The Cilia Dance: an invitation to dance on Brighton Car Free Day

You are invited to co-create & perform The Cilia Dance, a conversation using the language of movement, instead of words, to explore how we travel around the city.  A playful, fun, collaborative & empathic exchange; to dance in each other’s shoes.

Inspired by Covid & the climate emergency, transport & air pollution, & Cilia, microscopic, hair-like structures on the body’s cells, especially lining the respiratory tract & lungs.  They’re primordial & rhythmic, moving to keep airways clear; allowing us to breath easily without irritation. 

In the piece, the performers are Cilia; moving to communicate, learn, teach & understand.  Moving in lines & clusters, dancing looped sequences that describe, epitomise & reflect how we all move around the city: scooting, skating, walking, running, cycling, driving, riding….  Sharing, exchanging, re-creating & re-forming sequences, moving along a route through Valley Gardens; the lungs of the city & meeting point of routes through the city centre.

Get Involved

The Cilia Dance will be a unique performance co-created with up to 50 people & The Bicycle Ballet Co’s creative team, rooted in dance, physical narrative & outdoor arts; & we’d love you/your group to be involved.  Everyone is welcome & no experience necessary, just bring your enthusiasm! 

We understand your time is precious, & we are asking for a commitment of one, 2-hour workshop in the week before 25th, & on the 25th a refresher 2 hour rehearsal, lunch break & run through, followed by the performance, approx 45 minutes.  Final times tbc, likely to be from 11am & all finished by 3.45/4pm.

Workshop Dates

East Brighton (venue tbc), Mon 13 Sept 6.30-8.30pm

Central Brighton (venue tbc), Sat 18 Sept, 1-3pm & 4-6pm

Hangleton (venue tbc), Sun 19 Sept, 1-3pm & 4-6pm

Tarner (venue tbc), Wed 22 Sept, 6.30-8.30pm

TAKE PART, please sign up here –

Covid-safety – we want everyone to feel safe to participate, so we ask that everyone wear masks during the sessions & follow hands, face, space advice throughout the project. 

Costume – colourful masks will be provided as an element of costume on performance day, & we ask that everyone wear a black base, of trousers, tops, coats, hats, socks, shoes etc for this to really pop.

Creative Team – The Cilia Dance is a provocation from The Bicycle Ballet Co.  The creative team includes:  Performers, YOU; Choreographer Ella Fleetwood, mentored by Virginia Farman; Sound Design by Barry Han with tracks from Tru Thoughts record label; led by Artistic Director, Karen Poley & commissioned by Brighton & Hove City Council.

About Bicycle Ballet

Bicycle Ballet was first performed on 22 September 2006, by a cast of 70 local participants & their bicycles, creating the first Brighton Car Free Day event.  The show was a celebration of the joyful highs & gritty lows of cycling in the city & was re-created with participants across the UK & even in France in the following years.   

Since then, we’ve created & toured five other outdoor performances, fusing dance & movement, comedy & narrative with visual spectacle & striking soundtracks, exploring issues & ideas around cycling.  From the treacherous, & possibly fictional, world of synchronised cycling; to the magical realism of a visually impaired quest for adventure on tandems, & the little-known story of women transforming clothing to ride when bikes first became widely available in the 1890s.   Our shows aim to change the way people think about cycling; to interrupt stereotypes – who cycles, what cycling looks like, the clothes cyclists wear etc – to help encourage more people to ride bikes.  

In response to Covid & the climate emergency, The Cilia Dance seeks to create a new type of outdoor performance; to engage people in the process, creating a dynamic of change around travel, carbon emissions & healthier lifestyles.

More info
© The Bicycle Ballet Co 2021

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