Lakeside's children's dance show goes national26 March 2010
The Lakeside Arts Centre is hoping to become a centre for children's dance. It's off to a good start with Telling Tales - a contemporary production for tots that's now gone national.
Telling Tales was inspired five years ago when two international dance troupes - Aracaladanza from Madrid and Cas public from Montreal - visited the region, appearing at the Lakeside Arts Centre, Deda in Derby and Spark Children's Arts Festival in Leicester.
"In the UK, we're quite innovative about adult dance but not dance for children," explains Ellen Bianchini, director of Spark.
"There's more happening now but only in pockets. We wanted to increase the profile of children's dance."
Initially, the trio of venues - the Lakeside, Deda and Spark - feared the performances would prove hard to sell because the concept of contemporary dance for children was so new to family audiences.
"People hadn't seen anything like it before," recalls Ellen. "But those who came still talk about it, even now."
That something became Telling Tales. In 2007, the three venues - working under the title East Midlands Children's Theatre Consortium - secured enough Arts Council funding to send a team of six dancers out to Spain to train and develop ideas with Aracaladanza, a world-renowned company.
They returned to take their work into primary schools in Nottingham, Derby and Leicester.
"The response from the children was terrific," enthuses Shona Powell, the Lakeside's director.
"We went back to the Arts Council with another funding bid and they agreed to support us to produce three pieces and take them out on tour. We did a regional tour in 2008."
Last year, the venues collectively applied for funding to take Telling Tales on a national tour. They were successful, landing £69,000 for a tour that started on January 30.
Once this tour is over, the Lakeside is hoping to make another major funding bid to bring children's dance to the area.
Telling Tales arrives at the Lakeside on March 28. For tickets, costing £6, call 0115 846 7777.