Folk Dance Remixed to date
The nature of the whole project is exploring new ideas and concepts – making new work with traditional vocabulary of folk dance expressed through the voice of contemporary street dance styles, creating a new and exciting fusion.
Folk Dance Remixed is an original project devised by dance artists, Kerry Fletcher and Natasha Khamjani with East London Dance, and is about generating a creative playground to grow new and innovative ideas of mixing folk dance and music of many cultures with contemporary and street dance styles.
We are excited by the similarities and differences in hip hop and folk dance; essentially, they have both come from the street and from the people; they both have social aspects and room for self expression. The resulting synergy, we believe, has the potential power to affect both an audience and participants.
‘Combining Folk dance and street dance is such a natural fusion, rhythmically and culturally. The roots of all these styles of dance come from a very grounded place and that is why they fit so well together.’ Folk Dance Remixed dancer, Dec 2012
The initial idea of Street Dance the Maypole was launched at Big Dance in 2010. We worked with several schools and arts festivals, including The Barbican, to create upbeat performance pieces and participatory workshops for all ages to join in. In 2011/12 we continued to build and develop our workshop programme, at events such as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee at Battersea Park, and began to develop our new company, Folk Dance Remixed, and devise the show, Step Hop House. Alongside the show we created the Ceilidh Jam social dance and Pop Up performances and workshops. In 2013 we also partnered with the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) and we received our first Grants for the Arts award – this was supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. We have had a tremendously successful tour over the summer of 2013, including appearances at Sidmouth Folk Week and Stratford Rising Festival. We are excited by the high demand for our work and look forward to more remixes in the future!
‘Being involved in the Street Dance the Maypole series was an outstanding opportunity for the ‘Detonate’ male dance students at Jo Richardson Community School. Working together to create something so exciting and unique really drew the boys together into a ’band of brothers’ and created a special buzz around the department and school. Having the opportunity to showcase our work at the Barbican, London bought the school’s reputation into the community and inspired many others to follow Detonate and their work.’ Jess Johnson, Head of Dance, Jo Richardson School, Dagenham.