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Creative Learning

Local Dance Companies in Curtain Raiser


Blackpool’s Grand Theatre commissions a new dance piece for young people.

Over the past three days 21 young dancers from local dance companies; Fylde Coast Youth and Preston Youth Dance Company’s have been working in The Grand’s theSTUDIO with international choreographer Joss Arnott to make a new piece of dance. Joss choreographed the piece and the companies adding to the work.

This piece forms part of our ongoing commitment to offer high quality creative opportunities for young people to develop their talent, showcase their work, and engage with national and international award-winning artists.

The local dance companies will perform this new piece will be performed on The Grand main stage on the 22 November as a Curtain Raiser* before Joss Arnott Company perform their Triple Bill.

Grand Theatre, CEO Ruth Eastwood said;

‘We are delighted to co-commission Joss Arnott and composer James Keane in this Triple Bill – A Movement In 3, V and Rush.

‘Last year, 10,000 school children benefitted from seeing a performance at the theatre.  A further 3,000 young people performed on the stage. In addition, 30 local schools are part of our literacy project in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company as well as the incredible opportunities we give local dance companies like Fylde Coast Youth Dance Company and Blue Moose Dance Company. So, you can be assured every £1 we receive goes towards great projects.

‘The Grand survives on the generosity of donations and the support of its locals. We try where we can with income and fundraising to achieve great value for the local community.’

A Member of Fylde Youth Dance Company said ‘Working with Joss Arnott was incredible! I wish I could do this every day! We can’t wait to perform on the main stage at the Grand.’


Joss Arnott Dance Company’s Triple Bill comprises of three works;

A MOVEMENT IN 3 – A Movement in 3 is a stunning trio work that resonates strength, elegance and agility. Exploring the rhythmical interchange between choreography, music and lighting, this compelling and sculptural work disorientates our perception of the motion on stage, conceptually exploring how the movement can create the visibility of the music (a melodic score for piano and violin).

V – A technical and emotive solo exploring the rare and contorted beauty our bodies have to offer, intrinsically linked to sweeping classical music played live on the viola by Fra Rustumji. The work is an exquisite interplay between dance and music which travels through a stunning, serene landscape of ever-changing asymmetric lighting designed by Fabiana Piccioli.

RUSH – Highly charged and physically demanding, RUSH captures the modern and athletic sense of power of the alpha female cast through adrenaline-fuelled and infectiously gripping choreography. This new full company work will be a visual feast exploring the reflective and interactive relationship between movement, lighting and the pounding, percussive music.

Joss Arnott Dance have a thriving Education and Outreach programme, focused on delivering professional standard training to students and graduates at all levels of experience and ability, which can also act as a fantastic audience development tool for the shows themselves.

As well as being a valuable experience in itself, these opportunities inspire students to want to see the company in action time and again.  Joss Arnott Dance have a fantastic ‘conversion rate’ from participation to attendance and always see lots of familiar faces in the audiences.

Blackpool’s Grand Theatre is more than just a beautiful, Grade II* listed building.  It’s an active charity with social, educational and artistic aims.  Employing 47 permanent staff members and with the help of 85 dedicated volunteers, the theatre attracts thousands of visitors to the town to enjoy the work on its stages.  In addition, it runs a full programme of workshops for children and young people, in and out of school, focused on improving literacy, numeracy, social skills and confidence.

The marketing team at Blackpool’s Grand have new digital projects planned throughout 2018 with clear objectives to give every local child access to its work.  To do this the theatre must raise further funds to help grow its participation programme of events that allow children to grow and develop. These programmes are not for the privileged few but for all.  An aim being that 20% of all its work be digital and available online to all.

The Grand needs to continually fundraise to enable it to deliver its work – vital work! Without your support, many of our local children will never experience a true feeling of live performance, outstanding international dance or engaging quality drama.

To make a one-off donation to Blackpool’s Grand Theatre you can go to the website or if you’d like to set up a regular donation, look at the Charity Aid Foundation (CAF)’s Long-Term Giving. They offer tailored philanthropy services, knowledge and expertise, to help you fulfil your charitable ambitions. They work with over 2,000 high net worth individuals in a variety of ways, from providing valuable administration of their charitable giving through to expert advice on a long term giving strategy.


* A curtain raiser is a performance, stage act, show, actor or performer that opens a show for the main attraction. The term is derived from the act of raising the stage curtain. The first person on stage has “raised the curtain”.