For two days in October, Wheal Martyn moved to a very different rhythm. Dancers of all abilities and ages took part in dance workshops exploring Wheal Martyn clay works. The activities took place in the beautiful grounds, using creative dance to respond to the landscape, heritage, artefacts and buildings from the clay industry, past and present.
Working with Katie Green and her contemporary dance company “Made By Katie Green”, visitors to the museum recreated the processes of the clay works in dance and movement to powerful and exciting soundtracks. On Friday 19th October, children from the St Austell Home Ed Group bought fresh and exciting ideas to their workshop, confidently choreographing their own movements and sequences to perform in amongst the museum transport yard vehicles. Families took part on Saturday 20th October, with ages from 2 to 62 taking part, enthusiastically working as a team to perform their piece of explosions, monitor hoses, leats and waterwheels.
Richard, one of the fathers who took part, commented, “This is great to involve all the family. I don’t normally dance, but this has been brilliant, creating something with my children, along with other families, and feeling so completely at ease to do it our own way. There was no Craig Revel Horwood criticising our style!”
Made By Katie Green is a contemporary dance company directed by multi award-winning choreographer Katie Green. They create work for theatres and specific sites, and a main focus of their work is the Dancing in Museums project. Katie Green said, “This project has given us an insight into the great potential for working with dance in museums and heritage sites in terms of the richness of the source material and the possibilities for enabling audiences to encounter these spaces in new ways.”
Gemma Martin, Education Officer at Wheal Martyn, was delighted with the dance workshops. “It’s fantastic to see the community engaging with our museum and heritage in such an interesting way. I hope it will open the door to more people who will now think of the museum as more than a collection of old things! The dance really brought the site to life and engaged such a variety of people, of all ages. I hope that we will offer many more exciting opportunities like this for people to get involved at Wheal Martyn”.