From Stage to Screen Windrush: Movement of the People gets BBC Broadcast

Published: 11 Feb 2019

Following a year of national and international touring Phoenix Dance Theatre are delighted to announce that the award-winning Windrush: Movement of the People choreographed by the company’s Artistic Director, Sharon Watson is billed for BBC Four broadcast 10.30pm, Sunday 17 February 2019. The filming was made possible with support from The Space and Leeds 2023 and took place at Production Park, Wakefield in December 2018.

Watson’s Windrush: Movement of the People, is the first contemporary dance work to explore the narrative of the arrival of SS Empire Windrush that brought the first Caribbean migrants to the UK on June 22 1948.

The work is a lively celebration of the rise of multicultural Britain and features an uplifting soundtrack from calypso, jazz, gospel and reggae with original music created by Christella Litras and features set and costume design by Linbury Award set design winner 2017, Eleanor Bull.

Commended by audiences and critics since its premiere at Leeds Playhouse in 2018, Phoenix Dance Theatre’s production has toured UK venues to sell out auditoriums and festivals, was performed at Schrit_tmacher Festival, Germany and had two performances at Tilbury Dock on Windrush day in June 2018.

Sharon Watson, Choreographer and Artistic Director for Phoenix Dance Theatre said: “I am thrilled that Windrush: Movement of the People will get its television broadcast. Windrush highlights both the struggles and good times the Jamaican Caribbean community/ies experienced during those early years. It is an uplifting production that is not only enjoyable but shines a light on an important era of black British history here in the UK. I never expected when creating the piece in 2017 to have resonated with so many people, but in it doing so, it reflects how important this story is and I am proud that we have managed to be an advocate for so many voices.”

Fiona Morris Chief Executive and Creative Director for The Space added: We are delighted to have commissioned Windrush: Movement of the People from Phoenix Dance Theatre for broadcast on BBC Four.  This is an important episode in our history, re-told for today’s audiences in an imaginative, moving and inspirational way by one of our leading dance companies and it deserves to be seen and enjoyed by as many people as possible”

Windrush: Movement of the People will be broadcast alongside other documentaries exploring British Diversity throughout February 2019 on BBC Four.