The Cilia Dance

The Cilia Dance is a high impact, movement piece co-created & performed by local people. The piece is conceived as an ambitious experiment in holding a ‘conversation’ about how we get around our towns & cities, using the language of movement instead of words. It’s a playful, fun, collaborative & empathic exchange, & invitation to dance in each other’s shoes. Watch the film

Performers move in lines & clusters, dancing looped sequences that describe, epitomise & reflect how they move around the city: scooting, skating, walking, running, cycling, driving, riding….  Sharing, exchanging, re-creating & re-forming sequences, moving along a route.

The piece is created in workshops with participants, which can be configured according to numbers of participants, locations & a range of budgets. For Brighton Car Free Day, we ran a series of two hour, sessions across city, in Tarner, Seven Dials & East Brighton, to engage a wide range of participants, bringing them altogether on the day for a final rehearsal.

The piece was a response to Covid19, the lockdowns, & the incredible transformation of our towns & cities without cars. It experiments with incorporating behaviour change theory into the choreography & structure, to explore how the work can help encourage more sustainable travel.

Participant feedback indicated that 60% had changed the way they thought about moving around the city.

Here’s an informal presentation about some of the ideas behind The Cilia Dance at the Out There Arts Festival 2021, & a BBC Radio Sussex interview (from 2.38) on the morning of the show

Watch a short film of the pilot performance in Brighton for Car Free Day & the city’s build up to COP26.

Future Development – our next step is to build on the pilot & re-examine all aspects to evolve the piece. Our ambition is to deliver a cutting edge & affordable community engagement product & high impact outdoor arts performance that engages, entertains & encourages people to choose alternative forms of travel for short journeys, & travel more actively in general.

The Cilia Dance Creative Team includes: Performers, local participants; Choreographer Ella Fleetwood, mentored by Virginia Farman; Sound Design Barry Han with tracks from Tru Thoughts record label; led by Artistic Director, Karen Poley.  Commissioned by Brighton & Hove City Council.

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