02/07

Phoenix Dance Theatre presents, Wind Rush: Movement of the People

Phoenix Dance Theatre, known for its diversity and collaboration, is located in the cultural quarter of Leeds and a neighbour of SOYO. It’s the UK’s longest standing contemporary dance company outside London and has grown to be a key Northern forerunner in contemporary dance.

Wind Rush: Movement of the People marks the 70th anniversary of the arrival of SS Empire Windrush. A vibrant, energetic and emotional production, it follows the journey that started in one part of the world and is now here in the UK with us. Fusing music and dance to create an inspiring production that uses a multicultural cast to tell an international story.

The production offers a glimpse of what the first generation of Caribbean immigrants experienced when they came to England 70 years ago, marking the start of the post war immigration boom which was to radically change British society.

I want to capture both the excitement and the upset of this significant event. Windrush will highlight both the struggles and the good times the Jamaican community experienced during those early years. It is an uplifting dance production but it shines a light on an important era of the history of black people in the UK”.  Sharon Watson, Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance and choreographer of Windrush

The production begins in Jamaica, showing the response to the newspaper adverts for the SS Empire Windrush; busy and excited scenes are contrasted with personal stories – family farewells and people left behind.

Creating unforgettable characters, the dancers take the audience from Jamaica to the UK, celebrating how the Windrush generation began to create their own opportunities, setting up churches, introducing their own music and dance and establishing a ‘black British culture’.

The Windrush: Movement of the People tour dates are:

10 October, The Old Vic, Bristol

1-2 November, York Theatre Royal

16 November, Barnsley Civic

22 November, Laurence Batley Theatre Huddersfield