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A journey to a new beginning.
August 2nd, 2017

The results are in, 27th of June 2017…. To my surprise I had graduated with a first class degree, in dance, drama and theatre studies from Liverpool Hope University. I realised all the stress, pain and hard work had pai

Photo: Andrew Millar

d off. I felt I had achieved the impossible! I had to take note that for someone who had never believed in his self, I had spent three years learning, developing and understanding myself, pushing myself forward, failing and picking myself up to move on in life and find out that it is possible to change and achieve. I had to go through hard times and never give up, but boy there were times when I wanted to! To say I did it all on my own would be a lie, as I had great support from the Hope University Creative Campus staff (all of who I hounded on a regular basis), Joel Petrie (dyslexic guru) my family, my partner Sarah and the Fallen Angels family, all of whom I will always be grateful to. I will say I am very proud of myself and what I have achieved. I also gained another surprise at my graduation, I received the Liz Bruen prize for the best performing student in dance, what a great honour to add to my self-belief and achievements, and I was over the moon with gratitude. I am feeling happy that I have accomplished so much, though faith, pain and hard work. We can all gain though perseverance, action and strength in one’s self, if we need help just ask.

I really began my journey from a rehab in Warrington, weekly sessions with Fallen Angels, from a quiet, fearful, full of self-pity man to reasonably confident person. Looking back over the five years, from where I was to where I am now, all I have achieved has not been easy, (I am still troubled with fear and self-pity, but it does get easier). I have felt challenged at many a corner, but the drive, passion and love I have for an art in performance has spurred me on. Well, that and an amazing group of people who have pushed, helped and told me the truth when I need it, has all contributed to this stage in my life. Thank you, you know who you are.

What next? I hear ask… The plan is to hopefully continue to work with Fallen Angels Dance Theatre, for as long as they will have me! But also so to make my own work in whatever way that comes. I would like to develop my skills as an artist and workshop facilitator. To possibly work in the mental health sector and with young people. Evidently I am beginning a new chapter in this life I have, I have no idea what wonders lay before me. I am up for the challenge, and will see what comes my way. I really hope that my journey can help inspire others to not give up and push on to achieve their goals.

Philip Ashby  2/8/2017 

Dancing through the wilderness
July 11th, 2017

Liverpool Anglican Cathedral is a spectacularly beautiful building and to be asked to perform here is an absolute privilege. To walk within this magnificent space is awe inspiring. I feel tiny, dwarfed by the sheer size of the place and there  are moments, during rehearsals when I feel as though I have literally stepped into Heaven, the hypnotic voices of the choirs, are as seraphs in a celestial wonderland.

I am here because Fallen Angels have been invited to be part of a new piece of choral theatre, created by John Browne and Jen Hayes. It is a piece about the nature of spirituality and ‘tells the universal story of the quest for meaning in a secular age.’ It is about a man, who leaves his home and family, venturing into the wilderness, in search of meaning. The theme is one with which the angels are familiar, deeply resonating with our own journeys through addiction to recovery, and one which reflects the human condition as a whole.

The piece brings together several choirs, made up of Liverpool Cathedral Youth Choir, Up for Arts and Voice Pops Community Choirs, and singers from Genie in the Gutter, Tom Harrison House and the Liverpool Iranian Community. Choreography for the piece is by Jo Blowers, Mary Prestige and the lovely Paul Bayes Kitcher. My fellow dancers, Phil Ashby, Andy Miller, Ian Brown, Paula Patterson and Keith Tucker are a warm and enthusiastic  bunch and I feel comfortable and happy working with them. Sadly, Kirstie Burton, who was part of our piece, is unable to dance with us, because of a back injury, but promises to be in the audience, sharing in the spiritual atmosphere and camaraderie of the event.

Each day for a week, I trek from Liverpool Central Station, up St James’s Mount, to where the cathedral towers majestically, above the city. I cannot believe my stamina, especially as it is only fifteen months since my second knee replacement. During rehearsals, we run and I fall, but I am made of tough stuff and the only part of me I hurt, is my little finger.

I am in awe of the sound produced by the solo singers and the choirs, the melody of their voices enhanced by the acoustics of the building. Closing my eyes, I can imagine this to be a host of angelic beings serenading the way to Heaven. Opening them, I am transfixed by the intricate beauty and vivid colours of the stained glass windows. The reverence I feel is breathtaking.

I am excited to be part of this piece, especially as I am making my acting debut. It is scary at first and well out of my comfort zone, to have to laugh like Bertha Mason in Jane Eyre, but we have been working with Jo Blowers and she tells me to commit to it, so that’s what I try to do.

It is exhilarating working with Paul, Jo and my fellow Fallen Angels, to create the movement for this performance. I especially enjoy the work my peers do, that employs the use of chairs as props. Again, for this section of the dance, I have to wear my acting hat, to become a menacing authority figure. I enjoy playing a villain, so this suits me well.

Phil Ashby is phenomenal as the protagonist of the piece and his duet with Ian Brown, who portrays a transformative angel, is mesmerising, especially against the backdrop of the cathedral.

We perform over two nights, to appreciative audiences. The lighting is soft and blue, exuding an atmosphere of presence and holiness. The voices of the solo singers have a supernatural quality and seem to emanate from the walls themselves, beautiful and ethereal.

As always, when performing with Fallen Angels, I experience an explosion of adrenaline. It is even more rewarding to be part of something bigger, a piece of theatre involving people from a variety of backgrounds. The theme of the performance, brought together by John and Jen, speaks to the lost soul within us; that which yearns to reach out and connect to others, the searcher on a quest for enlightenment and the spirit that understands that we are all one and part of a divine power that unites us.

The finale is a moving composition of voice and breath, which follows ‘The River.’ Our protagonist becomes vulnerable, when he divests himself of his clothes and is lifted and carried in procession. The choirs and Fallen Angels join together for this final vocal performance, conducted, so expertly by John Browne. We take our bow and enjoy the rapt reception we receive from the audience.

It is another successful gig for Fallen Angels, and a spellbinding experience overall. Thank you to everyone involved, the talented choirs, composers and choreographers and to my fellow dancers, who have helped to make more happy memories to sew into the tapestry of life.

Linda Lewis

10.7.17

Through the Wilderness
April 27th, 2017

Fallen Angels Liverpool will perform within “Through the Wildnerness” A new piece of choral theatre, created by John Browne and Jen Heyes, Through the Wilderness is an exploration of nature of spirituality and tells the universal story of the quest for meaning in a secular age.

on 16/17 May at the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool.

“A man leaves his home, his family, all that’s familiar to him. He wanders out into the wilderness in search of something he can’t name, something authentic – something true.”

For more information log onto http://www.liverpoolcathedral.org.uk/114/section.aspx/108/through_the_wilderness

NOW Dance Platform 4th May 2017
April 27th, 2017

Fallen Angels Chester project Building Recovery will be performing at University of Chester for Cheshire Dance’s NOW Dance Platform on 4th May at 7.15pm please see attached

Fallen Angels seeks New Board Members
January 20th, 2017

Fallen Angels are currently looking for additional Directors/Trustees to join our Board who share our ambitions and have the passion to drive our future development forward.

We would especially welcome applications from creative practitioners, as well as other professionals who have a range of skills, experience and knowledge, in particular: 

  • Addiction and Recovery
  • Fundraising & Income Generation
  • Charity
  • Safeguarding
  • Research on addiction or cultural policy

To Apply: Please email claire@fallenangelsdancetheatre.co.uk for an application form. 

Closing date for applications: Friday 3rd February 2017

AGM
January 19th, 2017

Fallen Angels Dance Theatre North West

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 

31st January 2017

Capstone Building (room number 207)

Liverpool Hope University Creative Campus

17 Shaw Street Liverpool L6 1HP

1-2pm

Come along and find out more about Fallen Angels inspiring activity in 2015-16.

Everyone Welcome – Free of Charge

contact Claire for further details

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR
January 4th, 2017

Fallen Angels are looking forward to an exciting year ahead.. 

Upon Awakening has already SOLD OUT in February at Royal Opera House.. tickets are still available for our performances in the North West.. grab one whilst you can!!  For more details: http://www.fallenangelsdancetheatre.co.uk/events/

We have  lots of inspirational projects happening in the community this year.. including “Making your Mark” in collaboration with Cartwheel Arts http://www.cartwheelarts.org.uk/ at the newly relaunched Turnpike Gallery in Leigh http://www.theturnpike.org.uk/fallen-angels

Bags and Boxes Building Recovery project will be exploring creating and moving through spaces in Chester. We will be performing with Lila Dance at St Mary’s Centre in Chester in February. http://www.liladance.co.uk/projects/the-deluge/

Year 2 of Pinpricks of Light commences in Summer exploring recovery stories taking us into Recovery Month in September. Log on to view last years documentary: https://vimeo.com/191706553

With plenty more developments in the pipeline.

If you are interested in finding out more about our projects, whether you want to take part or follow our progress on the road to transformation contact: http://www.fallenangelsdancetheatre.co.uk/contact/

 

 

Royal Opera House tickets go live
November 25th, 2016

15156888_1235192419889050_662574716735208334_oWe are super excited to announce that the tickets for our performance in February 2017 at Royal Opera House are now live and available to buy on;

http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/upon-awakening-by-fallen-angels-dance-theatre

Last year we sold out 2 weeks before so don’t delay and book today!

 

Upon Awakening update
November 3rd, 2016

a5-fa-ua-autumn-tour_lowryFallen Angels have been busy with rehearsal preparation ready for our performances this month at University of Chester: www.kingswaytheatre.co.uk and at the Lowry the following week: http://www.thelowry.com/event/upon-awakening1

Its an exciting time with our community groups rehearsing and the main production featuring new dancers, learning, creating, building a rapport with the other dancers.

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Fallen Angels has a family approach to all the work that we do to give you the intense emotive journey that we hope our audiences experience.

Our intention at both performances is to hold a question and answer session post performance so that you can gain a greater insight into the production and our dancers. Everyone has a story of overcoming, and rebuilding

We are really looking looking forward to welcoming you into our world!!!

NEW film
October 25th, 2016

Hot off the press

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We have a new film charting the journey of our summer activity:  “Pinpricks of Light” performed at UK Recovery Walk 2016

Link to film: https://youtu.be/lsryODNX0Bs

Filmed by:  http://www.badkamra.co.uk/

Dancing their way through Recovery Month
September 27th, 2016

Fallen Angels Dance Theatre who aim to transform the lives of people struggling with addiction, has celebrated Recovery Month this September with a host of exciting events around the North West.

September has been established as Recovery Month in the UK, an opportunity to raise awareness of the Recovery community, challenge stigma and celebrate it’s achievements.

“Recovery month helps us get out and about with workshops and performances with the purpose to dispel the myths and stigma surrounding addiction. Our message is clear people do overcome addiction and transform, turn their lives around” says Fallen Angels Claire Morris.

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For Fallen Angels the celebrations began in Chester City Centre for Cheshire Recovery Walk performing to hundreds of people in Grosvenor Park on 4th September with local residents in recovery performing alongside testimonies of people that overcome the adversity of addiction.

Next stop the Turnpike Gallery in Leigh (Greater Manchester) with a open workshop and art exhibition for Wigan’s Well Week.
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Members of Expression Leigh demonstrated how they express themselves through movement to enhance and support their recovery.

The highlight of the month was on 10th September at UK Recovery Walk at Select Stadium in Halton where thousands of people attended the day from across the country to show solidarity for recovery – Fallen Angels performed “Pin Pricks of Light” which had been in development since May thanks funding from Arts Council England. Involving professional dancers, adults and young people who had all been affected by addiction, coming together to demonstrate how overcoming addiction not only benefits the individual but the whole family. The group even had a special day of training with World renowned choreographer Russell Maliphant whose company is based at London’s Sadlers Wells.

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” This powerful performance set the tone for a community finding it’s feet positively making an impact and demonstrating that in the face of adversity recovery and change is not only possible but dynamic.” Claire went on the explain.

The charity is looking forward to more performances later in the year at The Lowry, Salford Quays and University of Chester. They hope that their message of recovery reaches out and gives hope to those who still suffer from addiction.

AUDITION
September 15th, 2016

Expressions of Interest:
Female Dancer Required for Fallen Angels Dance Theatre

Fallen Angels Dance Theatre are auditioning for their
Autumn 2016 /Spring 2017 tour of “Upon Awakening”
Performances in the North West and
Royal Opera House Clore Studio.

We are looking for: 1 female dancer “Upon Awakening” with at least 3 years professional experience. Strong classical and contemporary technique, partnering and/or pas de deux essential.

The audition will take place in the North West and by invitation only. Please send images and CV to paul@fallenangelsdancetheatre.co.uk Deadline: 30th September 2016

Upon Awakening Rehearsals:
Week of 31st October, 7th- 8th November
Performance 9th and 16th November at Chester University and The Lowry Salford
March 2017 – Tour rehearsal and performance dates TBC

Please send images and CV to paul@fallenangelsdancetheatre.co.uk
This is a paid opportunity.
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Pin Pricks of Light at UK Recovery Walk
September 9th, 2016

Fallen Angels from all our groups will be performing “Pin Pricks of Light” in front of 7000 people in recovery who will travel from across the Uk to attend the event in Widnes on Saturday 10th September.

We will perform on the main stage 11.45am.

“The piece has been developed over 3 months with support and inspiration from London based choreographer Russell Maliphant.”

“It’s the first time we have had young people that have experienced the joys of recovery in the performance. Come and see these inspirational people dance their stories of adversity and hope” says Artistic Paul Bayes Kitcher

The event is free of charge and our performance has been made possible through the support of Arts Council England and local trusts and foundations for which we are very grateful.

Pin Pricks of Light - photo: Andrew Millar

Pin Pricks of Light – photo: Andrew Millar

Leigh group get creative in the art gallery..
June 28th, 2016

Our project group in Leigh have started their project at the Turnpike in Leigh town centre this week. “Expression Leigh” have come together having participated in projects led by Fallen Angels. With funding from Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles and support from the Turnpike and Trust in Leigh The group are keen for others to get involved.

Leigh project at the Turnpike

Leigh project at the Turnpike


The group describe their activity as movement in recovery. “If I was to say to people you’re dancing I would clear the room!” Says Paul from Fallen Angels “we start by exploring people’s stories of recovery and addiction then see how that can be expressed through movement” ” I would describe it more like drama, and tai chi, it’s an opportunity for people to express themselves without having to talk about it, it can be very therapeutic”.

It’s not all serious though the group have lots of fun and laughter and are invited to join Fallen Angels for performances and events.

We are looking for people who are creative in recovery who would like to come along and experience a workshop. A fun, friendly group and an opportunity to explore your creativity in a very inspiring venue.

Lache based group call out to local community
June 28th, 2016

Fallen Angels Chester based project: “Bags and Boxes Building Recovery” funded Peoples Health Trust are creating a performance: “What is being stolen?” to show at the Lache Fun day organised by Sanctuary Housing on Saturday 16th July, and they are hoping to get the local community involved.

Bags and Boxes Building Recovery in Chester

Bags and Boxes Building Recovery in Chester

Their production is based on a real life local story of overcoming adversity. Many of the themes that come through the story resonate with the group – experiences barriers and challenges, breaking the cycle, and finding recovery from within.

The group meets on Mondays 12.30-2.30pm at Lache Community centre, where they will be working with local community dancers from 12.30-1.30pm then everyone is welcome to drop in 1.30-2.30pm to help with the development, props, art, drama or bring their enthusiasm.. No experience necessary.

Claire says “we are so excited about this project, there are some amazing people and stories within a local community and we are delighted to have opportunity and celebrate through performances. The group hopes that this activity will bring people together and more understanding can lead to greater community cohesion.”The group is looking to create new partnerships within the local community and can offer workshops and performances during the 2 years so urge people interested in exploring local issues.

If you would like further information about the project and performances contact Claire on: e: claire@fallenangelsdancetheatre.co.uk / m: 07801 478 548

Funding Update
November 10th, 2015

In Creation

Fallen Angels Dance Theatre are celebrating the announcement that they have achieved Arts Council funding to enable them to perform a full length work “Upon Awakening” in November at The Lowry Salford Quays, The Capstone Theatre Liverpool and The Royal Opera House Clore Studio.

“This is a big achievement for Fallen Angels. At a time when funding for the Arts is is receiving cuts and competition for funding is high, we are feeling really blessed and delighted that the artistic quality and vision for our work is being recognised.” explains Claire Morris from Fallen Angels.

Artistic Director Paul Bayes Kitcher has begun the intensive period of exploring and developing the dance theatre production, and with the support of The Lowry is working in the prestigious venue’s studios with professional dancers and people in recovery from addiction who have developed their skills and interests in the arts through our programmes.

“This funding will enable us to work with some wonderful people mentoring and supporting us – world renowned movement director & choreographer Kate Flatt (Les Miserable, Turandot, Dr Faustus, Fiddler on the Roof, Chaplin and Theatre)” says Paul Bayes Kitcher, Artistic Director of Fallen Angels who aim to transform the lives of people struggling with addiction.

Fallen Angels productions integrates people in recovery from addiction to create a fully inclusive authentic theatre production. Local performer Damian Stewart will again be a focal point in the production the aim of which sets out to break down the stigma surrounding addiction and recovery.

During the first phase of the creation performed at The Royal Opera House Claire Cohen https://balletbichon.wordpress.com wrote: “The message of the evening was that although the journey into recovery is not easy, the physical and emotional expressiveness of dance can help even the unlikeliest of people get through their moments of darkness and step into the light. Or even the limelight.”

For more information and to book: “Upon Awakening” see the Events page..

Russell Brand Book Launch
October 19th, 2014

Performing at Russell Brand’s book launch “REVOLUTION”.

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