All posts by FADT

Dancing through the wilderness

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

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

Fallen Angels seeks New Board Members

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 [email protected] for an application form. 

Closing date for applications: Friday 3rd February 2017

AGM

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

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/

 

 

Upon Awakening update

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!!!

Dancing their way through Recovery Month

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.