VIDEO: Home Finale

You can now watch highlights from the Home Finale, as hundreds of performers descended on Birmingham city centre on Sunday 13 May:

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Tasdance Home Contributions

As part of Home, IDFB Co-Artistic Director David Massingham worked with dancers from Tasdance in Tasmania, in a week-long residency that was conducted mainly over Skype.
Tasdance’s performers created these individual Home contributions:

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Home // Grand Finale by Valentina Ceschi

The final week of performances for HOME was also the final week of working with a choreographer, in this case it was Rosie Kay.

Rosie brought a new dynamism to the piece, merging fun Merce Cunningham-like moves with her own inimitable style. Her objective was to give her own take on the three themes, Have, Lose and Find, choreograph a set piece in response to these and teach the dancers and community participants a final celebratory dance for the Finale on Sunday 13 May. This was a joyous event which brought the whole project to a riveting climax.

Home Finale // Birmingham City Centre

We placed the community participants in clusters all over the high street and new street while groups moved through them and collected them on the way. The culmination of the performance occurred in the Bullring, where, professionals, schools and community participants performed Rosie’s final big celebratory dance. Thank you to everyone who took part, you were all fabulous!

We’d also like to take this opportunity to give special thanks to the band of musicians for bringing such a great energy to the show. We couldn’t have done it without them.

Overall, despite the rain and the usual challenges you encounter in outdoor community projects, Home was a thoroughly rich and special project that touched thousands of people. I was very honoured to be a part of it.

Valentina is the Assistant Director of Home.

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Home from Robert Jones’ perspective

Robert Jones is a photography tutor from the Mirfield Centre, who earlier in the year came to photograph one of our Open Days with his students. He then returned to photograph the Home Finale on 13 May.  (All photographs are by Robert Jones).

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I am a photography tutor, I received an email asking if we would like to be involved with “HOME”. I thought this would be a great opportunity for my photography class to experince real photography out of the classroom, and they did. They loved it. It was safe, they were free to take photographs of the dancers as they wanted to. My student Sylvia said ” it was the best photography experience she had ever had” and her Portfolio certainly show this, it is excellent.

I heard about the “Home Finale” and wanted to take photographs along the street of Birmingham City Centre. It was amazing to see, so joyful, so happy, so energetic.

It was very rewarding to be involved with HOME, so many people coming together.

Robert Jones
Photography Tutor
Birmingham Adult Education Service


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More of Robert’s images can be seen on his website or here.

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Home at The Hub @ mac birmingham by Mark Hamblett

Mark Hamblett is our IDFB 2012 Festival Assistant and he has given us his reflections on day 1 of the Family Weekend at mac birmingham.

The IDFB Team had an amazing day at the mac, 5 May 2012, in the Home Hub.

We met some amazing children, young people and their families and we were inspired by their thoughts and feelings of what home means to them.

Here are just a selection of images from day one, where the walls were painted with home thoughts, and the space was used to express our feelings of home.

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West Midlands Dance Youth Forum reflections on delivering Home workshops

Back in March the West Midlands Dance Youth Forum were working with Home to deliver their own workshop. Having taken part in Home workshop with Kate DeRight back in January, the group had been out and about the West Midlands leading their own!

What a fantastic few weeks! I have, along with the West Midlands Dance Youth Forum assisted and been the leader of two HOME workshops for Woodrush Youth and Community Centre and Blakeways/Cannock Youth Centre. Each workshop employed various tasks to get participants thinking and moving in response to the idea of HOME, resulting in individual contributions. What amazed me was even though everyone completed the same tasks, each contribution was unique, therefore showing the incredible freedom of the project!

We worked with Woodrush Primary School and it was refreshing to work with such an energetic and enthusiastic age group and although I was initially concerned whether they would grasp such a complex theme, they didn’t struggle, and rather performed with vigour. Blakeways was again a very satisfying workshop but with different challenges – they were a bigger group and of an older age range, nearer our own, however it was still really fun and energized. What I loved was seeing all the tasks come to fruition within the young people’s contributions as you know they have worked at successfully getting their creative juices flowing and absorbed the themes. The success and smoothness of the workshops I feel was due to our enthusiasm, preparation and desire to enjoy ourselves with the participants, within the inspirational ideas of ‘home’.

Overall, I think that my workshop at Woodrush Youth and Community Centre went great! I was so pleased that all our hard worked paid off because everything seemed to work well and according to the plan. The girls in the Youth Forum were a fantastic help and really supportive throughout. Bearing in mind my group were KS3, I believe we coped well and think that they were really engaged in the workshop. The best part of the workshop was talking to the children and getting them interested in the idea of ‘home’. I also really enjoyed getting their feedback and thoughts of how much they enjoyed the session.

I felt my workshop experience was challenging! However, my workshop with Blakeways and Cannock Youth Centre went to plan and the participants in the group were lovely and were great help to the workshop itself. Considering they were all non-dancers they produced some really interesting contributions. The best part was talking to the group and the whole atmosphere was bubbly and comforting. I’d love to lead another workshop soon!

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Joe Rivers – Home Hub Host

Joe Rivers is our Home Hub Host…

Being Home Hub host gives me a special opportunity to be part of this most remarkable community participation dance project.

I get to meet, greet and share information, insights, ideas and enthusiasm with the widest circle of people.

Watching the creative team and the dancers in action, working together to develop performances with, and for, the communities of Birmingham, is a complete joy – and wonderfully inspiring!

Come and join us for a cup of tea or coffee; pick up brochures for IDFB, get information and sign-up to participate in Home. You’re very welcome…

You can find Joe in the Home Hub in Pavilions Shopping Centre.

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Saturday 28 April Performances

On Saturday 28 April we had a really great mix of people to come and perform on High Street and New St as part of Home.

The below video is of some of the rehearsal footage taken by Valentina Ceschi our Assistant Director.

Here are some photos by our apprentice Faye Watson’s dad, Steve Watson:

Bill West and James perform as part of the show. They found out about the project through Sifa Fireside.

Our community and professional performers together it includes a ladies group called Stepping Out and some performers from Dudley Performing Arts and a range of individuals.

Michael Spenceley with Jerome Brown.

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Blog // Rosie Nicholas – IDFB Media Ambassador

Rosie Nicholas is a Media Ambassador for IDFB…

If you happen to be walking around Birmingham city centre with your eyes closed this month, you might be forgiven for not spotting the sea of bodies donned in bright red spread across various open spaces in the city. If, however, you’re not, then you really have no excuse. International Dance Festival Birmingham 2012 jumped, kicked and flip-started with a dramatic hour and a half live performance in the city’s High Street this Monday. The dance troupe set fire to what was a blustery and otherwise uneventful lunchtime in Brum. They provided an inspiring display of energetic dance complete with live trumpet, drumming wizardry and doormats.

Doormats? I hear you say. Well, yes. The use of doormats is present in all of the Home performances and works as a metaphor for the idea of home – it being the first image you see at the foot (pun intended) of the door. The concept of the Home project, if you haven’t already guessed, is to question and portray the idea of what home, identity and belonging is and has been the question on event organisers’ lips for as far back as October, when planning for IDFB 2012 first gathered speed. From prisoners to the homeless, the retired and the young, the mix of responses are poignant, creative and insightful in equal measure.

The diversity of these ideas is startling; the warming image of a steaming hot mug of tea and out-stretched arms, ‘I know I’m home when my mom greets me with a cup of tea and a big hug’ is a stark contrast to the image illustrated by a prisoner of HMP Hewell, whose daily routine has been earth-shatteringly flipped upside down, describing how ‘you take for granted even drinking from a cup’.

Kick starting the festival with an explosive crescendo of movement and sound, Monday’s performance saw the creation of a runway of doormats in which our intrepid dancers; some wary, others flamboyant, confident or full of jest, dared to tread, breaking through personal barriers in order to reach their own idea of home. Once the entire 35-strong troupe was safely across their individual thresholds, the space was catapulted to that of a carnival atmosphere where beat, rhythm and movement were in abundance and a lively audience collected on all sides of the 360 degree performance.

Not even the sight of a waste removal lorry was able to discourage our ‘Home’ performers, which happened to haphazardly plough its way through the designated outdoor space. Our dancers remained professional to the end, lifting and shaking their doormats and bodies simultaneously as the unwelcome guest drove through. A performance that could be described as anything but rubbish!

Back at the Home Hub, located on the ground floor of the Pavilions shopping centre in a vacant shop unit opposite H&M, the passion for dance and performance is continued. This interactive space welcomes in members of the public, dousing them in free tea, coffee, art and informative chat about the festival in a buzzing environment. If you’re lucky (and an early-riser) you’ll even get a sneak peek at the dancers in rehearsal. As a volunteer for IDFB 2012, focussing my energies on the ‘Home’ initiative, I see first-hand the level of organisation and effort that goes in to running each daily event. With enthusiastic, diverse and engaging individuals taking part this year’s festival is sure to succeed.

So, as you nip out of the office during the coming weeks on the inevitable coffee run or when you’re feeling frivolous with your purse strings on a shopping trip to the city, do call on in to the ‘Home Hub’, stop by one of the live (and oh, did I mention, free?) performances or ask one of our glamorous, red-clad volunteers (of which I am one), “What’s going on at International Dance Festival Birmingham?”.

Home Launch on 23 April by Valentina Ceschi

Today we had a manic rehearsal in the morning, stringing together a structure we thought might work as an opening to the festival on the street.

We wanted to use the contributions by Birmingham Met, since they were all present and attempted showcasing these along with other large group material at Anchor 1, where the High St meets New St and the Bullring shopping centre. The music was great and accompanied the performance really well thanks to Sam and his team of fab musicians. The performance really gathered an audience and held it there until the end.

All in all, a good opening to the show!

Valentina is the Assistant Director on Home.

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