Beijing, 2009

Creative Dance and Theatre; Community Arts for Learning, Personal and Social Change

From 12 to 16 January 2009 the Learning team worked with 20 children aged 7-9 from Xing Zhi New Civil School a school for the children of migrant workers and ten teaching artists, to create a performance piece based on Beauty and the Beast that was performed in the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. For some of the children and their parents this was the first time they had ever been to a theatre.

Throughout the workshops the group worked on a range of tasks to create motifs and tableaux based on the themes in Beauty and the Beast which included hunter and hunted, the forest, castle and transformation. The musical score composed and performed by Andrew Kristy (Freelance Musician) was inspired by the creative ideas of the group and developed throughout the workshops.

The final sharing was attended by invited guests including the parents of the migrant children, Director of the British Council Beijing and the Vice President of the NCPA, as well as educators, arts practitioners, friends and families, plus extensive press and media interest.

Supported by the Sino British Fellowship Trust, British Council, Hua Dan Theatre Company and the National Centre for the Performing Arts .

'The implications and influence of this activity are far beyond our expectations Arts for all is not new in China but needs to be taken more seriously. There are different perspectives and angles on the arts, the concept of ‘happy art’ is not widely accepted by Chinese parents…. The dominant model is the professional training model.' Artist

'Having the project for children of migrant workers makes us feel valued and part of society.' Parents

'We learned that nothing is impossible… please don’t leave.' Children

Click here to download a copy of Birmingham Royal Ballet's report for the Sino British Fellowship Trust

Click here to download a copy of Birmingham Royal Ballet's Jenny Murphy's Journal about the Learning team's visit.

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