Tracing Movement support for freelance dancers

Published: 21 October 2020
Reporter: Vera Liber

Stuart Winter Credit: Robin Kent
Stuart Winter Credit: Robin Kent

Tracing Movement, founded and led by choreographer Stuart Winter, has launched Tracing Movement ReBoot, a three-week programme offering support and development to freelance professional dancers and those recently graduated who are not currently able to train or perform due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The programme offers two free daily classes for a group of 90 professional dancers to rebuild and maintain their skills so that they are prepared to perform as the industry reopens. There will also be classes for 2020 dance graduates from theatre colleges including Laine Theatre Arts, Bird College and Performer’s College whose final year of training was disrupted. Classes run daily from 19 October at the Jerwood Space, taught by Stuart Winter and his associate Natasha Volley with a live musician.

The programme will culminate in the creation of a short dance film, with six professional dancers employed to perform on the stage of the Theatre Royal Stratford East without an audience, made with regular collaborators DOP Ben Thomas and Editor Greg Bernstein and released online for free at the end of November. In addition, documentary-maker James Harris will film a selection of classes which will be also released at the end of November.

Winter is a choreographer, dancer, director and educator whose performing career included West End productions of Chicago, An American in Paris, Mary Poppins, Chess, Pajama Game and Sunset Boulevard and he has been an associate to Christopher Wheeldon, Stephen Mear and Chrissie Cartwright.

Volley is a deaf dancer, choreographer and director who has assisted Mark Smith (Deaf Men Dancing) and Ashley Nottingham. As a dancer she has worked in theatre, film, tv and pop videos for choreographers including Stephen Mear, Drew McOnie and Carrie-Anne Ingrouille.

Winter said, “I will always fight for dancers in the industry, I want to make sure they are visible, respected and valued in a way that reflects their talent and training. We as an industry have all been working so hard to stay alive and creative during the pandemic and the funding received for this project offers the chance to invest in dancers’ skills, health and future, providing space and time to rebuild and propel them back into our industry.”