on the relationship between humans and the sea, ‘Sea Saw’ by Carlos Ara and Company is a show about two cultures coexisting in the same environment and the struggle to find a place of mutual understanding from which to move forward. All props will be re-used or recycled materials. Carlos will perform the piece alongside two North East artists Olivia Paddison and Alys North. 

Anand Bhatt, Dance City Artistic Director & CEO said: 

“Dance City has collaborated with Festival of Thrift in many ways over recent years. This is the first time we have co-commissioned a piece with the UK’s national festival of sustainability, and it is very exciting.

“Dance City is proud to support cultural organisations and artists and the role they play in the creative fabric of the North East. Continuing this support is a key priority ensuring people across the region have incredible cultural opportunities.”

The festival explores a range of issues including rising sea levels due to climate change, water pollution, water safety and reducing water use, as well as inviting artists to explore the theme creatively.

Carlos Ara said: 

“We are really excited to have been co-commissioned by Dance City and Festival of Thrift. With this opportunity, we have created a theatre work that re-purposes rubbish and discarded items to talk about the important issue of sustainability.

“As dance and theatre makers, we are passionate about increasing accessibility and designing work for outdoor and community spaces.”

Festival of Thrift

Every September since 2012, Festival of Thrift has provided an opportunity for people to discuss, learn, try out, and enjoy every aspect of sustainability. From swapping clothes, alfresco dining and cooking, to fixing bikes, with the bonus of performances, live music, debates and ethical shopping.

Stella Hall, Festival of Thrift’s Creative Director, said: 

“We are proud to be working together with Dance City, the North East’s leading regional dance development agency to bring more audiences into contact with dance outdoors. We hope this new work will not only engage audiences with important issues in a fun and accessible way but also lead to more engagement with dance of all kinds.”

Dance City is the North East’s leading development organisation for dance. As well as presenting the biggest programme of professional dance performance by touring and regional dance companies outside London, and dance classes for everyone, to ensure the North East retains as much talent as possible it also provides formal dance training from 11 years to postgraduate and supports professional dance artists and choreographers.

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