Lickle Jam: Temple Learning Academy
Steel Drum Party: Burley St Matthias CofE Primary School
UNITY: Meanwood CofE Primary School
Incredible: St Mary’s Horsforth Catholic Voluntary Academy
Performance 1 & 2
Caribbean Rhythms: Carr Manor Community School
Treat em Right: Dance United Boys (CMCS)
New Beginnings: Lawnswood High School
Carni-Vibes: Abbey Grange CofE Academy
I’m A Stranger You Recognise: Cockburn School
Togetherness: Trinity Academy Leeds
Joining Forces: Cockburn John Charles Academy
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the MV Empire Windrush in the United Kingdom, when the first passengers disembarked at Tilbury Docks. Thanks to this funding, our Learning & Development team has delivered an ambitious project working with schools across Leeds, teaching young people about Windrush and the rich history and culture that was consequently brought to Leeds. Groups of young people have worked closely with dance artists to create a celebratory dance piece, culminating with all children coming together to perform those dance works on stage at The Carriageworks Theatre in front of a live audience on 10 July 2023.
Vicci Hamilton, Head of Learning & Development: “Phoenix Dance Theatre is in a unique position to be able to deliver this project. Having been founded over 40 years ago by three Black British men from the Chapeltown area of Leeds, we are proud of our heritage and want to use dance to engage, empower and offer opportunities for young people who may otherwise not be able to access dance.
“Pupils have worked alongside first class dance artists and contributed to this event in a professional theatre to celebrate Windrush and the positive contribution of the Windrush generation on Britain. Embedding the delivery of Black British history into the education system in projects like this helps demonstrate the value of the arts and how it can be used in a cross-curricular format.
“Tonight you will see that this incredible project has brought together over 200 children from across our city, coming together as one to CELEBRATE Windrush. We hope you enjoy the show.”
Temple Learning Academy
A group of 30 children, from age 6 to 11 years old have been coming together on Tuesday mornings at Temple Learning Academy
Choreography: Shahada Nanataba
The choreography in this piece was inspired by togetherness, focusing in on Leeds West Indian Carnival and the all embracing Carnival community Spirit.
Steel Drum Party
Burley St Matthias CofE Primary School
A class of Year 2 pupils have been working hard with 2 incredible dance artists
Choreography: Elicia Yeardley and Kieron Faller
Steel Drum Party is a celebratory dance piece inspired by Caribbean steel drums. The group worked together to create choreography and accompanying body percussion with interesting rhythms and patterns, adding even more life to the music.
Meanwood CofE Primary School
30 Year 3 kids have kicked off their Monday afternoons with CELEBRATE dance sessions
Choreography: Gee Goodison
The Caribbean Carnival. Carnival is an exciting event celebrated throughout the Caribbean including Barbados, Jamaica, Grenada, St. Thomas and Trinidad. This tradition travelled with the people that came from these shores. The first ever West Indian carnival parade took place in Leeds in 1967. Caribbean music is diverse and covers various genres, including Reggae, Calypso, Soca, Merengue, Salsa, Reggaeton, Konpas and Zouk. As a group, we have chosen to use ‘SOCA’ music which means the ‘(So)ul of (Ca)lypso’ – a crowd favourite during the carnival celebrations.
St Mary’s Horsforth Catholic Voluntary Academy
A new afterschool group of 14 KS2 pupils have been working hard to create their performance piece.
Choreography: Xolani Crabtree
A piece inspired by the words of Jungle artist, General Levy, “I feel very, very, very proud, because the Windrush generation and many others have been very influential and they brought some flavour to ting and they bring some spice to the music scene!”
Performance 1 & 2
Carr Manor Community School
13 pupils, supported by their dance practitioner, have been working together afterschool to produce this piece
Choreography: Ruth Johnson
“Caribbean Rhythms” is a vibrant and captivating dance performance that pays tribute to the historical significance of the Windrush generation and the lasting impact it has had on shaping multicultural Britain. Created by a group of talented students, this piece encapsulates their reflections on the relevance of Windrush 75 years after the event.
Treat em Right
Dance United Boys (CMCS)
A long-standing Boys group at Carr Manor have been working together in an after-school club
Choreography: Louisa Keohane
A piece that draws on how men support one another. From looking up to superheroes to celebrating with breakdance, this piece aims to show the strength, sensitivity and superpowers of men who move!
Lawnswood High School
A collaboration opportunity for children across Y7 to Y10
Choreography: Jennifer Ruiz
Inspired by the story of Alfred Gardener who arrived on the SS Empire Windrush, who settled in Leeds meeting his wife at the local dancehall.
Abbey Grange CofE Academy
Year 7 and Year 8 pupils came together on Tuesdays after school
Choreography: Shahada Nantaba
Two sides of a coin joining forces to a common goal which is Enjoyment
I’m A Stranger You Recognise
20 Year 10 pupils took part in weekly choreography sessions
Choreography: Kieron Faller
Do you recognise passing the same strangers in the street? In creating this piece we explore building relationships and finding trust along the way. The choreographer wanted to create a feeling of becoming a part of a community and individuals finding unity and acceptance as a group. This is a celebration dance, using breaking and contemporary movements, connecting different cultures and art forms together.
Trinity Academy Leeds
An afterschool group of Year 7 and Year 8 children
Choreography: Nillanthie Morton, RJC Dance
This piece is about the happy and colourful impact that the Caribbean carnival culture had on Britain when immigrants were invited to come over on the ‘Windrush’ between 1948 and 1971. The impact and legacy still stands today and Leeds West Indian Carnival is the longest running carnival in Europe.
Cockburn John Charles Academy
Tuesday mornings have been spent with Year 10 pupils at this school
Choreography: Jennifer Ruiz
Within weekly dance sessions at this school, the choreographer focused on the beauty of multi cultural Britain, the presence and support for the presence of, several distinct cultures coming together as one society – just as we will on performance day to CELEBRATE Windrush.
End of Performance
Learning & Development Department
Vicci Hamilton: Head of Learning & Development
Antonio Borriello: Professional Training Manager
Kendall Mackenzie: Community Lead
Fleur Sweet: Learning & Development Administrator
Jennifer Ruiz: Learning & Development Officer
Elicia Yeardley: Learning & Development Officer
We would like to thank all the young participants, their parents/carers, the group leaders and chaperones, as well as the amazing practitioners and chaperones for their hard work and commitment leading up to this evening’s performance.
Thank you to the professional guests for their commitment and inspirational performance pieces. It has been a pleasure working with you all.
Special thanks to Cleve Freckleton for the CELEBRATE project content delivery and for his role as guest compere at the live CELEBRATE show.
We extend our thanks and appreciation for project funding from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) from its Windrush Day Grant Scheme 2023, and our funders Arts Council England, Leeds City Council and the Leverhulme Trust for their continued support.