YOUTH DANCE PERFORMANCE MARKS START OF NORWICH CASTLE’S REDEVELOPMENT

National Youth Dance Company (NYDC) and hip hop theatre company Far From The Norm joined forces with Norfolk Museums Service to mark the launch of Norwich Castle’s four-year renovation project with a site-specific performance.

Made by and for young people, Fight or Flight combined a variety of movement languages including contemporary dance, hip hop, capoeira and choreographed combat to reflect on the physiological state known as the fight-or-flight response.

NYDC dancers Mollie Stebbing and Sekou Diaby worked with local dance groups – including Capoeira Communities, Knight’s Tower Medieval Combat, The Garage, in-house dance company Passion Productions and inclusive dance group In Cahoots – to share movement language from MADHEAD, choreographed by NYDC 2018-19 Guest Artistic Director Botis Seva. They were helped by Victoria Shulungu and Jordan Douglas, members of Seva’s company Far From The Norm.

Flight or Fight project. Video: Eye Film.

Their visit to Norwich served as inspiration for each partner organisation to choreograph their own, seven-minute interpretation of the fight-or-flight theme. The performance brought together these individual sections, with each group handing over to the next one, culminating in a finale where they all performed repertoire from MADHEAD together with members of NYDC.

Sekou Diaby and Mollie Stebbing in Fight or Flight at Norwich Castle.
Image: Joseph Hayes.
MADHEAD. Image: Tony Nandi

Bringing together local and national creative partners to showcase the unique ways in which different movement practices can co-exist within the walls of the 900-year-old historic building, Fight or Flight celebrated the castle’s historic past and impending transformation. Children and young people from a diverse range of backgrounds took part in the performance, which attracted hundreds of visitors over two showings.

3-D images of Mollie Stebbing, Sekou Diaby and young participants during Fight or Flight project at Norwich Castle. Images: Joseph Hayes.

National Youth Dance Company (NYDC) is supported by the Department for Education and Arts Council England.

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