The Big dance company Penzance Cornwall have been representing England for the past 4 years now, representing their country in the most prestigious dance festival in the Whole of Asia.
The National Committee of the Culture and the Arts invited the Big dance Company this year to represent England at the 4th International dance Exchange held in Cebu City Philippines, where over 700 teachers, dancers, students and assistants from all over the Philippines come to learn from master teachers from all over the world including Korea, India, England, Thailand, Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, USA to name but a few of the 25 countries.
“I am so proud that a small dance company like us from a small town in Cornwall can have such an honor of representing the country at such a prestigious event, our name the Big dance company represents our ambition and dreams and determination and by being chosen to be part of such a prestigious event with such incredibly talented and skilled companies just confirms that believing means achieving”
This year we flew out to Manila with dancers aged from 11 years old to 22 years for three days early on our own expenses to help charities PCF, Danceaid and Hope.
The first day 26 of us visited the dumpsite on Tondo where 1000’s of families live without running water, electricity, sanitary facilities and very basic sheltering with up to 20 people sharing a very small space. We visited the community to allow our dancers to see the conditions in which they survive and to have more of an understanding or their daily lives and the work they have to do to provide food for the families. We then went to a centre that has been provided by the PCF where they have a feeding program and a church program that includes singing, education, and safe place to go, it was here that we led a dance workshop for the children aged between 5 – 25 followed by a performance from Tricky crew , that the children loved!!!
It was such a beautiful time, to see the children from the big dance company and the dumpsite communicating and sharing time together, they learnt so much from each other and I think we learnt more from them, seeing them smiling and appreciating every second that we spent with them, and seeing their gratitude for our time. The children bought them some gifts and some knitted toys that one of our parents made, and they loved them, we gave them pictures and stickers and treats and we had the time of our lives.
We then went on to street project run by charity Hope, that is financially assisted by fantastic UK based Danceaid, who raise money through dance. Danceaid harnesses the energy, the passion, and the popularity of dance to transform the lives of vulnerable children.
Led by Kyle Richardson, We taught over 150 street children a workshop led by kyle Richardson, we had so much fun, if only for a short time the children had our full attention to show that people do care about their situation and that they do matter. The hope charity goes to the streets and helps educate children on abuse, drugs, alcohol and how to help improve their future by helping them get into education. The heat was reaching 90f but the Big dance company dancers kept pushing through making sure these children had the time of their lives.
We then drove to another centre, where boys are rescued and rehabilitated and provided with an eduction to help them become independant and have a future, we had dinner with the residents and teachers and Kyle then taught a breakdance workshop, the boys really bonded with Kyle and really appreciated the class, they then put on a show for us.
For next 5 days we took part in the dance exchange that was hosted by the City of Cebu, a beautiful place, they greeted us with local dancers of the plane in traditional dress, the BDC dancers were overwhelmed, over the next few days we taught a masterclass to over 300 company dancers from all over the world, led by Fiona we danced Lyrical together and what a powerful experience, we needed no language we just all shared the 2 hours together dancing and learning, we also led a workshop to over 700 workshop participants from all over the Philippines, hip hop taught by Kyle Richardson and Lyrical by Fiona Richardson, the place was electric, Filipinos are such amazing dancers and really worked so hard, we had so much fun!!!! We performed at some beautiful theaters over the next few days alongside some of teh best dance groups in the world and to close the festival we were taken on a cultural tour, visiting some of Cebu’s finest sights including the dancing inmates made famous on you tube at Cebu prison, the beautiful churches and provinces to meet the locals and experience the culture.
The team of dancers that we took worked so hard and really did represent not just Penzance cornwall but the UK in a very professional and honorable way. Thank you to our Team Shanon, Catran, Georgina, Meg, Jodie, Billy, Ben, Charley b, Charley Mc, Holly, Robyn, Brittany, Jack,Sophie, Hannah, Emma, Tilly and Kyle. Who worked hard fundraising all year to make this project a reality. These young people are great role models for the community and I am so proud of them!!!
We have already been invited back again next year, where the festival will be held on a different Province in the Philippines and next year The Big dance Company will be setting up a street project in conjunction with hope charity and dance aid by providing self esteem, confidence building and performance workshops and choreographing a show for the street children so they can perform in a theatre. We will also be working very closely with our new partnership with Halil Cruz Ballet company (the most outstanding ballet company in Asia) by bringing this amazing Manila Based company back to the UK to perform with the Big Dance Company in a number of shows across the UK.
We would also like to congratulate Sophie Walke 19 year old Student of BDC who was offered a ballet scholarship with the Halili Cruz Ballet company and is now in the Philippines starting her training.
Auditions for our Philippine dance team 2013 will be held on Friday 25th May.
If anyone would like to help by donating financially to the 2013 Manila Street project please email Fiona on email@example.com