Big Dance to bring old Brighton market back to life

Posted On 12 Jul 2014 at 9:26 am

A dance troupe aims to bring the old fruit and veg market in Brighton back to life this afternoon (Saturday 12 July).

The troupe Reckless Sleepers will be performing A String Section as part of Big Dance Weekend.

The free performance is being hosted by South East Dance in the disused market in Circus Street.

It is part of a series of events being staged at the site of what South East Dance hopes will become its new base, complete with studio, from 2018.

The event is being supported by property company McLaren and Cathedral, the developer working on plans to revamp the site.

Their £100 million scheme will provide a modern teaching block for Brighton University, and 580 new homes, with 400 of those set aside for students.

Dance troup Reckless Sleepers perform A String SectionThe performance this afternoon involves dancers sawing up chairs – perhaps appropriately given that the Wood Store is next door.

Although the event is free, anyone wishing to attend – at 3pm – should register for tickets. To register, click here.

South East Dance said that recent funding successes meant that it could continue laying on innovative dance projects at the site for the next two years.

Backers include the Rayne Foundation as well as McLaren and Cathedral. South East Dance is trying to use the site to bring dance to the surrounding area where many people have had little access or opportunity to engage with the arts.

Among those working alongside South East Dance is the Brighton Oasis Project which aims to improve the lives and maximise the potential of women affected by alcohol and substance misuse.

South East Dance will work with the group over the next two years to develop a range of dance opportunities including classes, workshops and performances.

A dance artist will become resident with the group and will work with service users to develop a programme of activity for the life of the project.

The joint aim of the two organisations will be to support people as they recover from substance misuse and to improve the wellbeing of the women involved.

It is hoped that by getting involved in dance, women and children will have the chance to learn new skills, become fitter and improve their social lives. Another key aim is to help them maintain their motivation to stay off drugs or drink.

Kirsty Sulston, of South East Dance, said: “We are very keen to ensure that local people are involved in the Dance Space right from the very beginning of its development.

“Circus Street is surrounded by vibrant and interesting communities that sadly have been neglected in terms of arts provision in the past. It is great to know that we will be helping to reverse this.

“Dance unites the physical, emotional and intellectual and can impact on personal health while building confidence, discipline and social skills.

“The opportunity to work with Brighton Oasis Project and actually start making this happen in this area is hugely exciting.”

Brighton Oasis Project (BOP) director Jo-Ann Welsh said: “This funding will make a great difference to the women and children who use our service.

“These dance opportunities will have an impact by helping them to feel good about themselves, to build confidence and self-esteem and help them socialise with others.

“BOP is really looking forward to getting more involved with South East Dance and to being able to add these fantastic, enjoyable and alternative ways to our offer of support and motivation for BOP service users.”

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