Dance on Water

In summer 2016 our canals and rivers were brought to life by an amazing group of young dancers.

Working with world-class dancers from Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, Dance on Water saw 20 young people taking a unique canal journey on which they devised and rehearsed a brand new dance piece, inspired by the waterways they passed through.

Outdoor dance performance

Starting in Birmingham on 1 July, the team travelled by boat to Salford over the course of seven days, before performing at The Lowry in Salford on 9 July, as part of the National Youth Dance Festival. They then returned to Birmingham for a performance at the Birmingham Hippodrome on 10 July.

All aged 16-20, the dancers were selected following rigorous auditions throughout April, led by outreach professionals from the Lowry and Hippodrome, that saw over 100 people attend workshops in an effort to get a place on the trip.

Tim Eastop, executive director for the Canal & River Trust’s Arts on the Waterways programme, said: 

"Dance on Water is set to connect Birmingham and Salford through contemporary dance and waterways, boosting the participants’ confidence, creativity and confidence. It will be a very special collaboration between young people, Matthew Bourne’s acclaimed New Adventures company, two highly regarded international arts venues, and local people along the stretch of 200-year old canals. 

Travelling along the canal network at not much more than four miles an hour offers the young people the chance to enter a slower, mindful world - escaping everyday life and the pressures that come with it. There can’t be many dance companies waking up to the gentle lapping of water and so close to wildlife. It’s a unique environment, one we hope inspires the dancers and choreographers ahead of the performances at the Lowry and Hippodrome."

Take a look at the video about Dance on Water 2016 and see what they all got up to!

Read the Evaluation Report

Dance on Water 2016 was funded by Arts Council England, the Canal & River Trust, CHK Charities Ltd, Baron Davenport’s Charity, Tony Hales and supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

Image: Danilo Moroni

Want to know more?

To find out more about this or any other New Adventures project call +44 (0)1252 597 050 or email [email protected]

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