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The Performance Centre is helping to spearhead a renaissance of dance in Cornwall, according to the co-organiser of a summer school for dance professionals.
Grace Sellwood and Emily Dobson put together a packed three day programme of intensive workshops in July 2011, as an extension of their weekly ‘Freefall’ contemporary dance classes in Falmouth. And The Performance Centre was the ideal venue for it.
“Having this quality of studio space available, together with the superb technical support, is convincing dance artists from all over the country to come down here and do workshops. It’s a fabulous resource focussing people’s attention on Cornwall and dance in the Duchy is now blossoming, which is brilliant”.
She is certain that the superb facilities helped them secure the highest calibre of artists to run their programme of technical training and creative sessions. “I don’t think we would have attracted them without it. They were all really excited by the luxury of finding the same professional standard of studio space that you would get in London, but in this beautiful place, surrounded by a relaxed and peaceful environment.”
“The studios were a perfect size for the large amount of people attending and the natural light and beautiful views from the window gave inspiration to the dancers inside. It is not only a good space, but also a good atmosphere with like-minded people working around you and a strong community feel about it.”
The ‘Freefall’ summer school set out to challenge professionals and training dance students technically and creatively, and it attracted a wide variety of participants, from teenagers to retired dance professionals.
Gemma Kempthorne, a dance practitioner from the Launceston area, said: “It was brilliant to have the opportunity to undertake such a diverse and high quality programme of dance without having to travel out of Cornwall.”
Following the dance sessions, there were daily business skills workshops delivered by The Works Cornwall, focussing on the marketing and promotion expertise required by freelance workers.
Gemma found that aspect valuable; in common with many other performing arts professionals, her career has many facets. She is a member of the Rogue Theatre group, co-leader of Flexion, a youth dance company in North East Cornwall, and a freelance choreographer and performer. “The summer school was comprehensive and well-rounded, which made it particularly useful. Everyone who attended seemed to enjoy and benefit from it. It really was fantastic, and much appreciated.”
As for the facilities, she said: “It is great that The Performance Centre is not going to be reserved just for students’ use. The studios are brilliant and it was lovely to have access to them as a professional. It’s good to know that Falmouth University is supporting the wider dance community.”
If you would like any further information about future Freefall dance classes, workshops and intensives, please contact us via Freefall Dance's facebook page or firstname.lastname@example.org