Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Museum a Fertile Place for Dance; DANCE Fertile Ground Is a Company Set Up to Provide Opportunities for Professional Dancers and Choreographers in the North East. David Whetstone Attended a Premiere Ahead of a Forthcoming Tour

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Museum a Fertile Place for Dance; DANCE Fertile Ground Is a Company Set Up to Provide Opportunities for Professional Dancers and Choreographers in the North East. David Whetstone Attended a Premiere Ahead of a Forthcoming Tour

Article excerpt

In the hugely inspiring Great Hall at Newcastle's Discovery Museum, whose magnificent metal roof beams mimic the curve of the Tyne Bridge, we are about to witness something magical.

First, though, a brief introduction from Dora Frankel whose passion for dance and belief in the young shine like twin beacons.

"Fertile Ground is the North East's first graduate professional dance company and our mission is to nurture, inspire and challenge not just those people who have seen dance but those who haven't.

"We have been working at slightly challenging arts venues, heritage sites and museums and we are three and a half weeks away from the premiere of our full programme. Today we are previewing one of the pieces."

This is Shields of Bone by guest choreographer Eleesha Drennan who is based in London but is originally from Canada and has lived in various parts of the UK since 1999, including the decade she was in Cardiff with National Dance Company Wales.

In her footsteps come the four dancers who will be bringing her latest choreography to life in this perhaps more than challenging venue.

They are Holly Bellamy, who has a dance degree from Teesside University, Kayleigh Fisk, who has the same from Sunderland University, Alys North, who has an MA in performance dance from Mapdance in Chichester, and Alicia Meehan, who has an MA from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London.

In Shields of Bone they wear the costumes you see on these pages, loose white robes decorated with a spine pattern where you would imagine one should be.

The piece looks complex to my untutored eye but it is fascinating to watch as it ebbs and flows, the dancers making use of the large space available to them.

Sometimes they move as one, sometimes one of them breaks away from the group. …

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