Composer announced for major new dance piece  

Published: 20 Jan 2018

Phoenix Dance Theatre are delighted to announce a new collaboration with Christella Litras, generously funded by the PRS for Music Foundation’s Open Grant. Christella will create an original music score for Windrush: Movement of the People, a major new multi-disciplinary dance piece by Artistic Director Sharon Watson, that will premiere at West Yorkshire Playhouse on 7 February 2018.

The Windrush dance production celebrates the 70thanniversary of the arrival of the SS Empire Windrush, which brought the first wave of Caribbean migrants to the UK in 1948. A symbol of the rise of multicultural Britain, Windrush is an incredible story that is now being re-told through the idioms of dance and music.

This dance work tells the collective history of British Caribbean people; their dreams, hopes and pain, while celebrating the complexities of their struggle for identity, equality and belonging. The dance narrative explores a history that has led to demographic, cultural and economic changes to the British landscape, underscored by a musical soundtrack that will start from 1948 to present day.  Spanning the vast sweep of 70 years with different music genres – calypso, jazz, blues, ska, gospel, reggae, soca and popular urban music – which were the soundtrack to the lives of the Caribbean British people and the wider Black British communities.

Christella Litras is a producer, musical director and artist, who most recently produced and musically directed Rob Green’s new EP, which debuted No 3 in the R&B iTunes chart. She formed the award-winning Vocal Performance group Caution Collective to develop the talent of local young singers, and has been performing as a Vandella alongside Motown recording artist Martha Reeves on her European and UK tours for the past five years.