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September 23, 2011

The Beginnings of Counterpoint Dance Company

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Counterpoint Dance Company came about as the result of major public interest created by the BBC1 documentary Save the Last Dance for Me about Sadler’s Wells’ Company of Elders.  Sadler’s Wells’ Connect department were inundated with people interested in joining the company.  Unfortunately, at that time the company was not taking on any new participants so Connect set up two workshops for people to experience participation in dance.  The eager people who took part in the workshops I led didn’t want to leave it at that and asked for another opportunity to have some extra sessions…  and their wish was granted!  Sadler’s Wells kindly organised 8 more sessions which I had the pleasure of leading.  As I taught this group of people I started to realise how committed they were to dance and I was excited by their passion to learn.  I approached Claremont Centre with the initial ideas for what has now become the Counterpoint Dance Company.  We advertised with the help of Sadler’s Wells and we had many interested people.  We could only involve approx. 20 participants, so we held auditions and chose members not only on the basis of movement ability but on their commitment to the fantastic process and adventure this would be!

My vision for the company became clear slowly at first, I had this amazing group of people with all different abilities and skills but with the same passion for dance.  I believe in going through a process; experimenting, developing, looking for what works and what doesn’t then refining and starting the process again.  A year and a half later this group of people is even more amazing.  They are growing as people and as dancers, their performances are getting better and better and they are getting the opportunity to share their love and passion for dance with others, who are then encouraged to step out and have a go too!

Counterpoint Dance Company has performed in venues such as Claremont Project, Islington Assembly Halls, Lillian Baylis Theatre at Sadler’s Wells, Bernie Grants Art Centre and The Bull Theatre.  Counterpoint is involved in sharing their work with other groups in the community so that they both learn from each other’s dance skills and performances.  Counterpoint dancers are continually going through development in dance via workshops with companies such as Rambert Education and London Contemporary Dance School to name a few.

We would like to thank Claremont Project for continuously supporting our vision and the dancers.  A big thank you to Sadler’s Wells for starting the process.
Thank you Paul, Molly, Louise, Sarah and Fiona!

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